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October 20, 2023, 11:16 AM

Killer in notorious NYPD officer Eddie Byrne execution up for parole

By Tina Moore

One of the four killers convicted in one of the most notorious cop murders in New York City history is coming up for parole this week, and the slain cop’s family is preparing for the worst after enduring the release of the first murderer last year.

The board has released 37 cop killers since 2017.

Todd Scott is currently at the maximum-security Shawangunk state prison for second-degree murder in the killing of Eddie Byrne, 22, on Feb. 26, 1988 — a gangland execution that shocked the nation at the height of the crack epidemic.

“My brother Eddie’s life was just getting started when he was assassinated,” Kenneth Byrne, the slain cop’s brother, told The Post. 

“By cutting Eddie’s precious life short, Todd Scott and his accomplices tried to send a message to every police officer and every member of the public that the streets belonged to their violent drug gang.”

Byrne had been on the force for just a month when he was ambushed by Scott and three accomplices while guarding the Queens home of a witness who was planning to testify against Jamaica drug kingpin Howard “Pappy” Mason.

Scott, 55, admitted that his job was to distract the rookie officer, who was sitting in his 103 Precinct patrol car outside the home at 107th Avenue and Inwood Street.

The four co-conspirators split an $8,000 payment from the gang boss for the cold-blooded contract murder. Each was sentenced to 25 years to life.

Wheelman Scott Cobb, 60, was sprung last year after serving 34 years behind bars.

The cop’s still-grieving family has for years been urging the state Parole Board not to release his killers.

“Unfortunately, the parole board reinforced that message by releasing Scott Cobb last year,” Byrne’s brother said. “The board must change the message this time around. They must not grant yet another ruthless killer a second chance at life, a second chance my brother, Eddie, will never receive.”

Accomplices David McClary and Philip Copeland remain behind bars.

Byrne’s killing struck such a chord that then-President Ronald Reagan called his family to offer his condolences. Years later, President George Bush brought the officer’s badge with him to the Oval Office.

The NYPD commemorates the anniversary of Byrne’s death each year with a midnight ceremony at the intersection where he was killed.

The Parole Board is comprised of 17 members appointed by the governor, and approved by the state Senate.The Democrat-dominated panel has been criticized in recent years for giving more weight to prisoners’ ages and health than to the brutality of the crimes they committed.

Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry has repeatedly expressed his outrage at the releases.

“We have kept returning to that scene, year after year because we made a promise that his death would not be in vain,” Hendry said. “We were disgusted and outraged when Scott Cobb was released last year — that must not happen again.

“Eddie Byrne deserves better, his hero family deserves better, and the law-abiding people in this city deserve better.”