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PBA Shield

John Nuthall


March 14, 2018

Statements of the PBA President and Police Widow on the decision to release Cop-Killer Herman Bell on parole

PBA president Patrick J. Lynch said:

“The parole board has failed in their duty to protect the citizens of this state. There are no words to express our anger and disgust that they have granted release to a cold-blooded cop-killer who successfully gammed the system in two states to win his freedom.  Herman Bell, a domestic terrorist and member of the Black Liberation Army, is responsible for the death of three fine law enforcement officers: Police officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones in NYC and Sgt. John Young in San Francisco. His release on parole is a painful affront to the families of every police officer who has sacrificed his or her life in the line of duty. Today, it is accepted that, absent a constitutionally viable death penalty, the appropriate sentence for anyone who intentionally murders a NYC police officer is life without parole.  Herman Bell, who committed the most barbarous and heinous crimes in killing three police officers and who showed absolutely no compassion to Joe Piagentini, who pleaded for his life saying he had two small daughters, should have never been granted parole.  We are disgusted, offended and extremely angry with this parole board’s decision.” 

Mrs. Diane Piagentini, the widow of Joseph, said: 

“We are angered and sickened that this horrible person, who was devoid of any human compassion or empathy when he continued to shoot my already wounded husband, Joseph, while he pleaded for his life for the sake of his family, will now be free to walk out of prison.  My family and I believe that the members of parole board who made this horrible decision have not only betrayed the trust of all the line of duty police families, but have also failed in their duty to protect the citizens of this state. They should be fired and should never be allowed to sit in judgment again. The message being sent devalues the life of my brave husband who was taken from his two daughters and for whom there is no parole. How can we ask our police officers to risk their lives to protect society when society fails to appropriately punish their animalistic killers?”

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