Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mayor Bloomberg calls on state to deny parole for killers of Officer Eddie Byrne

Officer Eddie Byrne
Mayor Bloomberg calls on state to deny parole for killers of Officer Eddie Byrne 

Mayor Bloomberg called on the state parole board to not free the four men who killed a Queens cop more than 20 years ago.

The four men convicted of the 1988 assassination of Officer Eddie Byrne — slain while protecting a witness in a drug case during the height of the city’s crack wars — will get their first parole hearings in Albany Friday.

The men are serving 25-year-to-life sentences — and Bloomberg said their punishment was not over yet.

“It would be a gross abuse of justice if those who committed a premeditated assassination of a police officer are allowed to walk free,” Bloomberg told the board in a letter sent Tuesday, but released Thursday.

“The crime still resonates in our city — not only in the hearts and minds of those who loved Officer Byrne, but in the millions of people who remember his story.”

Byrne, who had just turned 22, was sitting alone in a marked NYPD squad car, guarding the house of a witness in a case against drug kingpin Howard (Pappy) Mason.

Mason was in jail when he ordered four men — Philip Copeland, Todd Scott, Scott Cobb and David McClary — to kill a cop, authorities believe. Mason is now doing life without parole at a maximum-security facility in Colorado.

The goons drove up to Byrne’s parked car on 107th Ave. and Inwood St. in Jamaica, where McClary opened fire through the driver’s window and hit Byrne five times in the head.

Bloomberg said the men responsible for the brazen murder deserve to stay in the clink for the life they took away.

“Officer Byrne, only 22 years old, was robbed of a life that was so full of promise,” Bloomberg said.

“Today, he would be only 47 years old — still in the prime of his life. We can only imagine what the years would have brought him — perhaps marriage and children. Those joyous occasions were taken from him and from his family.”

Later, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly echoed Bloomberg’s comments.

"Quite frankly, I don't think we should ever grant parole to anybody found guilty of killing a police officer in the line of duty,” said Kelly.

The top cop, who was a deputy chief at the time of the killing, said the assassination of Byrne “had an extremely traumatic affect on the department because of the way it happened.”

“This was premeditated and it was meant to send a signal to society in general, not only the police department,” he said. “It made a permanent difference in the way we policed."

Kelly said the NYPD formed tactical narcotics teams after Byrne’s death that “gave police resolve to go after drug operations even more.”

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