Widow’s plea

Rips cop killer try for pa­role

New York Daily News - - NEWS - BY GRA­HAM RAYMAN

The widow of a slain po­lice of­fi­cer slammed the pa­role board Fri­day as it con­sid­ered whether to re­lease one of her hus­band’s convicted killers from pri­son.

Be­fore giv­ing tes­ti­mony to the board on An­thony Bot­tom, Diane Pi­a­gen­tini com­pared the de­ci­sion to re­lease an­other of her hus­band’s killers, Her­man Bell, to the de­ci­sion not to re­lease John Len­non’s killer, Mark David Chap­man.

“It is mind-bog­gling that the pa­role board could find the re­lease of mu­si­cian John Len­non’s mur­derer was in­com­pat­i­ble with the wel­fare of so­ci­ety but the re­lease of cop-killers isn’t,” Pi­a­gen­tini said in a state­ment. “An­thony Bot­tom must re­main in jail for the rest of his life.”

Joseph Pi­a­gen­tini and his part­ner, Waverly Jones, were am­bushed by mem­bers of the Black Lib­er­a­tion Army as they walked a foot pa­trol in the Colo­nial Park Houses — now the Charles Ran­gel Houses — at 159th St. and Har­lem River Drive on May 21, 1971.

Jones was shot in the head. Pi­a­gen­tini was tor­tured and shot 22 times.

Bell and Bot­tom were two of the peo­ple re­spon­si­ble for the hor­rific at­tack.

Bell, now, 70 was paroled in March af­ter 45 years in pri­son, spark­ing an out­cry from Pi­a­gen­tini’s widow, the po­lice unions, Mayor de Bla­sio and Po­lice Com­mis­sioner James ONeill.

Bot­toms has also spent 45 years be­hind bars. He will ap­pear at the pa­role board in Novem­ber, state pri­son of­fi­cials said.

“We are presently in court seek­ing stand­ing to chal­lenge the Pa­role Board’s abuse of discretion in re­leas­ing Her­man Bell, who should never have been re­leased,” Pi­a­gen­tini added.” The Pa­role Board is out of con­trol and we need leg­is­la­tion to rein it in for the good of so­ci­ety.”

Added Pa­trick Lynch of the Pa­trol­men’s Benev­o­lent As­so­ci­a­tion, “We ac­cept that there is a place for the ap­pro­pri­ate use of pa­role in mi­nor crimes but it is never ap­pro­pri­ate in the case of cop-killers or the pre­med­i­tated mur­der of any­one. If you plan to kill some­one and you do, you have given up your life of free­dom for the life that you have ended.”

Diane Pi­a­gen­tini, whose hus­band, Of­fi­cer Joseph Pi­a­gen­tini, was killed in 1971 by three mem­bers of the Black Lib­er­a­tion Army, speaks

An­thony Bot­tom

Joseph Pi­a­gen­tini

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