NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — A former member of a militant group convicted of the 1971 killings of two New York City police officers has been denied parole for the sixth time.
The state Parole Board announced Tuesday that Herman Bell will remain incarcerated for at least another two years. After that, he may again appear before the board.
The 66-year-old was a member of the Black Liberation Army, a violent offshoot of the Black Panthers.
He and co-defendant Anthony Bottom – now known as Jalil Abdul Muntaqim – are serving 25 years to life in the execution-style slayings of Officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini.
Bell, Bottom and a third now-deceased defendant, Albert “Nuh” Washington, waited for any two NYPD officers to respond to a bogus call for help at the Colonial Park Houses public housing development in Harlem on May 21, 1971, the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association said. They then fired at the backs of Jones and Piagentini when they responded, the PBA said.
“Jones, who was married and the father of two, died immediately of four shots to the back of the head,” the PBA said in a statement last month. “Officer Piagentini who lay bleeding on the concrete sidewalk was pleading for his life for the sake of his two small daughters when the murderers took both officers’ service revolvers and fired all rounds into the young police officer who died on the way to the hospital.”
Bell recently admitted his role in the killings, but maintains he’s a political prisoner.
The PBA said those convicted of killing officers should never be paroled.
Bottom is up for parole in June.
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