NEW YORK (AP) — A man has been convicted in the notorious drug-related murder of a newcomer. New York A union representing NYPD officers said Sunday that a city police officer was denied parole at the height of the deadly pandemic that hit the city decades ago.
Todd Scott was serving a 25-year sentence for his role in the shooting death of Officer Edward Byrne in Queens. Byrnes was murdered in 1988 as he sat in his police cruiser to protect the home of a witness in a drug case.
Police said Scott was part of a gang of four who paid $8,000 to kill the 22-year-old officer in retaliation for the arrest of drug dealer Howard "Pappy" Mason, who had been on the job just weeks earlier.
The NYPD said Scott walked up to the passenger side window of Byrne's car and distracted the officer while another man shot him five times in the early morning of February 26, 1988. Police mark this moment every year as grand ceremony At the intersection where Byron died.
Scott was convicted of second-degree murder and was serving his sentence at the maximum-security state prison in Shawangunk. According to the state Department of Corrections' online inmate database, he has been eligible for parole since 2013, but after his latest denial he will not be eligible for parole again until August 2025.
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Agency spokespeople did not return calls seeking comment Sunday, and it could not immediately be determined whether Scott had an attorney.
Patrick Hendry, president of the Police Benevolent Association, said in a statement that the union was "relieved" to deny Scott parole. The union said it would also continue to protest against the release of two other people convicted in the murder.
David McCleary and Phillip Copeland are scheduled to appear before the parole board in April and November, respectively, according to the union. Scott Cobb, who police said was the driver in the killing, was released on parole last year.
Hendry wrote, "We need New Yorkers to continue sending a message to the Parole Board: If you murder a New York City police officer, you will spend the rest of your days in a prison cell."
Byrne's brother Kenneth Byrne said in a statement that "the best way" to honor his brother's sacrifice is to continue to show that "there is no apology for those who kill police officers."
"They tried to make an example of Eddie by sending a message to the police and the public that they rule the streets," he said. "It's a great relief to know that the message was not emphasized this time."
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