Rep. Lee Zeldin on Saturday denounced the release of nearly three dozen cop killers since 2017 and called for major reforms of the state’s parole process.
“The Parole Board in New York must be overhauled. We’re sick and tired of seeing these stories of cop killers being let out onto the streets,” Zeldin told a small crowd gathered outside Staten Island’s 122nd Precinct, where he rallied with fellow Republican Rep. Nicole Malliotakis.
“Right now it’s a majority vote, it needs to be changed to a unanimous vote,” Zeldin said of the three-voter panels. “We [also] need to allow for victims and victims’ families to be able to provide testimony that will be considered by the Parole Board. There needs to be an appeals process. Victims and victims’ families should have power and be part of that appeals process. On top of that, we need to make sure that adequate notice [on hearings and releases] is being provided to these victims and victims’ families.”
Zeldin pointed to the case of Anthony Bottom, a convicted cop killer who was invited to speak at SUNY Brockport earlier this year. In 1971 Bottom and another man, Herman Bell, assassinated NYPD officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones after luring them into a public housing complex in Harlem with a bogus 911 call. Both killers were members of the Black Liberation Army terrorist organization. Bottom was paroled in September 2020.
Zeldin was joined on stage by the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, Alison Esposito; State Sen. Anthony Lanza; Assemblymen Michael Reilly and Michael Tannousis; City Councilman David Carr, and reps of the city police unions.
He also ripped Gov. Hochul for ducking debates with him.
“Kathy Hochul’s refusal to accept a debate is disgraceful and cowardly. She owes it to New Yorkers to stand up for a live televised debate and these should take place at multiple dates, in multiple locations. Weeks ago, I challenged Governor Hochul to have at least five televised debates around the state, she hasn’t yet accepted any debate requests.” Zeldin thundered.
The GOP candidate addressed the onslaught of migrants being bused to New York City from Texas. Zeldin said he would take steps to make the state more inhospitable for the newly arriving migrants, like rolling back New York’s “greenlight laws” which allows those in the city illegally to obtain driver’s licenses.