Convicted cop killer remains behind bars following hearing

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Convicted cop killer Herman Bell remains in prison following a hearing in Albany Friday. The judge didn’t make a decision about his parole but says he will do so in writing soon.

An order was issued to keep Bell in prison through these hearings, as well as if a new parole board hearing is mandated.

Bell had been granted parole to leave prison on April 17 prior to a petition by the wife of one of his victims.

Back in 1971, officers Joe Piagentini and Waverly Jones responded to a bogus 9-1-1 call to a Harlem housing complex.

Herman Bell and two other members of the Black Liberation Army fatally shot Jones in the head.

Piagentini was shot 22 times.

The Patrolmen Benevolent Association says the parole board acted illegally in granting parole and tried to cover it up.

Patrick J. Lynch is the president of the PBA. He spoke to the press prior to the court hearing.

“We are here because this parole board did not do their job, did not go by their own rule, and we are here to stand before tris judge and say you cannot allow this to happen,” said Lynch.

He said they want to stop what he called an “illegal unjust release from prison.”

“When we point out their mistakes, the parole board tried to conceal those mistakes, which means they meant to do it,” said Lynch.

Lynch stood by the wife of assassinated police officer Joseph Piagentini, Diane Piagentini.

“We are here to ensure that a new parole board will be put into place with new commissioners, and that Bell will be kept in prison,” said Mrs. Piagentini.

She petitioned When a parole board granted Bells release as early as next week. The New York Supreme Court subsequently stopped his release- leading to hearings as she takes on the board of parole.

It was a packed courtroom as supporters of Bell say he’s served his time.

State Assemblyman Charles Barron of Brooklyn says allowing a victim’s representative to bring a complain to this court could set a dangerous precident .

“The reason why I’m here, not only for Herman Bell, but for future parole board hearings. What parole board is going to want to take on this kind of intimidation?” said Barron.

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