June 5, 2010
"See also New York Post stories "State parole board votes to release 1973 cop killer" and “'73 Cop Killer to be Released"
Three years ago, the state's revolving-door Parole Board voted to free a notorious cop-killer whose gang held 13 people hostage for two days in a Brooklyn store following a botched 1973 attempt to steal guns and ammo.
Only a fierce public outcry over the decision, first disclosed by The Post -- which reported that the slain cop's widow hadn't been given a chance to testify -- prompted the Parole Board to suspend the process.
But that cop-killer will walk free next month, courtesy of the very same panel that voted to free him in 2007.
The sudden and unexpected vote to free Shuaib Raheem came after several witnesses testified on his behalf.
But Patrolman Stephen Gilroy's widow, who finally got to testify in 2007, was not heard from this time. She didn't learn of Raheem's release until it had been voted.
This time, says a Parole Board spokesman, "there's no recourse; it's done."
Back in January 1973, Raheem and three other Black Muslims stormed into a Bed-Stuy sporting-goods store to steal weapons for use against a perceived threat from the Nation of Islam. (The day before, NOI members had massacred seven Muslims at a Washington, DC, home owned by NBA superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.)
Raheem and his gang took 13 hostages and held them for 47 hours while exchanging fire with police.
Gilroy, a 29-year-old ESU cop, was fatally shot in the head as he responded to the scene; three officers were wounded.
Before the 2007 uproar, Raheem -- who was sentenced to 25-to-life -- had been denied parole five times.
But the panel now says he's earned his freedom, citing his good behavior since 1999, the fact that he's collected several college degrees and his involvement in youth programs.
But Raheem needs to continue his rehabilitation behind bars.
That's because the murder of a police officer is an assault on society. And cop-killers should never breathe free again.
Period, end of story.