STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — The widow of a Staten Island police officer gunned down in the line of duty faced the New York State Parole Board on Friday to plead with them not to free the man who killed her husband — NYPD Officer Gerard Carter.
Jozette Carter-Williams, along with the late officer’s mother, Martha, and his son, Louis, delivered a victim impact statement before the board urging them not to grant Carter’s confessed killer Shatiek Johnson parole.
“This is a very upsetting moment for us. I can’t believe that we’re here,” Carter-Williams said at a press conference in front of the parole board building in Manhattan Friday morning. “The parole process has to change; our laws have to change.”
“New York police officers are the best police officers out there, and I pride myself in saying that Gerard was one of them,” Carter-Williams went on to say.
“You have a murderer who’s murdered three times and now he’s up for 25 to life. That should never be,” Carter-Wiliams said. “What it should be is life without the possibility of parole if you kill a police officer.”
NYC Police Benevolent Association (PBA) President Patrick J. Lynch said: “It is no accident that the families of hero police officers have been kept out of this building long after the rest of the world opened up. It was part of a coordinated plan to silence the voices of crime victims.”
“Police Officer Gerard Carter was a hero killed for no reason other than the uniform he wore,” Lynch added. “His killer was a violent repeat offender who had already been given a second chance. He must not get another, not just for this family’s sake, but for the safety of every New Yorker.”
“There’s no parole for Gerard,” Carter-Williams added, “and there should be none for his killer.”
On the night of July 26, 1998, Carter, 28, was in a marked police van in the West Brighton Houses’ courtyard when Johnson opened fire. Soon after the troubled teenager was arrested, he was indicted in a separate case involving the slaying of a rival gang leader.
After serving 25 years of a max life sentence, Johnson’s case will be revisited by the state in consideration of his parole.
This is Johnson’s first appearance before the parole board. Johnson was on parole for a previous manslaughter conviction at the time he killed Officer Carter.
The PBA has collected and delivered nearly 8,000 petitions opposing Johnson’s parole.