Robert Hayes will be remembered at an event Saturday. Photo: DOCCS
Radicals plan to “celebrate” an extremist cop-killer at a New York Public Library branch on Saturday — and cops are furious.
“Celebrate the life of Robert Seth Hayes,” reads the promotional poster for the event to be held at 2 p.m. at the NYPL’s Countee Cullen Branch in Harlem.
Hayes died in December, a year and half after he was paroled for the senseless, 1973 shooting of Transit Officer Sidney Thompson.
“Join us to commemorate this former Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army veteran,” reads the poster, which also calls Hayes a “long term political prisoner and freedom fighter.”
Sponsors include the Northeast Political Prisoner Coalition and the Black Panther party — and the Master of Ceremonies will be a convicted, would-be cop killer, Sekou Odinga, also a leading Black Panther and member of the cop-hating BLA.
“This is a celebration of terrorism paid for with your tax dollars,” railed Patrick Lynch of the Police Benevolent Association.
“Robert Hayes was a domestic terrorist who murdered one cop and tried to kill five others. The only people mourning his passing are his fellow terrorists and would-be cop-killers.”
When the Post alerted the NYPL, a spokesperson said the event would not take place.
“The event in question was never approved and is not taking place at The New York Public Library. The Library was approached about hosting a spoken word poetry event at the Countee Cullen branch,” the rep said. “The branch provided a space use agreement, which is required for any outside event taking place in a Library location. That form was never returned. As our top priority is serving our patrons and operating our branches, we cannot accommodate events that do not abide by our guidelines so that we can prepare adequately.”
Hayes was paroled in 2018 after admitting responsibility and showing remorse for the 1973 murder of transit officer Sidney Thompson.
Thompson had ordered the then-23-year-old Hayes to freeze as Hayes and another BLA member, Victor Cumberbatch, leaped a turnstile at the 174th Street station in The Bronx.
of two young children.
Months later, police stormed Hayes’ BLA hideout in the Bronx. The fugitive opened fire again, with a sawed-off shotgun. He was sentenced to 35 years to life in prison for the murder of Thompson in the subway and the attempted murder of five officers in the hideout.
Despite the event billing him as a “political prisoner,” the repentant Hayes stressed in a 2018 New York Post interview that he was sorry for the shooting — and he accurately predicted he’d be dead of heart disease and diabetes within two years.
Hayes opened fire on the spot, killing Thompson, the father of two young children.
“I promise repentance,” he told The Post from prison.
Thompson’s son, Steven, responded in his own interview: “He assassinated my father.”
The son was 6 when his dad was killed over a 15-cent subway fare.
The flyer for event honoring Robert Hayes, which is being held at the NYPL
“He made a choice,” the son said. “We all wish we could change things. I wish he never killed my father.”
On Thursday, Steven — himself a veteran NYPD officer — told The Post, “It’s totally outrageous that somebody who attacked society by killing my father is being memorialized in a public library.
“What kind of message does that send about how the city views its police officers? Anyone who attacks a police officer is capable of doing far worse to the general public. He should have been kept in prison, not celebrated.”
Steven left the NYPD after just over five years, in July 1996, and joined the Prince William County Police Department in Virginia, retiring last September at the rank of Deputy Chief.
“I’m proud of my time with the NYPD,” Steven told The Post. “But I decided to leave the city in 1996 the night Police Officer Vincent Guidice was killed in the Bronx.
“That perp was back out on the street the same night, and he wasn’t even convicted for murdering Guidice. When it comes to holding cop-killers accountable, New York has been headed in the wrong direction for a while,” Thompson said. “But over the last few years, things have gotten much, much worse.”