Slain NYPD officers Harry Ryman, left, and Anthony Abruzzo
The families of two slain NYPD officers went before the state parole board Friday to decry what they called early hearings for the cops’ killers.
Relatives of 34-year-old Officer Anthony Abruzzo, who was gunned down while off-duty in 1981, and family members of Officer Harry Ryman, 43, who was shot and killed while off-duty in 1980, went to their local parole offices and delivered victim-impact statements in the hopes of keeping the killers locked up.
Abruzzo’s convicted killer, 59-year-old Tommy Nelson, was last denied parole in November 2018.
Under the law, parole-eligible inmates are required to have a parole hearing every two years, so he could have come up for another in November 2020.
But the parole board granted Nelson a “special consideration” hearing before the end of this month.
The parole board was under court order to do so, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, which handles inquiries into the board’s actions.
But Robert Mehran, Abruzzo’s brother-in-law, said, “My sister was sentenced to a lifetime without her husband. She has no opportunity to appeal that sentence.’’
Meanwhile, inmates Barrington Young, 61, and Paul Ford, 57, who have both been convicted in the slaying of Ryman along with 58-year-old Cornelius Bucknor, will have their parole hearings in February, even though they were last denied parole in August 2018.
“This is a departure from past practice,” the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association told The Post. “For years [the parole hearings] have always been two years [from the last].”
The DOCCS said the board scheduled both Young and Ford’s interviews for February during their last hearing in August 2018.
Barrington Young. Photo: Robert Kalfus
Still, Ryman’s daughter, Margaret Ryman told The Post that she’s “angry” because “why didn’t they deserve [to wait] the two years” to have their parole hearings in August of this year instead.
“How do we reward freedom to those who not only break our laws but kill the very people we put in charge of enforcing them? Ryman said. “The public should be alarmed.”
Harry Ryman, a 17-year veteran, was off-duty when he was shot and killed as he attempted to stop Young, Ford and Bucknor from stealing his neighbor’s car. Abruzzo, who had 13 years on the job, was fatally shot when he was off-duty and tried to stop Nelson and two others from robbing his father-in-law in front of his father-in-law’s home.
Additional reporting by Larry Celona