A man convicted in one of the most notorious cop killings in New York City history was just denied parole, a move hailed by the tragic Finest’s family.
Todd Scott, who is serving 25 years to life behind bars for his role in the 1988 assassination of 22-year-old rookie Officer Edward Byrne, will remain incarcerated at Shawangunk Correctional Facility in Ulster County, according to union officials and state records.
Scott admitted that he was hired to distract Byrne while the cop, who had been on the force just a month, was guarding the Queens home of a witness planning to testify against Jamaica drug kingpin Howard “Pappy” Mason.
Scott and three cohorts ended up splitting an $8,000 payment for the gangland execution, which was so brazen that it shocked the country.
“My brother Eddie’s whole life was ahead of him when this violent drug gang took that precious life away,” sibling Kenneth Byrne said in a statement after the parole board’s ruling Jan. 23 to keep Scott behind bars.
“They tried to make an example of Eddie, sending a message to the police and the public that they ruled the streets,” Kenneth said of the drug thugs behind his brother’s death. “It’s very comforting to know that message wasn’t reinforced this time around.
“The best way to honor my brother’s sacrifice is to keep showing that there is no redemption for those who kill police officers.”
Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Hendry added in the statement, “We are relieved to learn that this vicious cop-killer will remain behind bars for now, but our work isn’t done.
“Two of his murderous accomplices are up for parole later this year,” Hendry said, referring to David McClary and Phillip Copeland.
“We need New Yorkers to keep sending a message to the Parole Board: if you murder a New York City police officer, you must live out the rest of your days in a prison cell.”
Driver Scott Cobb, the fourth man convicted in the assassination, was sprung from prison last summer after serving 34 years behind bars. He is of more than three dozen cop-killers the board has released since 2017.
Scott will be up for parole again in August 2025, according to the PBA.
Byrne’s slaying, while he sat in uniform in a marked car, made national news at the time and prompted President Ronald Reagan to call his family and offer condolences.
Vice President George HW Bush carried Byrne’s badge on the campaign trail after the slaying and brought it with him to the Oval Office when he became president the next year.