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PBA Shield

John Nuthall


February 11, 2024

Parole denied to assassin of rookie Queens NYPD officer

Todd Scott, one of P.O. Edward Byrne’s assassins, to remain in prison

Todd Scott, a convicted cop-killer serving 25 years to life for his involvement in the 1988 assassination of NYPD Police Officer Edward Byrne, has been denied parole, according to online records from the New York State Department of Corrections. His next parole hearing is scheduled for August 2025.

 PBA President Patrick Hendry said:

“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. 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.”

New Yorkers can send petitions opposing the parole of cop-killers by visiting the PBA’s website — and clicking on “Keep Cop-Killers in Jail.”

Scott and three co-conspirators David McClary, Phillip Copeland and Scott Cobb carried out the execution-style assassination during the early morning hours of Feb. 26, 1988. Cobb was paroled last year. McClary and Copeland remain in custody and are scheduled to appear before the Parole Board in April and November, respectively.

Kenneth Byrne, brother of fallen NYPD P.O. Edward Byrne, said:

“My brother Eddie’s whole life was ahead of him when this violent drug gang took that precious life away. They tried to make an example of Eddie, sending a message to the police and the public that they ruled the streets. 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.”

Byrne was in uniform in a marked police car on the night of his death, protecting a valuable witness whose home had recently been firebombed to discourage him from testifying against drug-kingpin Howard “Pappy” Mason.

Mason ordered the hitmen to kill a police officer to send “a message to the cops” that his imprisonment would bring retaliation. Copeland directed the nefarious plot. Cobb drove the hitmen to and from the scene. Scott distracted Officer Byrne at the car’s passenger side. McClary shot the officer five times in the head from point-blank range.

Byrne was just 22 at the time of his assassination, which drew national attention. It is considered one of the most heinous and noteworthy cop-killings of the 20th century.

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The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA) is the largest municipal police union in the nation and represents nearly 50,000 active and retired NYC police officers.