Family of slain cop vow to fight killers' parole - New York News

Family of slain cop vow to fight killers' parole

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A street in Queens was named for Police Officer Eddie Byrne, who was murdered by a drug gang in 1988. Now that his killers are up for parole, his older brother is vowing to keep them behind bars.

Byrne was a 22-year-old rookie cop during the height of the crack epidemic in 1988. He was guarding the house of a witness on 107th Avenue and Inwood Street in South Jamaica when one man tapped on the window to distract Byrne while another executed him, said Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Four men were later convicted of murdering Byrne on the orders of notorious drug lord Howard "Pappy" Mason.

His brother Larry Byrne, a former federal prosecutor, said it was a planned assassination and they showed no remorse. Larry Byrne said that after the killers were arrested they laughed about it.

The cold-blooded murder dominated the headlines for days and marked a turning point for a crime-weary city.

President George Bush carried Byrne's shield on the campaign trail.

His name is on the memorial wall of honor at police headquarters.

But there was no law on the books back then for a mandatory life sentence, so the convicted killers will be coming up for parole every two years.

Larry Byrne plans to speak for his brother in a victim impact statement. He said he'll appear before the parole board every two years for the rest of his life and that if his brother's killers outlive him, he'll have his children continue the fight.

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