Ortt calls on SUNY Brockport to cancel speaker convicted in 1971 of killing NYC police officers

Posted 14 March 2022 at 8:52 pm

Press Release, State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt

ALBANY – New York State Senate Republican Leader Rob Ortt today penned a letter to SUNY Brockport calling on the school to rescind a speaking invitation for Anthony Bottom, who was convicted in 1971 for luring and killing two NYPD Officers in cold blood.

The invitation states that Bottom’s on-campus appearance on April 6 will be an “intellectual conversation” about his time as a “political prisoner.”

“This proposed event on SUNY Brockport’s campus is absolutely shameful,” Ortt said. “Let’s be very clear: Anthony Bottom was not a ‘political prisoner.’ He’s a convicted cop-killer. Calling this an ‘intellectual conversation’ on a taxpayer-funded state campus is intellectually dishonest. It’s an insult. And it’s outright offensive to the families of NYPD Officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones, as well as all men and women who wear the uniform. SUNY Brockport must immediately rescind this tone-deaf invitation.”

In 1971, Anthony Bottom — joined by Herman Bell and Albert Washington — lured, ambushed, and murdered NYPD Officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones in cold blood. Bottom and Bell, both paroled in recent years, were once members of the “Black Liberation Army,” a militant organization that carried out multiple premeditated assassinations, bombings, and other violence in the 1970s and 80s.

Senate Republicans for years fought against the release of Bottom and Bell. Despite widespread opposition from the victims’ families and communities, both were released by the state Parole Board in recent years.

Last year, Ortt helped unveil a Parole Reform package of bills designed to protect crime victims, fix the broken state Parole Board, and keep New York’s most notoriously violent criminals behind bars. Included in that push is a measure that would keep cop-killers behind bars for life.