Herman Bell Follow-Up
A follow-up on our Feb. 10 report on three-time cop killer Herman Bell.
Yesterday, a New York State parole board denied Bell’s request for release. The panel concluded that there was a “reasonable probability” that Bell would “not live and remain at liberty without again violating the law.”
Bell was a member of the Black Liberation Army, an ultra-violent offshoot of the Black Panther Party. In 1971, the BLA unleashed a wave of mayhem and murder across the country.
Bell was a key player in the killing of New York City police officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones. The two officers—one white, one black—were lured into a BLA ambush at a Harlem housing project. Three BLA assassins came up behind them and started firing.
Officer Jones died immediately with four shots to the head. Officer Piagentini took longer. According to court records, he lay on the sidewalk pleading for his life, saying he had a wife and two daughters at home. The killers put twenty-two bullets in him. Bell was also implicated in the shooting death of a San Francisco police sergeant.
The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association hailed the parole board’s action. “Bell’s victims cannot be paroled from death,” said PBA President Pat Lynch, “and Bell and his cop-killing partners should never be allowed to walk the streets as free men again.”
Amen to that.