Assemblyman Keith P. Brown (R,C-Northport) hosted a press conference on Sunday, March 27 at PO Joseph Piagentini Playground in Fabio Buttitta Memorial Park to demand SUNY Brockport rescind Jalil Muntaqim’s (formerly Anthony Bottom) invitation to address students. Brown was accompanied by Diane Piagentini, widow of NYPD Officer Joseph Piagentini, Pat Lynch, NYC PBA President, Jennifer Harrison, founder of Victim Rights NY, Congressman Andrew Garbarino and members of the Senate and Assembly Republican Conferences.
“Whether Jalil Muntaqim is speaking via zoom or not makes no difference. The SUNY system rewarding this dangerous killer with the opportunity to speak to a publicly-funded student body is an insult to the families of every police officer,” said Brown.
“The men and women in blue put their lives on the line every day so New Yorkers can live safely in their communities,'' said Brown. “What kind of message is SUNY sending our children, the future of this state, when they give a cop killer a taxpayer-funded platform to promote a radical agenda and propaganda? I am appalled by the college’s characterization of Mr. Muntaqim as a ‘political prisoner’ for killing two NYPD officers. He is no political prisoner; he's a convicted cop killer. I demand SUNY apologize to the families of NYPD officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones and cancel this event immediately.This false narrative feeds the frenzy of lawlessness in our state and disrespect of those who defend and protect our law abiding society and inviting this individual to speak will only divide us, especially at a time when political polarization is at its highest,” according to Brown.
“For SUNY Brockport to invite a cop killer to speak and provide him any forum at all is truly sickening, and those responsible have done tremendous damage to the school’s reputation.I suggest that Brockport instead invite Diane Piagentini to speak to their students about the night she learned her NYPD Officer husband, Joseph, and his partner, Officer Waverly Jones, had been ambushed and executed in cold blood-- and what it was like to raise her children without their father,”said Sen. Phil Boyle (R,C-Bay Shore).
"It’s appalling that a state college, funded by our tax dollars, would extend an invitation to the assassin of two police officers, bill his appearance as that of a ‘political prisoner’ and then cry ‘academic freedom’ to disguise this affront to the memory and sacrifice of these officers. There is nothing this cold-blooded killer can say that can atone for his premeditated murder of these two brave officers, and the faculty and administrators of this college, my alma mater, should be ashamed of their failure to recognize the insult, pain and anguish that this debacle has caused these heroes' families,"saidSen. Alexis Weik (R,C-Sayville).
“NYPD Officer Joseph Piagentini was killed in the line of duty in 1971 when Anthony Bottom and his cohorts planned and executed this assassination of police officers.Not only did Mrs. Piagentini have to bury her husband, sit through court proceedings and raise their children on her own, but then she had to fight the release of his killers time and time again.Each time reliving this nightmare and ultimately watching all three of them released by former Gov. Cuomo and now Gov. Kathy Hochul’s parole board. Officer Piagentini's children never knew their father simply because he cared enough to go to work hoping to keep the rest of us safe,” said Jennifer Harrison, of Victim Rights NY.
“As if the release of his assassins did not denigrate the sacrifice of Joseph Piagentini and his family enough, now Anthony Bottom is being propelled by a NYS taxpayer-funded university while they blatantly lie to the students, faculty and the public about why he was imprisoned.Anthony Bottom is a serial cop killer, not a political prisoner and people at the very least have the right to make an informed decision as to whether or not they want to hear what he has to say. We have seen a multitude of cop killers released over the years, a defund the police mentality and rhetoric from many government officials, and now this kind of philosophy is being indoctrinated into our children.This engagement will perpetuate those dangerous notions during a time when we are seeing record numbers of homicides and violent crime.It is a complete slap in the face to not only the Piagentini family, any family of an officer killed in the line of duty and law enforcement agents everywhere, but also to every survivor of a homicide victim who endures the life sentences of pain, grief and anguish caused by these murderers who intentionally handed them to us, while being spared the same fate,” Harrison continued.