It may have happened 24 years ago, but the execution-style murder of Police Officer Edward Byrne, who was just 22 years old at the time, is still burned into the memories of many New Yorkers. Another of the conspirators involved in the brutal crime was denied parole last week.
Scott Cobb was the third man out of the four convicted of the killing not to be granted his freedom. David McClary, the shooter, and Todd Scott were denied parole on Nov. 14 and Philip Copeland is scheduled to appear before the board later this month. Each was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the 1988 killing.
“These four men should serve the maximum sentence imposed — life in prison — as a clear message that we, as a society, will never forget their ruthless and cowardly acts,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a prepared statement. “They should never be allowed to taste freedom again as a fitting memorial to Officer Byrne and for the safety and well-being of all law-abiding citizens.”
Brown pointed out that his office successfully prosecuted the killers of Officer Byrne and collected more than 6,000 of the 24,000 signatures on a petition submitted to the State Parole Board urging that the defendants stay behind bars.
Byrne was sitting in his marked patrol car on 107th Avenue and Inwood Street in South Jamaica protecting a drug complainant and looking for illegal activity, when another car pulled up beside him. Two men got out. One knocked on the passenger side window while the other crept up on the driver’s side and shot Byrne in the head five times with a .38 caliber pistol.