New York City

Parole Granted to Ex-Black Liberation Army Member Who Killed NYPD Officers

Parole has been granted to a former member of a 1970s black radical group who fatally shot two NYPD officers nearly 50 years ago.

State prison system officials say Wednesday that the parole board this week approved 70-year-old Herman Bell's release. It was his eighth parole hearing since being imprisoned for killing officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones in 1971.

Bell and two other members of the Black Liberation Army were convicted of killing the officers after luring them to a Harlem housing complex with a bogus 911 call. Jones died instantly from a single shot. Piagentini was shot 22 times.

Bell was sentenced in 1979 to 25 years to life.

Officials say the earliest he can be released from Shawangunk Prison in Ulster County is April 17.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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