Cuomo’s clemency of Brinks getaway driver sparks outrage among local officials, law enforcement

Cuomo granted clemency to the getaway driver in the 1981 Brinks armored car robbery in Rockland that left two police officers and a guard dead.

News 12 Staff

Aug 24, 2021, 9:54 AM

Updated 1,062 days ago


One of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo's final acts in office sparked outrage among local officials and law enforcement in the Hudson Valley.
Cuomo granted clemency to 76-year-old David Gilbert, the getaway driver in the 1981 Brinks armored car robbery in Rockland. The robbery ended with the deaths of Brinks security guard Peter Paige and Nyack police officers Waverly Brown and Sgt. Ed O'Grady.
Gilbert will now go before the parole board, which ultimately makes the final decision on whether he will be released.
He is serving a sentence of 75 years to life and would have seen no possibility of parole until 2056.
For decades, Rockland officials and law enforcement agencies have met at the Brinks robbery memorial site to never forget the day engrained in the county's history. On Tuesday, they stood there to denounce the clemency given to Gilbert.
Comments and reaction:
"David Gilbert should never see the light of day." - Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann.
"The commutation of David Gilbert is a slap in the face to loved ones left behind of this atrocity. And to our Rockland community as a whole." - Rockland District Attorney Thomas Walsh.
"David Gilbert deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison." - Louis Falco, Rockland County Sheriff's Office.
"David Gilbert is no babe in the woods. And shame on Gov. Cuomo for painting him as such. This man was sentenced by a jury of his peers to life in jail. And for governor cuomo, ex governor cuomo, with a stroke of a pen to end that, doesn't seem fair." Clarkstown Police Sgt. John Hanchar. O'Grady was Hanchar's uncle.
"The fact is, David is one of the very oldest and longest serving people in New York state prison. All I can say to people who oppose David's release, is that they should be aware of his genuine remorse. That he carries it with him daily." - Steve Zeidman, lawyer and CUNY law professor who has spent years working to get Gilbert clemency.
"Write to the parole board immediately and demand they do not grant parole to David Gilbert." - New York Assemblyman Mike Lawler.
"Write emails. Write letters. Make phone calls. And it doesn't end with just one." - South Nyack Police Chief Daniel Wilson.

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