Outrage and protest over convicted cop killer speaking on SUNY campus
NYPD Officer Joseph Piagentini's widow Diane slammed SUNY Brockport for inviting her husband's killer to speak on campus.
She is demanding the state university cancel an upcoming lecture with Jalil Muntaqim, formerly known as Anthony Bottom. He is one of the men convicted of murdering her husband and Officer Waverly Jones in 1971. Muntaqim served nearly 50 years in prison for the murders before being paroled in 2020.
"I would not like to see the school besmirched by hosting a brutal killer of police officers who will mislead the students by portraying himself as a political prisoner and freedom fighter," said Piagentini.
She is backed by scores of line-of-duty families and the PBA. Her supporters say SUNY Brockport's invitation is a slap in the face to law enforcement and sends the wrong message to students.
PBA President Patrick Lynch said, "We cannot pollute the minds of the next generation thinking it's okay if you kill, call yourself a political prisoner – you’re a murderer."
Opponents of Muntaqim's lecture are taking their fight online with a petition that already has over 700 signatures. They're also planning to make their voices heard in Albany.
SUNY Brockport states on its website that the university hasn't canceled the speech because it "believes in freedom of speech and wants to continue to encourage the willingness of the community to engage in critical and respectful dialogue."