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A cop killer who killed a New York City police officer in 1973 has been granted parole and will be released in July, the New York Post reported.
Robert Hayes, a member of the Black Liberation Army, opened fire on Officer Sidney Thompson as he tried to arrest and other BLA (for jumping a subway turnstile at an uptown station.
“My husband was killed for 15 cents,” said Joyce Thompson, 68, with reference to the price of a metro at the time of her husband’s murder. Joyce Thompson received the letter of 15 June informing her of Hayes’ parole.
“It broke my heart,” she said.
After the shooting that killed Thompson, Hayes fled and was in hiding for almost four months as NYPD officers reportedly found him on a BLA-a safe house in the Bronx. Hayes fired at the pursuing officers with a sawed-off shotgun, injuring two of them in the shootout.
Hayes was convicted of Thompson’s murder in March 1974; he was the first Black Liberation Army member to be found guilty of murder in the State of New York, according to a story about the temptation in the New York Daily News. He was sentenced to 35 years to life.
The New York Daily News detailed the shootout that led to Robert Hayes’ record in September 1973.
“What does this mean, if you killed an agent and you live long enough, you’re going to get?” Thompson is outraged son, Stephen, 51, asked The Post. “He should die in prison.”
“Life is life,” said Thompson of Hayes’ 1974 sentence.
Steven Thompson was 6 years old when Hayes killed his father. He joined the NYPD in 1990, according to the Post, and bore his father’s shield – No. 3801. He quit the force in 1996, but after two officers were killed in the line of duty in the Bronx. He is outraged that none of the officers’ murders led to the death penalty for the perpetrators.
“That proved to me that the agents’ life means nothing,” he said.
“My husband was killed for 15 cents.”
– Joyce Thompson
Hayes, in an exclusive interview from jail with the New York Post on Friday, said he plans a simple life, and will focus on growing vegetables and keeping chickens in upstate New York.
“I just want to do good,” Hayes, 69, said. “I promise that I will repent.”
“I Had thought, I would have made better decisions,” he said.
The news of Hayes’ release comes two months after another former BLA member and cop killer Herman Bell, 70, was released on parole after serving 47 years of a possible life sentence for the 1971 murder of two POLICE officers, Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones.
The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association and the New York city Mayor Bill de Blasio have protested for the release of the detainees sentenced for the killing of the police.
“Murdering a policeman in cold blood is a crime outside the borders of the rehabilitation or redemption,” de Blasio reportedly wrote to the board of directors about the Bell’s release.
Eddie Matos and Anthony Bottom, two other NYPD cop killers, also for parole hearings this year.