Relatives of the two cops killed in the infamous 1981 Brinks armored car heist in Rockland County blasted former Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Tuesday for his last-minute decision to give one of the murderers a shot at parole.
“I think it’s an atrocity,” said Mary Crowley, the sister of slain Nyack police Sgt. Edward O’Grady.
“I think it was his final nod to how he feels about the people of New York.”
Rockland County Commissioner of Human Rights Constance Frazier, a cousin of slain Nyack Police Officer Waverly “Chipper” Brown, also said, “My family is devastated.”
“Chippy is never coming back. O’Grady is never coming back. [Slain Brinks guard Peter] Paige is never coming back,” she said.
“But everybody that is responsible … is somehow finding a way to walk,” she said.
Frazier added, in reference to Brown’s late mom, “I hate to say it, but I’m glad my aunt is not alive.”
Cuomo’s move followed lobbying by Gilbert’s son, San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and Crowley said it “might be good for [Cuomo’s] future aspirations if he’s still interested in politics.”
“He might have done this as a favor for the DA in San Francisco and as a way of making peace with the Democrats,” Crowley said.
Boudin’s mom, Kathy Boudin, also took part in the botched, $1.6 million holdup on Oct. 20, 1981, by members of the revolutionary Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Army.
She pleaded guilty to felony murder and robbery charges, and was paroled in 2003.
Crowley, 75, said she “kind of thought” Cuomo might grant Gilbert clemency after he granted a series of pardons and commutations last week, following his Aug. 10 announcement that he was resigning over sexual harassment allegations.
Crowley said she’d never voted for Cuomo, who was elected governor three times.
Fraizer, who said she and her kin were deeply disappointed by Cuomo’s decision, said only, “No comment” when asked if she’d ever supported him.
Gilbert was among six inmates — including five convicted murderers — to whom Cuomo granted clemency hours before leaving office in disgrace.
Gilbert is serving 75 years to life in state prison for multiple counts of second-degree murder and first-degree robbery, a sentence that was intended to keep him locked up until at least 2056.
But Cuomo used his remaining executive power to commute Gilbert’s sentence and refer his case to the state Parole Board, making him immediately eligible to be sprung.
An official statement announcing Cuomo’s decision noted that Gilbert, 76, “was the driver, not the murderer” during the deadly holdup and “the only individual still incarcerated, with no possibility of parole in his lifetime.”
The statement, which has since been scrubbed from the state’s website, also cited Gilbert’s “significant contributions to AIDS education and prevention programs,” as well as his work “as a student tutor, law library clerk, paralegal assistant, a teacher’s aide, and an aide for various additional facility programs.”
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