Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Joseph A. Piagentini

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Friday, May 21, 1971

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Patrolman Joseph A. Piagentini

Rest in heavenly peace

Mark Mottola

May 23, 2020

Rest in peace Patrolman Piagentini.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

April 15, 2020

Grandchildren of slain NYPD cop help dedicate playground in his memory

DEER PARK, N.Y. — NYPD Patrolman Joseph Piagentini was only 28 years old when he was brutally slain with his police partner Waverly Jones in 1971 by members of the Black Liberation Army group.

Though 48 years have passed, Piagentini’s basketball hoop is still affixed over the family’s garage door in Deer Park, Long Island.

That was just one memory his widow, Diane Piagentini, shared during the dedication of a playground in her late husband’s memory — not far from the home where she raised two daughters, Mary and Deborah.

She explained why there’s a plaque on the playground’s bench that says, “Because I love you.”

Diane Piagentini told a gathering that included Rep. Peter King and PBA President Patrick Lynch that she had given her young husband a watch when they married, engraved on the back with the sentiment, “because I love you.”

“When you take your children to a playground… you remind them, it’s ‘because I love you,’” Piagentini added.

“Or when you give them a time out, you let them know, it’s ‘because I love you.’”

Piagentini’s daughters and two grandchildren, Aiden and Anastasia, helped the family dedicate the new playground at Fabio Buttitta Memorial Park on Saturday morning.

An NYPD Honor Guard, along with the Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, joined other police widows and retired members of the service to pay their respects.

“Wow. That’s all I can say,” Piagentini marveled, as she surveyed the crowd.

Her husband has been dead nearly half a century, but the double murder case of Piagentini and his partner recently returned to the headlines last year when one of the convicted killers, Herman Bell, was paroled after 45 years in prison.

Later in 2018, a different group of parole board members refused to release the final shooter who remains in prison, Anthony Bottom, now known as Jalil Abdul Mutaqim.

Piagentini told PIX11 she was happy to have something to smile about at the playground dedication.

“My husband was very close with children. He was a gentle man. He loved kids. He played basketball with the neighborhood children,” she said.

Retired Police Officer

October 5, 2019

rip. if anyone wants rad my entry if accepted on po waverly jones, his partner, on night in 1971.guess you can call it a ditto situation as far as my entry goes other that i did not know po piagentni personally. rest bro you and waverly earned it.

robert dowling - admin assoc.
nypd retired civilian

July 24, 2018

I just read that Parole was granted. STUNNED and DISGUSTED! I had hoped that my NO PAROLE letter, along with all the others, would have given the family of Patrolman Piagentini continued Justice.
I am SO VERY SORRY for the pain caused by the parole board’s decision. Patrolman Piagentini will never be forgotten!

Supporter of Law Enforcement
Wife of Corrections Deputy

June 13, 2018

You were our neighbor on the other end of 159th. We had moved into the Babuskin House on the corner, next to the Demolas. When we lived further up the block with the big garden, I used to pass and look at your collies. It was a neighborhood, and we all passed pleasantries. This is beyond a disgrace, a pure travesty of justice. Your son, husband and brother died trying to make NYC a safer, better place for all. The parole board needs to be censured, then removed. This unremorseful killer is enjoying whatever time he has, the time denied Joseph. May Joseph continue in God's love, and may judgement fall on the other. Sorry for their re-opening this wound and adding to your pain.

Bebe Scarpinato
former neighbor

April 28, 2018

Rest In Peace Brother in Blue. You are a Hero and will not be forgotten. Thoughts and prayers for your family, friends and Brothers/Sisters in Blue. May the cowards that took your life and others rot and suffer.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

April 28, 2018

You were a brave man. You deserved better. You deserved justice.
My heart goes out to your family. May they find peace.

Average Citizen

April 27, 2018

I am participating in the 2018 Police Unity Tour Ride. I will be riding my bicycle to Washington DC, 300 miles in 3 days. I am a Police Officer with the Madison Police Department in Connecticut. Officer Piagentini’s family resides in Madison CT so I wanted to ride for and dedicate my ride for Officer Piagentini and his family.

Rest In Peace

Officer Steven Manware #727
Madison Police Department, CT

April 4, 2018

Officer Piagentini,

Your service was a testament to your life. There are no excuses for the actions of the Parole Board, I can only hope they have a conscious and they lose sleep over their decision.. May your family have peace in knowing you served your city and our country with HONOR. Please continue to protect and watch over us.

Rodney Jacobs- Sergeant- Retired
Norfolk Police Dept.

March 15, 2018

To the family, friends and colleagues of Patrolman Joseph A. Piagentini: I mailed my No Parole letter, in honor of this HERO! I am so sorry for your loss. Moreover, I am sorry that the family has to relive their loss, with each parole hearing. Thank You for your service and sacrifice, Patrolman Piagentini! God Bless You All.

Supporter of Law Enforcement
Wife of Corrections Deputy

February 2, 2018

I remember that day as if it were yesterday my brother. Those bastards destroyed several families lives during their rein. But God is watching and those who will go before him will have to answer for their actions. Rest well my friend. You and your partner are in a better place. Until we meet.

Lieutenant Ray Flores
N.Y.P.D. (retired)

May 21, 2017

Proud to send my No Parole letter today. God bless the family, friends, and former co-workers of Officer Piagentini who still suffer the pain of this loss every day.

Sr. Ptlmn Donnie Meaders(RET)
Wewoka (OK) Police Department

June 3, 2016

I personally knew Officer Piagentini (Joe). He and his wife lived in the apartment above ours in Jamaica, New York. I used to take care of his beautiful German Shepherd puppy while he and his wife were at work, feeding him and taking him for walks.
Joe was an awesome person, a hero and an inspiration for me to go into police work.
I will never forget his kindness and his positive influence on me as a kid. I served for over 23 years and am just as proud of my profession as he was.

Police Officer (Senior Officer) Ret.
Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Dept Los Gatos, California

February 10, 2016

It was my honor to research newspapers, books and magazines and finally find your Academy ID Card Photo and make sure your photo was put on this site. I wanted to put a face to your heroism in the Line of Duty. I did the research because you are a brother officer and no matter how many years past, you will always be remembered. Rest Easy Hero.

APO Christian Durante
NYPD: 68th Precinct Auxiliary Police Unit

February 5, 2016

Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
God Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito

May 21, 2015

Rest in Peace brother, we have the Watch, keep an eye on those still on the beat

Policeman Brother in Blue #8755
Phoenix Police

March 13, 2015

I remember the day that Officer Piagentini was killed. I was only 9 years old but you remember when so many Police cars fill up a driveway and front lawn. I didn't understand the magnitude of the moment, until I became a Police Officer myself many years later. Such a loss to the family! Don't ever let anyone say that a Police Officers family doesn't earn their pay.


Detective John J Antretter
Nassau County Police Department

October 2, 2014

No amount of praise can ever be given to a person who lays down their life that we might remain safe in our homes and enjoy our lives. Most will never understand that "Knock on the Door" that brings to a family the tragedy of senseless killings that tear apart the fabric of family lives. Having been a Police Officer in my younger years, I was blessed to have never had to place my life on the line, but that was an every day reality I faced. I pray for those who continue to do this each day to help maintain my safety. May God bless each of you and keep you safe. And may your families enjoy your safe return home each day.

Rev. Ron L. Ferree

February 18, 2014

I am honored to have sent a "No parole" letter, so your cowardly killer remains locked up and denied the pleasure of living in a world that you made safe for all of us.

Det. Billy Russo (Ret.)
Nassau County PD, NY

January 21, 2014

R.I.P. You are not forgotten .

Sgt Russo NJDOC

December 28, 2013

God Speed, Brother.

P.O. K. Murphy
Union PD, NJ

December 19, 2013

With honor I am submitting my No Parole for Cop Killers letter to the parole board of New York. Thank you for your service and for the sacrifice you made to the thin blue line. God bless the family of this hero.

Senior Patrolman Donnie Meaders
Wewoka (OK) Police Department

December 17, 2013

I was honored to send off my 'No Parole' letter today for you, my brother in blue. Thank you for your sacrifice and may you forever, rest in peace. You are a true AMERICAN HERO !!!

My prayers continue to be with your family, friends and co-workers.


Sgt. Mitch Cheselka (Retired)
Orange County Sheriff, California
Polk County Sheriff, Oregon

December 17, 2013

RIP brother. I pray to God those savages never see the free world again!


December 15, 2013

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.