Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Joseph A. Piagentini

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Friday, May 21, 1971

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Reflections for Patrolman Joseph A. Piagentini

Unfortunately, to paraphrase Orwell: Some cop-killers are more equal than others.

But fight continues, not only on the streets of New York, but on the college campuses as well:

New York State Senate Minority Leader Rob Ortt asked university president Heidi Macpherson to rescind the invitation, calling it “absolutely shameful. Let’s be very clear: Anthony Bottom was not a ‘political prisoner.’ He’s a convicted cop-killer. Calling this an ‘intellectual conversation’ on a taxpayer-funded state campus is intellectually dishonest. It’s an insult.”

But in a public statement, Macpherson indicated she would not step in.
“We do not support the violence exhibited in Mr. Muntaqim’s previous crimes, and his presence on campus does not imply endorsement of his views or past actions,” she wrote. “However, we believe in freedom of speech. SUNY Brockport has routinely held speaking events involving controversial speakers from various background and viewpoints, and will continue to do so. These conversations are uncomfortable. They are meant to be. They’re about gaining a new perspective.”

It was in defending those very rights that Piagentini, Jones and Young died in the line of duty.

K.H. Ryesky, Esq.
Former IRS agent

March 20, 2022

Patrolman Piagentini,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your Partner for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of New York City. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

May 22, 2021

Taken at the hands of a cowardly, terrorist organization . On this 50th anniversary of your untimely and heroic death, please know that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement family. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

May 21, 2021

Black chino pants, black shoes, white “guinea T-shirt,” muscles and curly black hair popping out from under the T-shirt was his signature look. Joe Piagentini was “that guy” in my neighborhood schoolyard growing up.
Joe’s memorial plaque at PS 163Q was moved a while back. Possibly necessitated when they redid the entrance on the southeast side school.

I grew up just down the street from the Piagentini’s home.
Although I left the neighborhood in ’74 at 22 years of age, there is always one “must” visit when we are in New York. My wife and I go to the schoolyard garden to honor Joe’s plaque. We go to “say thanks” to someone who changed my life way before that fateful day May 21, 1971 nearly 50 years ago.

Joe was 9 years older than I. He was our neighborhood’s guardian angel. When I was only 8 or 9 years old, I knew, if he was in the PS 163 schoolyard across the street from his house, it was “safe” for me and my older brother to go play in the schoolyard. There was no “picking on the more vulnerable kids” when Joe was in the schoolyard.

Thanks for being “that guy” in my life; the guy who stood up to the bullies and allowed us to feel safe playing in our neighborhood…. A role model for my life.

Thanks Joe!

Robert J. "Bobby" Oro
Paperboy, Neighbor on 159th St. Flushing

May 19, 2021

Survivor families everywhere are outraged at the parole of the murderer of Officer Piagentini. There can be no rational reason for his release. He targeted his victims and has shown no remorse. No amount of time can erase the anguish and pain loved ones of murdered officers endure......we truly grieve forever. My thoughts are with Mrs. Piagentini and her family.....evidently the parole board and Governor dismissed their pain as less important than the release of a killer.
Our heroes are resting in God’s light.

Surviving spouse of LAPD Officer Roger Warren Jr. EOW 5/8/67

October 19, 2020

Dear Mrs. Piagentini,

I just saw you on TV and I felt so sad for your husband, you, and your family. I am the sister of an officer who is near retirement. "Blessed are the peacemakers, they shall be called the sons of God."

Sister of an officer

October 19, 2020

Diane contact me.. Michael Stacy Smith.. [email protected] no problem..

Cpl. Detective.. Savannah pd.

October 19, 2020

Rest in peace

Nick mottola

October 14, 2020

RIP Ofc Piagentini. You’ll never be forgotten.

Dispatcher H McCarthy

September 23, 2020

It was my honor to wear the same uniforms as these two American Hero’s . As a husband, father and a now retired Police Officer I can’t imagine what pain and suffering these families must endure knowing that the last of these killers are paroled .
Piagentini and Jones will never be forgotten

Det.Ron Brandt

September 23, 2020

The Governor of the State of NY has failed the Family of Joseph A. Piagentini and Waverley Jones with the parole of Anthony Bottoms.

Sergeant Arthur Mattor Retired

September 23, 2020

Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is one that will never be forgotten. Rest In Peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 5, 2020

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 New Haven Police Department in Connecticut. Officer Piagentini’s family resides in CT, so I wanted to ride for and dedicate my ride for Officer Piagentini and his family.

Rest In Peace

Officer Steven Manware #119
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

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