Police Officer Edward Byrne was murdered in 1988 while he guarded the house of a witness in a drug case in South Jamaica, Queens. Byrne was a rookie officer five days into his 22nd birthday.
Byrne’s killers walked up to his car and shot him five times in the head with a .38 caliber handgun – then celebrated over his body after carrying out the hit. They were paid $8,000 and the murder was ordered in retaliation for the recent arrest of a drug boss Howard “Pappy” Mason. .
Byrne’s death led to the recognition that the crack-cocaine epidemic was destroying New York City, and led to specialized narcotics units as well as the NYPD policy to partner officers up in patrol cars. His death led to a turn in the tide in the war on drugs in the 1980s.
Edward Byrne’s brother Larry stopped by the PIX11 studios to tell us why they believe theses men should not be set free from prison.
PIX11 has started a petition on Change.org to tell the New York Parole Board that these men should not be released