Because every hate-filled, racist, coward who lures two police officers to a fake crime scene and proceeds to murder them as they beg for their lives, deserves a second chance, especially if they got a government funded masters degree and learned to play the flute while in prison…right?

According to the New York Post, a cold-blooded cop-killer who gunned down two of the New York’s Finest nearly half a century ago was paroled and will soon walk out of prison a free man.

Domestic terrorist Herman Bell — who fancies himself a “political prisoner” — was one of a trio of Black Revolutionary Army thugs who lured Officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones to a Harlem housing project with a phony 911 call back in 1971.

Back row: (L-R) Nuh Washington, Gabriel Torres, Jalil Muntaqim Front row: (L-R) Herman Bell, Francisco Torres

As the unsuspecting cops approached, the three opened fire for no apparent reason — except that their targets were cops.

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Jones died instantly and Piagentini, who was already hit 12 times, begged for his life.

Instead, the heartless Bell finished him off with the cop’s own gun.

Here is a portion of a message written by Herman Bell on the Free Herman Bell website:

In the aftermath of the murders of Malcolm X, Medgar Evers, Dr. King, Fred Hampton, and Mark Clark, to name a few, coupled with the Civil Rights Movement, the burgeoning Black consciousness movement, and the anti-war movement of the 1960s and 1970s, the tone and spirit of those times can be described as highly charged and volatile. And in the wake of what had been perceived as an unambiguous racist policy of police malevolence, willful brutality, excessive use of deadly force and general disrespect of Black people’s rights, scores of policemen at that time were seriously injured or fatally shot in the Black community.

Officers Joseph Piagentini (L) and Waverly Jones (R)

“Right now, I’m in shock,” the officer’s distraught widow, Diane Piagentini, told The Post, declining to comment further. “I just got the news this morning. I just can’t.”

According to the New York Daily News, Piagentini’s widow Diane, 70, believes that since Bell didn’t confess to the killing until 2010, his prison sentence “should start again upon his admission of guilt and continue to the end of time.

Diane and Joe Piagentini’s wedding photo.

In her letter to the parole board, Piagentini plans to recount the night she learned her husband had been killed.

“He was coming home at around 12 o’clock,” she recalled. “Our two daughters were in bed. One had just finished her bottle.”

The cop’s dinner – pasta fagioli — was sitting on the stove waiting for him on May 21, 1971, when a police car rolled up to her Deer Park home.

Then came the news: Her husband had been shot.

Jones was shot in the head and died instantly, but the three suspects took their time with Piagentini — shooting him 22 times. At one point, Bell shot the cop with his own gun.

Piagentini begged for his life before the end, telling Bell and his cohorts that he had a wife and two children at home.

According to the New York Daily News, the son of slain police officer Waverly Jones argued in defense of his father’s killer getting out on parole: “This man has been in prison for over 30 years and hasn’t gotten into so much as an argument”.


Sergeant John Victor Young, an officer in San Francisco, was also murdered by the Black Panthers. The investigation into his death led to the discovery of Officer Joseph Piagentini’s gun. 

Diane Piagentini told the Daily Mail:

‘It took him 39 or 40 years to even admit what he did and the only reason he did was because he sees it as his only way of getting out of prison.

‘Life has to mean life in his case. He has a lot of supporters and they will see him as a hero if he is freed. He is only full of rhetoric.

‘It is unfortunate that the death penalty wasn’t an option in New York when he murdered Joe and Waverly. I would have definitely supported it.’

Bell, who is now 67, was convicted of the double murder with two other members of the Black Liberation Party, Anthony Bottom and Albert Washington. Bottom is still incarcerated while Washington died from liver cancer in 2000.

Officer Piagentini’s police issue revolver was later found to have been buried in a field in California after another officer – Sergeant John Victor Young of the San Francisco Police Department – was murdered a few months later on August 29, 1971.

Bell and Bottom were convicted of being part of the Black Panther gang that killed the 51-year-old officer inside Ingleside District Police Station in San Francisco and are serving time for that murder too.

Mrs Piagentini said: ‘These people are terrorists who shot and murdered innocent police officers who were going about their duty serving the public.

While being jailed, Bell has earned a master’s degree in sociology, learned to play the flute and mentored young inmates to avoid violence and put forward those reasons for consideration for his freedom. 

A second man convicted of the murders – Anthony Bottom, now known as Jalil Muntaqim – has had his parole bid rejected, but is expected to lodge a similar claim for freedom if Bell is released. The third convicted man, Albert ‘Nuh’ Washington, died behind bars in 2000.

She claims he was simply playing the system.


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