Last Updated on March 20, 2022
A New York college has booked convicted cop killer Jalil Muntaqim, formerly known as Anthony Bottom, for a paid speaking event on April 6. Muntaqim was among a group of “Black Liberation Army” extremists who assassinated two New York City police officers in 1971 and was also involved in a shootout with law enforcement in California. The university has marketed Muntaqim as a “political prisoner.”
The College at Brockport, State University of New York, is hosting an event titled, “History of Black Resistance, U.S. Political Prisoners & Genocide: A Conversation with Jalil Muntaqim” on April 6. “Jalil is author of the seminal work, ‘We Are Our Own Liberators,’” a description of the event states. “He gained his freedom in fall 2019, and currently resides in Rochester, NY. He is a member of Citizens Action Network and People Liberation Program, as well as a grandfather, father, mentor to many, and loving human being.”
Muntaqim has been invited to speak under a grant for “Promoting Excellence in Diversity.” Additionally, the convicted cop killer is set to be paid a little over $1,000 for the event, according to the university.
Turns out SUNY @Brockport paid cop killer/domestic terrorist Anthony Bottom to speak. Many have weighed in on this but what does @GovKathyHochul have to say about SUNY paying a cop killer to speak? Does she believe Bottom, who was tried and convicted, was a “political prisoner?” pic.twitter.com/aEux0mKdHU
— Kieran Michael Lalor (@KieranLalor) March 15, 2022
On May 2, 1971, Muntaqim and a fellow Black Liberation Army member shot NYPD officers Waverly Jones and Joseph A. Piagentini in the back. Piagentini pleaded for his life and told the gunmen that he had a wife and children, at which point Muntaqim and his associate took his service pistol and fired several more shots. Piagentini was shot 22 times and died while being transported to a Harlem hospital.
The Black Liberation Army was a black supremacist organization responsible for the murders at least 10 police officers. Former BLA member Assata Shakur played a role in the murder of New Jersey State Trooper Werner Foerster in 1973. She escaped from prison and received asylum from Cuba.
Brockport does not mention Muntaqim’s membership in the terrorist organization. Instead, the university has described the convicted cop killer as an “NAACP activist” who joined the Black Panther Party when he was 18. The event description further presents Muntaqim as a “political prisoner” jailed for fighting a just cause against a white supremacist system.
Dianne Piagentini, the widow of one of the slain officers, spoke to Fox News about the upcoming event. “They are presenting him as a political figure, and that is so untrue,” Piagentini said. “Nowhere in that bio does it say he’s a two-time cop killer. Nowhere in there does it say anything about him joining the Black Liberation Army.”
“My husband went to work during a terrible, terrible time, and he went every day, and he walked out there to protect the community,” she continued. “And people need to remember that. They need to remember that the police officer that you see in the police car or walking or going into this into a store, he’s there to protect you and you should respect him for that.”
After backlash, the university affirmed their commitment to holding the event in a statement. 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,” said. “However, we believe in freedom of speech.”
The convicted cop killer has not expressed remorse for his crimes and never apologized to Piagentini. “We had children, we had just gotten married, all of it was gone,” she said. “And he’s not remorseful for it.”
The university has also declined to speak with her.