In light of recent developments regarding next month’s Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City – in which a convicted domestic terrorist will be honored – I sent a letter to Superintendent Beach stating that we cannot, in good conscience, offer material support for the parade this year. The text of the letter is below.
— Tom Mungeer
Superintendent George P. Beach II
New York State Police
1220 Washington Ave., Bldg. 22
Albany, NY 12226
May 22, 2017
Dear Superintendent Beach,
New York State Troopers have enjoyed a long tradition of marching in parades that celebrate the history and diversity of this state, one such parade being the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City.
The news that a man convicted of aiding a militant group responsible for more than 100 bombings in the 1970s and 1980s that resulted in scores of deaths and injuries will be honored at the parade next month has been disturbing, to say the least. Oscar Lopez Rivera – who was convicted of charges stemming from his activities with the Puerto Rican nationalist group F.A.L.N. – is slated to be honored as a “National Freedom Hero” at this year’s parade. The most egregious bombings at One Police Plaza and the Federal Courthouse resulted in Officer Rocco Pascorella losing his leg and Detectives Anthony Senft and Richard Pastorella being permanently disfigured and seriously injured.
Our Troopers are bravely putting their lives on the line each and every day to serve and protect the citizens of New York state, including our latest assignments in the greater metropolitan New York area. In fact, it was two uniformed members who discovered a secondary improvised explosive device (IED) planted by terrorists last fall in Manhattan and took immediate action, stopping traffic and evacuating all pedestrians from the area of the device.
The PBA cannot, in good conscience, offer material support of the Puerto Rican Day Parade this year when a man convicted for his involvement in a group responsible for terroristic bombings – a criminal act that our members are risking their lives to protect the public from – will be celebrated.
Thomas H. Mungeer