Rockland County Legislator Ed Day, R-New City, a candidate for Rockland County executive, today called on Columbia University and the Columbia School of Social Work to immediately terminate the adjunct professorship of Kathy Boudin, the paroled radical convicted of murder for her role in the Oct. 20, 1981 Brinks robbery and murders in Rockland County.
Nyack Police Officer Waverly Brown and Sgt. Edward O'Grady were killed at a road block at the entrance to the New York State Thruway on Mountainview Avenue in Nyack, and Brinks guard Peter Paige was killed in the armored truck robbery outside the Nanuet Mall.
“I come to this both as a former police officer and parent of a Columbia student,” said Day. “Kathy Boudin should never have been paroled in 2003, and she certainly should not be educating students. She was directly responsible for the deaths of those police officers, asking them to lower their weapons so her compatriots could ambush and kill them, and she was only eligible for parole at all because she managed to cop a plea deal.”
The Brinks robbery, beyond the murders, had a lasting impact on Rockland County and New York State. The incident led to improved communications among local police departments in and improvements in weapons and protective gear - bulletproff vests - used by local police officers. In Rockland, the cost of the Brinks case in part led to the launch of a sales tax in Rockland County to help fund county government.
Day noted that the Brinks robbery gang was armed with automatic weapons.
“At issue here,” Day continued, “is not whether there should be academic diversity or a broad spectrum of life experiences amongst the faculty at a university. At issue is that there are certainly dozens, if not hundreds, ofpotential professors just as qualified for the job, but who never took part in the killing of innocent people in an attempt to fund a revolution.”
Although the Nyack Police Department no longer exists, every year a memorial service at 4 p.m. on Oct. 20 at the site of the Brinks slayings in Nyack brings together survivors of that day along with family members of the victims and hundreds of local, state, regional and national law enforcement officials. A scholarship named in honor of O'Grady and Brown is awarded annually to support Rockland County students seeking a career in law enforcement.
Day added that he supports integration of rehabilitated criminals who have completed their sentences into society, but that someone convicted of such a heinous crime and sentenced to a life sentence should not have been paroled, and “should not be in a position to shape the views of our youth in any capacity.”