BROCKPORT, NY - New York Republican Leader Rob Ortt, Former NYPD Deputy Inspector and current candidate for New York Lieutenant Governor Alison Esposito, and members of the Brockport Community stood inside the Brockport Area Veterans’ Club today to show an unwavering commitment to supporting law enforcement and protest a speaking event featuring convicted cop-killer Anthony Bottom (AKA Jalil Muntaqim).
Hundreds of attendees – ranging from residents of the Village of Brockport to Law Enforcement officials – stood as one to show a strong rejection to SUNY Brockport hosting cop-killer Anthony Bottom for a speaking event and advertising him as a “political prisoner.” Other attendees included former State Senator Joe Robach, former Brockport Police Chief Daniel Varrenti, Monroe County Legislator Jackie Smith, Monroe County Legislator Frank Allkofer, and candidates for State Senate James VanBrederode, Len Morrell, and Congressional candidate La’Ron Singletary.
“It’s absolutely disgusting, shameful, and intellectually dishonest for SUNY Brockport to let a convicted cop-killer – pretending to be a ‘political prisoner’ – speak at a campus event and get paid to do it. It’s tone-deaf to the Brockport community’s actual overwhelming support for law enforcement. That’s why we stood together to show our full support for those who protect us. Our rally’s message today is clear: We Back the Blue and their families, and unequivocally reject cop-killer Anthony Bottom’s speaking event today,” said Leader Rob Ortt.
“SUNY Brockport allowing convicted cop-killer Anthony Bottom to speak at their taxpayer-funded school is shameful. This gaslighting and enabling of a cold-blooded murderer is an insult to the memory of the two NYPD officers he killed. It’s a slap in the face to my law enforcement brothers and sisters to call him a ‘political prisoner,’ it twists the knife even further for the victims’ loved ones and families they left behind, and it is a disservice to SUNY Brockport students. I am proud to stand with the Brockport Community and fellow members of Law Enforcement in demanding SUNY Brockport cancel this shameful event,” said Alison Esposito, a former NYPD Deputy Inspector and current candidate for New York Lieutenant Governor.
“The SUNY Brockport campus event and what is stated on their website is unbelievable. Anthony Bottom is claiming to be a ‘political prisoner’ – no mention that he assassinated and killed two police officers, my husband and Waverly Jones. This is an outrage. He is a killer of police officers. The invitation needs to be rescinded. My message to the SUNY Brockport students is this: Police officers are there to protect you, when you see an officer just remember that they are a husband, a wife, a brother, a sister, a son, a daughter, a cousin. And they are there to protect you from all of your surroundings,” said Diane Piagentini, widow of fallen NYPD Officer Joseph Piagentini. Watch the full video of Diane Piagentini here.
“The event with Anthony Bottom, if it proceeds as planned, or even if it's canceled, is a huge disservice to all active and retired police officers. As if that isn't bad enough it's an event that provides a stage so a convicted murderer can trample the memories of Officers Waverly and Piagentini, the two police officers he killed in cold blood and cause their families to have to relive the horrors of their deaths. Make no mistake: this event is an example of the anti-police philosophy that is promoted by the college President Heidi Macpherson and embraced by the SUNY interim Chancellor Deborah Stanley, and Governor Kathy Hochul. The college and all those responsible for creating and allowing this event should be ashamed of themselves,” said Professor Daniel Varrenti, former Brockport Police Chief and former President of the Monroe County Association of Chiefs of Police.
“SUNY Brockport providing a convicted cop-killer the platform to further advance his heinous lies of political imprisonment is simply repulsive. Anthony Bottom is no victim and no political prisoner – he is the murderer in the ambush execution of two dedicated New York City police officers. This event is disrespectful to the families of Bottom’s victims and all members of law enforcement and their Brockport students. I am proud to stand with all those in our community who share in this rightful indignation,” said Legislator Frank Allkofer, 4th Legislative District of Monroe County.
“SUNY Brockport's choice to give a platform to convicted and unrepentant cop-killer Anthony Bottom is a betrayal of the trust that students, parents and New York State taxpayers have placed in this publicly funded institution. The brutal assassination of first responders should never be elevated or codoned. Clearly, the SUNY faculty and administration members involved in this event have been stuck in the faculty lounge far too long, and have lost touch with the real men and women that make this country work," said Supervisor Ken Johnson, Town of Sweden.
Today’s protest comes in reaction to SUNY Brockport inviting convicted cop–killer Anthony Bottom to speak at a campus-sponsored event. In 1971, Bottom lured, ambushed, and murdered NYPD officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini. In 2020, he was granted parole. SUNY Brockport’s website advertised the event as “an intellectual conversation on [Anthony Bottom’s] time with the Black Panthers and serving nearly 50 years as a political prisoner.” The taxpayer-funded university originally planned to pay cop-killer Anthony Bottom for the speaking event and has refused to rescind the invitation. An anonymous donor has ensured the cop-killer will get paid for the speaking event, which is now virtual.
Last month, Leader Ortt penned a letter to the SUNY Brockport President calling on the school to rescind the speaking invitation for Anthony Bottom. “I ask you to consider those students who have fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, grandparents or any family member in law enforcement, and rescind Anthony Bottom’s invitation to speak on campus,” wrote Leader Ortt.