NEW YORK, NY (PIX11)—Unfortunately, to turn something positive requires something painful to happen in the first place. In 1988 the pain came in Jamaica, Queens when five shots were fired at the Head of Police Officer Edward Byrne.
It was a hit ordered by a drug lord already behind bars, and Byrne was the target simply because he drew the assignment to guard a witness in a drug case that February night. Byrne, the son of an officer, was just a rookie and merely five days into his 22nd birthday. The brazen shooting slapped the city in the face so hard, many say it turned the tide on a war on drugs that was clearly being lost.
For Byrne's family, the positive side came at a tremendous personal toll.
"We've noticed his absence for the last 25 years. He has six nephews that he will never know, and [they] will never know him," said Edward Byrne's brother Larry on Monday. Twenty five years-to-life was the sentence for the killers, and now, 25 years have passed. Byrne stood alongside Senator Charles Schumer and PBA President Patrick Lynch to call for the Parole Board to deny the four killers of their release, which will be up for consideration this fall.