Execution-style NYPD officer killing convict denied parole after decades behind bars

NEW YORK, NY – A parole request by a former convict involved in the execution-style killing of a rookie New York City police officer in 1988 has been denied. Todd Scott, convicted for his part in the shooting death of Officer Edward Byrne, was previously serving a 25 years to life sentence and had been eligible for release since 2013 without success.

Byrne was killed while guarding a witness’s home in a drug case. He was just weeks into his job when he was shot in his police cruiser. The hit was reportedly a retaliation against the arrest of a drug dealer, with Scott being part of a crew paid to carry out the hit.

In the early morning hours of February 26, 1988, Scott approached the officer’s car and distracted him while another man shot him five times. The NYPD holds an annual ceremony at the intersection where Byrne died to mark the solemn occasion.

Now 55 years old, Scott went before the state board for parole on January 23 but was denied. His next appearance before the board is scheduled for August 2025. An official from the corrections department revealed this information on Sunday.

The Police Benevolent Association expressed relief at the denial of Scott’s parole, stating that they will continue to oppose the release of two others convicted in the killing. Patrick Hendry, the union’s president, emphasized the need to send a message that murdering a New York City police officer will result in a lifetime prison sentence.

Aside from Scott, David McClary and Phillip Copeland, who were also involved in Byrne’s killing, are scheduled to appear before the parole board in April and November, respectively. In contrast, Scott Cobb, the driver in the slaying, was paroled last year.

Kenneth Byrne, the brother of the slain officer, shared a statement expressing the belief that there is “no redemption for those who kill police officers.” He emphasized the need to honor his brother’s sacrifice by ensuring that the message of ruling the streets through violence is not reinforced.