BRIGHTON, N.Y. (WROC) — Anthony Bottom spent more than 43 years behind bars for the murders of two New York City Police officers, Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini, back in 1971.
Bottom was granted parole after appealing a decision to keep him in prison. He’s now reported to be in the area.
Bottom, who now goes by the name Jalil Abdul Muntaqim, is said to be in Brighton.
Gates Police Chief James Vanbrederode, also the President of the County Association of Chiefs, says he’s concerned not only about Bottom in the area, but also the larger issue of the current parole system.
“So I think everyone in law enforcement as well as people in our community should be concerned when we’re paroling someone like Anthony Bottom to our area,” said Vanbrederode.
Vanbrederode says he doesn’t know why Bottom is here. He says Rochester as a whole should be concerned about the watering down of the parole system and with people like Bottom floating around.
“Rochester has had two, if not more, homicides committed by parolees,” he said.
Vanbrederode says in 2020, parole has now expanded to pretty much every offense. He says that’s what allows people like Bottom, and one of his accomplices Herman Bell, who was freed in 2018, to have another shot at freedom.
“I don’t think that’s justice, I don’t think that’s law and order, but unfortunately, that’s what we’re facing right now,” he said.
Vanbrederode says when it comes to second chances, that’s something he can get behind. But for the case of Anthony Bottom, some things just can’t get a pass.
“When someone takes it upon themselves to kill one of those people, then I think that’s the ultimate, that’s the ultimate killing,” he says.
Bottom he says, should still be behind bars.
“Life in prison should be something that’s a reality, and not just something on paper, and then it doesn’t happen,’ Vanbrederode said.
News 8 did reach out to several local organizations Tuesday regarding this story, including civil rights groups in the area, but they have not immediately returned a request for comment.
Check back with News 8 WROC as we will continue to update this developing story.