Years of service
1986 - 1988
February 21, 1966 (age 22) (
New York City, New York, USA
1986 - Commissioned as a Police Officer
February 26, 1988 (aged 22) Jamaica, Queens, New York, United States
Howard Mason, Kenneth McGriff, Rich Porter
Drugs guns and the assassination of a rookie police officer edward byrne
Edward "Eddie" R. Byrne (February 21, 1966 – February 26, 1988) was a police officer in the New York City Police Department who became well known in the United States after he was murdered in the line of duty.
- Drugs guns and the assassination of a rookie police officer edward byrne
- 1988 channel 7 story on edward byrne incident
Byrne's father had also been an NYPD officer. Byrne had joined the NYPD on July 15, 1986 and was stationed in the 103rd Precinct in Jamaica, Queens. Prior to joining the NYPD, Byrne was a NYC Transit cop.
1988 channel 7 story on edward byrne incident
Around 3:30 a.m, on February 26, 1988 Byrne was sitting in his marked patrol car on 107th Avenue and Inwood Street in South Jamaica, Queens. He was assigned to keep an eye on the house of a local Guyanese immigrant named Arjune, who had repeatedly called the police to report on illegal activities on his street. The house had been previously firebombed on two separate occasions and the owner repeatedly threatened. Despite this recent violence, and an ongoing crime wave overtaking South Queens, Byrne was assigned to this post alone.
As Byrne sat in his car another car pulled up beside him. Two men exited, and one of them knocked on the passenger side window of Byrne's cruiser while a second man crept up on the driver's side and shot Byrne in the head five times, with a .38 caliber pistol. Two other men acted as lookouts. Byrne was pronounced dead at the hospital. He had just turned 22 years old.
It was later learned that the assailants had canvassed the immigrant's house twice on preceding days before killing Officer Byrne, but decided not to kill the lone officer in the patrol car since the first officer they encountered was a young female, and the second was a black male.
The murder prompted nationwide outrage. President Ronald Reagan personally called the Byrne family to offer condolences. George H.W. Bush carried Byrne's badge with him on his campaign for president in 1988.
The four killers were identified as Philip Copeland, Todd Scott, Scott Cobb, and David McClary. All four were apprehended within a week of the murder and were all eventually convicted: Copeland, Scott, and Cobb were convicted after trial of Murder in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree; McClary was convicted later as the shooter, in a separate trial, of Murder in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. All were sentenced to 25 years to life by Queens Supreme Court Justice Thomas A. Demakos, who had presided over the trials. Cobb, in a videotaped confession which was played at trial, provided graphic details of the killing and told of the bragging of the participants in the aftermath, as well as indicated that the killing was ordered from jail by drug dealer Howard "Pappy" Mason.