Brink’s Controversy Heats Up: Rockland PBA President Asks Columbia University President to Fire Kathy Boudin

Open letter from Rockland PBA President James J. Kelly to Columbia President Lee C. Bollinger

Brinks Robbery Memorial
Brink’s Robbery Memorial

Dear President Lee C. Bollinger,

Last week we learned that Kathy Boudin was recently employed by Columbia University as an adjunct professor at the School of Social Work.  On behalf of the hundreds of police officers serving in Rockland County and the thousands of police officers residing in Rockland County, I feel compelled to comment on this very poor decision to hire Kathy Boudin.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Kathy Boudin was a radical member of the terrorist organization called Weather Underground. This terrorist group was, among other atrocities, responsible for the bombings of the Pentagon, US Capitol, the New York Police Benevolent Association and the New York Board of Corrections.

In 1981, Kathy Boudin along with several members of the Weather Underground and the Black Liberation Party robbed a Brinks armored car at the Nanuet Mall and killed Sgt. Edward O’Grady, Police Officer Waverly Brown, and Brink’s guard Peter Paige.  Boudin was the operator of the U-Haul getaway vehicle and her actions immediately following the car stop directly led to the murders of O’Grady and Brown and changed the lives of these two families forever.

Boudin exited the vehicle with her hands raised under the ruse that she was surrendering. She was able to distract the officers attention long enough to let her six cohorts, exit the rear of the truck armed with automatic weapons,  and murder Sgt. O’Grady and Officer Brown. Kathy Boudin was sentenced to a term of 20 years to life under a plea agreement which included one count of murder.

Mr. Bollinger, my question to you is why? Why would you employ a radical terrorist who was directly responsible for the deaths of two police officers? Why would you remotely believe that letting a convicted murderer not only revel amongst your students, but guide and shape young, impressionable minds, to be a responsible decision for a college administrator?

Why do you feel it necessary to tarnish the memory of these heroic men by hiring a murderer? Why would you needlessly cause the families of these brave men any more pain and suffering than they have already endured?

I implore you to do the honorable thing and fire Kathy Boudin. If you won’t do it for the family and friends of these true American heroes then at least do it for your student body. Please do not let the future leaders of this great country be subjected to the brainwashing of a radical, murdering terrorist!

In conclusion Mr. Bollinger, I wish to extend to you an invitation each and every October 20 to attend the memorial honoring Sgt. Edward O’Grady, PO Waverly Brown, and Brinks guard Peter Paige. I would like you to attend and after over 30 years, witness the pain and grief still etched on the faces of their family, friends, and co- workers.

Please come and hear the stories from the men who were there that fateful afternoon speaking of the truly heroic efforts Sgt. O’Grady, PO Brown, guard Peter Paige.  Finally come to the memorial to hear of the absolutely deplorable acts that your newly hired employee committed that directly led to the murder of these three men, and ask yourself ” Would I want my child being taught by this or any radical, murdering terrorist?”

James J. Kelly
Rockland County PBA

2 Responses to "Brink’s Controversy Heats Up: Rockland PBA President Asks Columbia University President to Fire Kathy Boudin"

  1. alfuncoot   April 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    As a Christian, I have a different point of view. We Christians believe in the power of redemption, that people can change, that people can become better than they are. Moreover, we believe in forgiveness.

    Because of Boudin’s experience in crime and redemption, she has a unique prespective on life, a perspective valuable to students at Columbia.

    We believe it is wrong to summarize a person’s character by a single aspect of her life. Certainly none of us would like to be known forever by the most disreputable thing we have done. It’s not right.

    Sometimes having a short memory is a blessing. Where would we be if rightous hatred were harbored by the Japanese for Hiroshima, African-Americans for slavery, or the Vietnamese for the attrocities we committed against those people: men, women, and children–and babies–on a regular basis? What if they sought righteous vengeance on us?

    It is the Christian thing to do–to treat others as we ourselves would wish to be treated, and to counter hatred, however justified, with forgiveness.

  2. alfuncoot   April 7, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Like all of us, Kathy Boudin was capable of great evil, but also like all of us, she is also capable of great good.

    If you believe in the power of redemption, you will stop trying to silence her or punish her university for giving her this opportunity.

    What ever happened to the American principle, “I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!”

    I mean, after all, even Jeffrey Daumer was baptised and forgiven. Who are we to stand in judgment and condemn Kathy Boudin forever? Everyone deserves a chance to be redeemed.


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