Batavians make presence known at 'Back the Blue Rally' at Brockport Veterans Club on Saturday
City Councilman-at-Large Bob Bialkowski attended the “Back the Blue Rally” Saturday afternoon at the Brockport Veterans Club along with Assemblyman Steve Hawley who was one of the guest speakers. The entire club was filled to capacity with attendees and local dignitaries.
This rally was hosted by State Sen. Robert Ortt and retired New York Police Department Captain Alison Esposito (photo at right), who is a candidate for the state’s lieutenant governor. The event was conducted as a protest to SUNY Brockport inviting Anthony Bottom, a convicted murderer, aka Jalil Abdul Muntaqim, as a speaker.
“This is a SUNY school who wants to give a platform to legitimize a domestic terrorist,” Esposito said.
Bottom was convicted of murdering two New York City police officers in 1971. He's out of jail and living in the Rochester area.
Controversy erupted when SUNY Brockport invited Muntaqim to speak to students. "SUNY Brockport decided not to have the April 6 event paid, but made it virtual instead,” said SUNY Brockport President Heidi Macpherson.
Bialkowski said Esposito talked about the violent nature of Bottom when she described how Bottom lured Patrolman Joseph Piagentini and Patrolman Waverly Jones to a public housing project in Harlen and assassinated them.
Jones died instantly and after Mr. Bottom ran out of bullets, he took Piagentini's service weapon and shot him 13 times while he begged for his life.
One day after he was released from prison, Bottom registered to vote on Oct. 8, 2020, by falsifying his application, which is a felony.
“I do not comprehend how a convicted murderer can claim he was a political prisoner and also was treated with racism when one of the fine officers he murdered was an African-American,” Bialkowski said.
“He has no business using a taxpayer funded state university as a platform to attempt to influence students. SUNY Brockport needs to be held accountable for allowing this activity. And why our governor (Kathy Hochul) has been silent about this is extremely puzzling.”
Batavia also was represented by retired City Police Officers Lt. James Henning and Sgt. John Peck (left to right in photo at top).