A group representing Hispanic police officers will boycott next month's Puerto Rican Day Parade to protest a decision by organizers to honor a controversial nationalist jailed for his connection to a string of deadly bombings.
While Oscar López Rivera is seen as a hero in some circles, he is still regarded as a terrorist by others, including many cops who hold him and his Puerto Rican independence group responsible for the 1975 bombing at Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan that killed four people.
Also from the Daily News:
Mayor de Blasio said he will march in the Puerto Rican Day Parade as usual this year, when the event honors Oscar López Rivera — who spent decades in prison for his work with a group that set off deadly bombs in New York City.
“It’s a complicated situation for several reasons. The organization he was affiliated with did things I don’t agree with obviously and that were illegal. He has, however, renounced terrorism,” de Blasio said. “He was pardoned by two United States Presidents. I think that speaks volumes. He also was a Vietnam veteran. He is someone who served this country even though he had real political differences over how Puerto Rico was being treated.”
“I don’t agree with the way he did it. But he did serve his time. He was pardoned appropriately,” de Blasio said. “He has renounced violence. So I’m going to do everything I would normally do with the parade.”
- Lopez-Rivera actually was offered an early release in 1999 by Bill Clinton if he would renounce terrorism. He refused. When Obama commuted his sentence, he did not ask that of Lopez-Rivera. Lopez-Rivera has never renounced terrorism.
- Lopez-Rivera was never pardoned by any president. He was offered clemency.