NYPD Commissioner James O’Neill said Monday that he won’t be marching in the Puerto Rican Day Parade next month because it honors pardoned terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera.
“I usually do march in most of the parades with the fraternal organizations, but I am not going to be marching this year,” O’Neill said, referring to Rivera as a terrorist, the New York Post reported.
O’Neill said he would go to the parade, but not to march in it. Instead, O’Neill said he would be there to visit the officers working the parade.
Oscar Lopez Rivera served decades in prison for his involvement in The Armed Forces of National Liberation, or FALN. He was recently released from prison early after former President Barack Obama granted him clemency before leaving office.
In the 1970’s and 1980’s, FALN claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings in New York, Chicago, Washington and Puerto Rico. Rivera was also implicated in the 1975 bombing of Fraunces Tavern that killed four people. In 1982, a blast at NYPD headquarters wounded several police officers.
Rivera, 74, wasn’t convicted in any of the bombings, but spent nearly 36 years in prison for his ties to FALN. In January, former President Obama commuted his 70-year sentence.
Rivera was named “Procer de la Libertad” for the parade down Fifth Avenue on June 11.
Last week, the NYPD’s Hispanic Society announced that it would not be participating in this year’s parade.
“We will take a stance in support of the members of service who were seriously injured and with the families of the innocent people who lost their lives during these attacks throughout the United States and the city,” President Jenimarie Garcia-Cruz said in a statement.