The family of a Nassau County police officer shot dead in 1975 does not want his killer to ever get parole, and they made their wishes public Monday.
The family of Matthew Giglio, the 24th Nassau officer to die in the line of duty since the department was founded in 1925, called publicly for John MacKenzie to be denied parole during news conference at the Nassau Police Benevolent Association’s headquarters in Mineola.
“Why would you dangle the chance of freedom to this man here when he has committed such a horrific act once before,” Giglio’s daughter Doreen Velardi, 51 of New Jersey, said. Velardi was 10 when her father responded to a burglary in a West Hempstead boutique Oct. 7, 1975, where MacKenzie shot him.
Giglio lay hospitalized for 10 weeks, jaundiced, suffering from a ruptured colon, punctured aorta and amputated leg before lapsing into a coma from which he never awoke.
He was on the force for 11 years.
MacKenzie, then of Whitestone, Queens, was arrested within hours and later confessed he’d shot someone. He acknowledged he was high on drugs at the time but denied he knew the victim was a police officer.
MacKenzie, who turns 70 next month, has been eligible for parole since June 2000. He’s been turned down eight times since with the most recent denial in December.
The public plea to deny MacKenzie’s parole comes after Dutchess County State Supreme Court Justice Maria Rosa last month found the parole board failed to articulate a rational basis for repeatedly denying MacKenzie’s parole. The judge ordered the state to put together a newly composed parole board to decide his case.
According to the decision, “a parole board may not deny release solely on the basis of the seriousness of the underlying offense.”
“He was found guilty and now he thinks he is rehabilitated or recovered and we are supposed to believe that,” Velardi said.
Velardi was joined by her siblings Regina and Matthew Giglio and law enforcement officials including acting Commissioner Thomas Krumpter and PBA president James Carver.
“I feel that John MacKenzie doesn’t have any remorse for what he’s done,” said Matthew Giglio, 45 of New Jersey, the victim’s son. “We are here today for prevention. We have lived through a horrific event in our lives that we will carry with us every day of our lives as long as we live. We ask that the parole board not grant John MacKenzie parole.”
Mackenzie’s parole hearing, scheduled for last week, has been postponed, a Department of Corrections and Community Supervision spokeswoman said, adding it’s not clear when a hearing will take place.