American radical. Convicted murderer. Professor at Columbia University.
Kathy Boudin is all of those things, but it's the last that really irks Arthur Keenan Jr., a retired Nyack detective.
Keenan was one of four police officers who stopped Boudin and her accomplices after the infamous robbery of a Brink's armored car in 1981. The Weather Underground members already had killed one security guard to get at the $1.6 million inside. When Keenan and his fellow officers pulled over the group's getaway vehicle, Boudin created a distraction while her accomplices opened fire on the police officers with automatic weapons.
Nyack Police Officers Edward O'Grady and Waverly Brown were killed in the firefight. Keenan was shot.
After hearing Boudin is a Columbia professor and recently received honors from NYU Law School, Keenan and other police officers spoke out Tuesday, telling the public they're outraged.
"She is using the universities in New York, NYU and Columbia as her soapbox," Keenan said. "And I decided after 31 years I am going to have my own soapbox right here."
The officers who spoke out Tuesday were a mix of active and retired cops who were involved in the investigation and drama after the 1981 heist. They said Boudin never truly repented for her part in the murders of the two police officers and the Brinks security guard, and they accused the universities of helping to legitimize Boudin in academic circles after her 2003 parole.
Rockland County Undersheriff Robert Van Cura said Columbia and NYU should reconsider their choice to honor Boudin and give her a platform to lecture to students. He said he believes Boudin never took full responsibility for her role in the heist and murders.
"I'll never forget the smirk on her face when this happened," Van Cura said. "There was no remorse."