Bowers was poaching deer with two other men in August 1973 when he was confronted by U.S. Park Ranger Ken Patrick. Bowers shot Patrick three times with his 9mm handgun, killing him. The killer has never expressed any remorse, nor has he admitted to killing Ranger Patrick. To this day, he maintains that he was framed by government authorities. Far from being a model prisoner, he was shot and wounded during an escape attempt, and was implicated in the murder of two fellow inmates.Chuck Canterbury, National president of the Fraternal Order of Police, had this to say:
I was appalled to learn that the Commission approved the release of this unrepentant murderer. Allowing this killer back in the streets puts the public and police officers at risk. We will exhaust every legal avenue in an effort to keep Bowers where he belongs--behind bars. To that end, we intend to ask the U.S. Attorney General to have the National Appeals Board review the case and correct the decision of the Commission.Canterbury has some unfortunate history on his side:
There is no way that a reasonable person can believe that this killer, who describes himself as a 'political prisoner' in 'fascist America,' has earned his release. The Commission should have denied his parole based on his conduct as a Federal inmate and the strong likelihood that he will commit further crimes once he is free. They have willfully ignored the facts of his case in what is a clear case of dereliction of duty. If the Commission fails to protect the public from criminals like Anthony Kelly and Veronza Bowers, then we must act to protect the public from the U.S. Parole Commission.The reference to Anthony Kelly is to another prisoner paroled by the parole commission who:
Canterbury's remarks referred to Anthony Kelly, an inmate released in 2001 by order of the U.S. Parole Commission five years before the completion of his sentence. Within nine months of his release, he had assaulted a police officer, stolen numerous cars and firearms, committed two rapes and left three people dead-- including a six-year old girl. It was very clear from his file and the information available to the Commission that he never should have been paroled in the first place.Bowers was "shot and wounded during an escape attempt, and was implicated in the murder of two fellow inmates," as well as claiming that he is a "political prisoner' in "fascist America". And they are going to release him? Where? I don't want to be anywhere near that part of the country with a guy like this running loose, do you?
"We are going to make our views on this decision very, very clear to the Attorney General," Canterbury said, noting that the authorization for the U.S Parole Commission expires at the end of the year. "Ken Patrick left behind a wife and three children. Their lives were irrevocably changed on the night of his murder. Bowers was sentenced to life in prison--and life in prison is what he should serve."
The Fraternal Order of Police is the largest law enforcement labor organization in the United States, with more than 318,000 members.