Ex-Black Panther Robert Vickers, suspect in ’70s murders of NYPD cops, gets 21 years in heroin bust

Posted at 12:00 PM, Jan 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-07 12:18:57-05

NEW YORK – A former Black Panther Army member long suspected of playing a role in the killings of two NYPD officers in the 1970s is heading to prison for selling heroin.

Robert Vickers, 65, was sentenced to 21 years after selling felony amounts of heroin to undercover officers in Albany and Menands, according to police officials.

Police investigated Vickers in the deaths of 23-year-old officer Rocco Laurie, from Staten Island, and 22-year-old Gregory Foster, of the Bronx, who were gunned down on the corner of 11th Street and Avenue B on January 27, 1972.

The Black Liberation Army later took credit for the assassinations.  The group fatally targeted 16 law enforcement officers around the nation, over the course of more than a decade.

“It will be the 45th anniversary of the cold-blooded murder of police officers Foster and Laurie later this month by what can only be described as domestic terrorists," said NYC Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick J. Lynch.  "While we are disappointed that Vickers never served time for his participation in those murders, we are pleased to see that he is being held accountable for peddling poison for profit and that it is likely he won’t survive to walk free again.”