July 31, 2015
By Stephanie West
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Wednesday July 29th, held a briefing to legislators and community leaders on Executive Order No. 147, which appoints the New York State Attorney General as a special prosecutor in matters relating to the deaths of unarmed civilians caused by law enforcement officers. The order also allows the special prosecutor to review cases where there is a question whether the civilian was armed and dangerous at the time of his or her death.
“The justice system does not work without the trust of the people, so it was imperative that New York act to address the crisis of confidence that has been plaguing communities nationwide,” said Governor Cuomo. “This executive order restores trust in the system by ensuring that cases of police-involved civilian deaths will be handled with independence and integrity. It addresses both real and perceived conflicts of interest, and is a critical step toward rebuilding confidence and making sure that the justice system works for everyone in every neighborhood across this state.”
The Governor's Executive Order provides an independent avenue of justice to review allegations of police misconduct against unarmed civilians. This Order empowers the Attorney General to take jurisdiction whenever and wherever there is evidence of the improper use of force by law enforcement against unarmed citizens resulting in death. The goal is to ensure that another level is in place so that justice is equal and for all. Governor Cuomo’s decision to appoint a special prosecutor is one that will help put trust back into the justice system.
Assemblyman Walter Mosley said, “It is vital for the American justice system to have the trust of the people – but too often in recent months, we have seen that thrown into question following the deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of law enforcement. Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order is a crucial first step and a model for addressing this national problem. I commend the Governor for stepping up and taking action.”