The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (“LDF”) joins the families of New Yorkers killed by police as they celebrate a milestone victory – the Governor’s signing of an executive order that requires the Attorney General to serve as a special prosecutor for New Yorkers killed by law enforcement. For years, LDF has had the pleasure of serving these families in their advocacy efforts and will continue to do so as the Attorney General’s new Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit, announced today, begins its work. “In December 2014, LDF supported the Attorney General’s request to the Governor to be appointed as a special prosecutor for police-involved killings, and have worked with the families of victims to urge the Governor to make this appointment a reality through an executive order,” said Monique Dixon, Senior Policy Counsel at LDF. 

“Governor’s Cuomo’s designation of a special prosecutor for police killings is an important first step among efforts taking place across our country to promote accountability and to increase confidence in our criminal justice system,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director Counsel of LDF. “Placing the authority for investigating and prosecuting cases involving police abuse with an independent and impartial prosecutor will help to ensure that biases, conflicts of interest and politics do not infect systemic efforts to hold police accountable for their conduct and ensure the integrity of the process for all,” said Ifill. “We will continue to work with family members and policymakers to ensure that the new special prosecutor unit is adequately funded to accomplish its mission.”