We are so close to victory. For the past several months, Brooklyn NAACP has joined with families of New Yorkers who have been killed by police have been working hard to urge Gov. Cuomo to enact an executive order to appoint a special prosecutor for all police killings. After several trips to New York’s state capital, protests, and a meeting with the Governor, Governor Cuomo announced his intention to give Attorney General Eric Schneiderman authority to investigate and prosecute police killings.
But there’s a catch.
Governor Cuomo is now saying the special prosecutor appointment may only last one year and may only cover “unarmed" incidents.” We know whether or not someone is in fact armed and dangerous is often in dispute, with police departments’ accounts different from those of witnesses, like in the killing of Walter Scott in South Carolina. These loopholes are bad public policy. If President Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing – that included police commissioners and law enforcement experts – did not include loopholes in their recommendation for independent prosecutors in police killings, neither should Governor Cuomo’s executive order.
If the scope of the executive order isn't right, Governor Cuomo will have failed to keep his promise to families by suggesting loopholes that continue to put the lives of New Yorkers in danger. We have to #StandWithTheFamilies and call on the governor to sign the right executive order for a special prosecutor with no time limits, full investigatory, prosecutorial powers and adequate resources. Help us make the call and demand Governor Cuomo do the right thing for New York.