Special Prosecutor Campaign News
Select media hits that follow the campaign from the families' first letter to the Governor, sent in Feb., to the July 2015 VICTORY and Jan. 28, 2019 letter from the families to Cuomo calling for strong special prosecutor legislation.
Families Letter to Cuomo Criticizing "Special Counsel" Proposal and Calling for Strong Special Prosecutor Legislation
Dear Governor Cuomo:
We are 18 family members whose loved ones were killed by police officers in New York State during the last 25 years. We are writing to you today to express our deep disappointment with your proposal for a “Special Counsel” that you included in your budget proposal for the current legislative session.
Gov. Cuomo appoints attorney general as special prosecutor
"If we had a special prosecutor at the time of my son's death, I think it would've made a tremendous difference, but now we're asking for a special prosecutor for other families," Carr told reporters.
Malcolm choked back tears when talking to reporters.
"We don't want another family to go through it," she said.
"We [are] fighters," she added. "We continue to fight and we think we forced [Cuomo's] hand to do what we wanted."
Gov. Cuomo appoints attorney general as special prosecutor
Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Constance Malcolm, mother of Ramarley Graham; Iris Baez, mother of Anthony Baez; Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah; Margarita Rosario, mother of Anthony Rosario and aunt of Hilton Vega jointly said: “For decades, our families and those of other New Yorkers killed by police have faced repeated injustices, not only losing family members to police violence by those tasked with serving and protecting but also being failed by local district attorneys not holding officers accountable to the law for those deaths. Many of us have been calling for a special prosecutor for decades, so this reform stems from the legacies of New Yorkers whose unjust deaths go back a long time and the leadership of our families. Today, Governor Cuomo is listening to our voices of and those of other New Yorkers who support equal justice to enact an important reform to end this conflict of interest. Nothing will bring back the lives of our loved ones, and this was never simply about our families – it was about all those who come after us because we so deeply understand the pain and heartache of losing a loved one and then having their life not matter within our justice system. While New York takes national leadership with this reform, there remains much work to be done to ensure our children and family members are no longer unjustly killed by police in the first place. We hope to work with Governor Cuomo and other leaders in moving New York forward to build upon today’s important step to end the discriminatory and abusive policing that threatens our families and communities.”
Cuomo to Appoint Special Prosecutor for Killings by Police
New York Times
With pressure mounting from families whose loved ones have died at the hands of a police officer, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Tuesday that he was preparing to issue an executive order naming the state attorney general as a special prosecutor for police-related civilian deaths.
The governor called the order “a major step forward” and stressed his hope that independent investigations would help restore public faith.
Cuomo Pledges to Change Handling of Police-Related Deaths
Wall Street Journal
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo met Tuesday with families of civilians who have died in encounters with police officers and said he soon would sign an executive order that would change how the state handles such cases...
..After the meeting, Yul-san Liem, co-director of the Justice Committee, an advocacy group working with families who lost relatives in incidents with police, said the families “expressed some of our concerns...related to what would make the most effective special prosecutor—that it be ongoing, free of loopholes, and cover all cases.”
Cuomo's unkept promise
OpEd by Gwen Carr and Constance Malcolm
Gov. Cuomo may be a skilled political operator, but sound public policy that protects the lives of our children and achieves equal justice needs to be placed above any political deal-making or appeasement.
Nothing will ever fill the void in our lives or heal the pain from our sons, Eric Garner and Ramarley Graham, being killed by police officers.
After being forced to live through the nightmare of burying our children, the failure of the justice system — through local district attorneys — to hold officers accountable exacerbated that pain and suffering.
Mothers press Cuomo to follow through on police oversight
ALBANY—The mothers of New Yorkers who have died during police interaction are urging lawmakers to reject any “watered down” reforms to the criminal justice system, forcing Governor Andrew Cuomo to make good on his promise to appoint a special prosecutor to handle such cases.
After meeting in April with the mother of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man whose death in police custody ignited protests in New York and around the country, and other relatives of people who have died during police interactions, Cuomo said he would unilaterally appoint a special prosecutor to review cases of police-involved civilian deaths if the Legislature didn't act on his proposal for an independent monitor.
Relatives of fallen press Cuomo for Special Prosecutor
...Gwen Carr, whose son Eric Garner died last summer after police put him in a chokehold as he was arrested for selling loose cigarettes on a Staten Island street corner, spoke during the advocates’ session-ending return visit.
“We need someone to look at the cases objectively,” she said. ” … What kind of society are we living in? What kind of world is this?”
Eric Garner's mother among those who bring coffins to Cuomo
Staten Island Live
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- The mother of Eric Garner was among the relatives of a dozen New Yorkers who died in police custody to bring cardboard coffins to the state Capitol to urge Gov. Andrew Cuomo to appoint a special prosecutor for future cases.
Gwen Carr, whose son died last year in police custody when officers tried to arrest him for allegedly selling loose cigarettes in Tompkinsville, says prosecutors who work regularly with police aren't capable of bringing those cases.
"We need someone to look at the cases objectively," she said, according to a report in the Albany Times-Union. " ... What kind of society are we living in? What kind of world is this?"