Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced that Attorney Eric Schneiderman would have the power to appoint Special Prosecutors in cases where an unarmed person is killed by a law enforcement officer. Cuomo had to use an Executive Order for this, since the legislature failed to agree on a bill would create that position. The majority leaders of the Senate and Assembly were with Cuomo at his announcement. This appointment is to last for one year.
“We were working on a piece of legislation. I don’t believe the best approach is to have one special prosecutor for the entire state. We were close to reconciling them (the legislation). This isn’t horseshoes. The buzzer went off, and we’ll work on it next year.” It should be noted that in the past 15 years there have been 179 fatalities involving NYC Police. Only three cases led to indictments—and one conviction.
With well known homicide cases involving Police Officers and unarmed victims in Ferguson, Cleveland, Baltimore, Charleston, and Staten Island in less than a year, creating a Special Prosecutor would put a space between the accused police officer and the officers/investigators working on the case. It makes sense to have a Special Prosecutor in placed.
How did Congressman Reed react to Governor Cuomo’s move for to restore confidence in the criminal justice system? Radio station WLEA from Hornell had an interview with Reed on Saturday (June 27) and asked him about the Governor’s appointment. Reed’s response:
“I stand with Law Enforcement. I have talked with these men and women. I’ve met with their families. The bad apples are there, sure. Let’s not lose sight of the 99.9% of them that are good hard working men and women fellow Americans doing a tough job. Let’s not say they are all bad. That’s where I’m concern the Governor is going. A lot of these other prosecutors are going. They are looking to get a scalp in a group of employees that honorably serve us who put their lives at risk. I’m going to stand with law enforcement because they are the ones doing the yeoman work to keep us safe.”
Hopefully the Attorney General won’t have to use his newly acquired power. The fact that New York State has a plan in case the worst happens is important. It’s sad that Rep. Reed refuses to even acknowledge that Governor Cuomo’s announcement is admirable. Matter of fact, Reed found this as an opportunity to dive to despicable depths of disrespect by contenting that the Governor is “looking to get a scalp” of law enforcement officers. Reed has nothing to base that statement on–except his own biases. That statement tells us volumes about Rep. Reed’s political agenda.
Reed’s supporters generally despise Governor Cuomo because he has stepped on the toes of the gun lobby and the oil/gas industry to promote safety in New York State. Rep. Reed is a politician who needs to remind his political base that he stands with them against the evil Governor Cuomo.
The middle of the road, common sense NY 23rd constituents appreciate the work our Governor has done to protect us. Rep. Reed could at least praise the plan (Special Prosecutor) even if he can’t praise the planner (Gov. Cuomo).