Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday signed an executive order directing the attorney general’s office to investigate killings by police.
The Democrat said the appointment of a special prosecutor would alleviate concerns that local prosecutors are too tied to law enforcement to properly investigate and potentially prosecute killings by police.
“We have seen it all across the country, where there is a lack of trust in the law enforcement system,” he told reporters. “The criminal justice system does not work without trust.”
Prosecutors and police groups have criticized the idea of a special prosecutor as unnecessary. On Tuesday Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, released a statement saying “many levels of oversight” already exist.
“Our concern is that there will be pressure on a special prosecutor to indict an officer for the sake of public perception and that does not serve the ends of justice,” he said.