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article imageSpecial prosecutor to investigate civilians killed by police

By Nate Smith     Jul 9, 2015 in Politics
Albany - A special prosecutor from now on will be summoned to investigate all civilian deaths at the hands of law enforcement in New York state, governor Andrew Cuomo announced.
According to an executive order signed Wednesday by Gov. Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman will be tasked with looking into all confrontations between civilians and police resulting in a casualty.
The move takes responsibility for investigating controversial civilian deaths away from local district attorneys, and Gov. Cuomo was quoted this week expressing his belief that the order will help rebuild a frayed trust between citizens and law enforcement.
A growing fear that local district attorneys were too closely linked to their peers in law enforcement prompted the change, according to Gov. Cuomo.
Outcry for the appointment of a special prosecutor grew last year following the death of Eric Garner at the hands of Staten Island police. Despite being unarmed, the victim was choked to death at the hands of police, and the man's dying words, "I can't breathe," became a rallying cry for residents seeking a change all over the country.
Mr. Garner's mother, Gwen Carr, has become a vocal advocate in the "Black Lives Matter" movement, especially since the death of her son, penning a harsh editorial this week for the New York Daily News that was critical of Gov. Cuomo's inaction to that point.
Initially, the governor's executive order was to only be in effect for a year, however, Gov. Cuomo said later the order would last indefinitely.
More about I can't breathe, black lives matter, New York politics, Race relations
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