Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday said he wants to create an independent monitor for cases where cops who kill unarmed citizens are not indicted by prosecutors.
The monitor would have access to all records in these cases and could call for the appointment of a special prosecutor.
Days after a Staten Island grand jury declined to indict the officer who placed Eric Garner in an alleged chokehold, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked Cuomo to grant him similar powers last December.
While district attorneys had bristled at Schneiderman’s request, many lauded Cuomo’s version.
“People must have confidence in the justice system, and the Governor’s proposals should help restore that confidence,” Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson said in a statement.
Cuomo’s monitor proposal is one of seven criminal justice reforms the governor put forward at his State of the State address Wednesday.
Others include a statewide commission to improve relations between cops and communities, more money for police flak jackets, technology in high-crime spots, and the recruitment of more minorities into law enforcement.
“People are questioning whether the justice system really is fairness for all, and whether the justice system really is colorblind,” Cuomo said.
Many police reform advocates hailed the package as a step forward but warned that it wouldn’t be enough without creating a special prosecutor.
“Real police accountability is still so painfully lacking, and Cuomo must do more to help our communities achieve it,” said Priscilla Gonzalez, organizing director of Communities United for Police Reform.