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The Result of the Akai Gurley Case Reminds Us that New York State Needs a Permanent Special Prosecutor


by Lurie Daniel Favors, Esq.

Special prosecutors are independent attorneys who are appointed to investigate, and if necessary prosecute, government officials for misconduct. They are typically used in cases where there is a significant risk that conflicts of interest will prevent traditional prosecutors (also known as district attorneys or DAs) from fairly and accurately seeking justice in the case.

Since its inception, the Center for Law and Social Justice has fought to have special prosecutors used in cases where police officers are accused of using excessive force that leads to the injury or killing of unarmed people. When one analyzes the cozy and intimate relationship between local DA offices and police departments and the continuing role of racism in the criminal justice system, it is clear that a permanent special prosecutor is absolutely necessary in these cases. In light of the way the Brooklyn DAs office handled the sentencing of NYPD Officer Peter Liang for the killing of Akai Gurley, it is imperative that now, more than ever, the New York State Legislature and Governor Cuomo work to create a permanent special prosecutor to bring charges against police officers who are accused of using excessive force that leads to the injury or killing of unarmed citizens.

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The Center for Law and Social Justice (CLSJ) is a community-based legal organization that specializes in addressing racial justice issues. CLSJ provides quality legal advocacy, trainings, and research services in a personal manner to people of African descent and the disenfranchised.

Our Vision Statement

The Center for Law and Social Justice's vision is to be a resource for the liberation of African people in order to achieve a world that will equally distribute societies and natures wealth to everyone, such that they are able to realize their highest creative potential and enjoy their cultural, economic, political, and social rights.

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