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In NY, a special prosecutor for police killings — for now

Posted at 12:33 PM, Jun 24, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-24 12:33:45-04

NEW YORK — Amid national debate over holding officers criminally accountable for killings by police, New York is giving such cases special consideration by appointing the attorney general to investigate them, for now.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the yearlong appointment Tuesday. It comes after police officers weren’t criminally charged last year in deadly encounters with unarmed men in New York and elsewhere.

Critics say local district attorneys don’t have enough professional distance to investigate and prosecute police who help them build cases.

With lawmakers unable to agree on an approach, Cuomo says the temporary appointment is “the best alternative at this time.”

Some reform advocates praise the move. But DAs say it usurps their role, and some relatives of people killed in police encounters say it doesn’t go far enough.