We’ll prosecute wrong doers – Brooklyn DA

by Kofi Ayim

The Brooklyn District Attorney, Kenneth Thompson, has warned that his office would continue to vigorously prosecute criminals and seek justice for the voiceless in the Borough of Brooklyn. Mr. Thompson made this remark at the 2nd Newsmakers Series in Manhattan, July 9, organized jointly by the Center for Community and Ethnic Media of the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate School of Journalism and the Office of the Brooklyn District Attorney. The former federal prosecutor and civil rights attorney pointed out that he has created various entities such as the Hate Crimes Unit, Immigration Fraud Unit, Real Estate Fraud Unit, among others to stem specific abuses and crimes.
He said it was unconscionable for the third largest DA’s office in the nation not to have had a Forensic Science Unit, so he created one last year. “My office is getting stronger by the day,” he added. He pointed out that out of the five Trial Zones under his jurisdiction, Brooklyn North, which comprises East New York and its environs, experienced the most gun violence in 2014 while Bay Ridge, In Brooklyn South, experienced no shootings during the same period.
He intimated that since he assumed the helm of affairs as Brooklyn DA on January 1, 2014, he and his team have been able to exonerate thirteen men wrongly convicted and sentenced to long jail terms. He used the opportunity to caution abusive landlords to refrain from illegal activities against tenants because his outfit cannot and will not allow greedy landlords to hold their tenants hostage or destroy their property in an attempt to get them out for higher rents. “We’ll protect Brooklyn tenants,” he assured, and urge tenants to pursue not only civil charges, but also criminal ones against harassment and unlawful evictions. He said his Labor Fraud Unit thus far has retrieved over $700,000.00 from employers for deserving employees. On immigration, Mr. Thompson remarked that the Immigration Fraud Unit recently busted a woman who had defrauded people from Liberia, Ghana, and Jamaica with promises of Green Cards.
The court system, he further said, is overburdened and broken, with about one million outstanding warrants, but his office on Fathers’ Day this year rolled out a community outreach program, complete with judges and prosecutors, to resolve some outstanding warrants. “Poor people usually get a raw deal, and we can’t criminalize a whole generation,” he philosophized. He said he has instituted Town Hall meetings and community events as a way of reaching out to, and getting to know, the community he serves.
He added that thus far, he has indicted four police officers of different racial and ethnic backgrounds, but quickly pointed out that his respect and love for law enforcement officers is beyond reproach, citing his single-parent mother who was a cop for over twenty years. Thompson opined that it is fundamentally fair to give jobs to ex-convicts and locals without jobs in an attempt to reintegrate them into the community.
The event was moderated by Errol Louis, host of NY1’s “Inside City Hall” and director of the Urban Reporting Concentration at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.

Posted by on Jul 13 2015. Filed under top stories. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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