Following Gov. Andrew Cuomo's announcement that he had appointed the Attorney General's office to investigate deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of the police, Atty. Gen. Eric Schneiderman released the following statement:
"In December, I requested that the Governor sign an Executive Order to empower my office to investigate deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of police. This order was to remain in effect only until the Governor and the Legislature enacted statutory reforms to address this critical issue in a permanent and considered fashion. I am disappointed that, six months later, we did not see such statutory action — part of a broader failure to achieve meaningful reform on a range of issues in this legislative session.
"The Governor announced today that, as he was unable to enact statutory reform, he is issuing such an executive order. My office will handle these cases with the highest level of care and independence, while we continue to work with lawmakers, District Attorneys, advocates and other experts in criminal justice reform on a long-term legislative solution to this critical matter of law and policy.
"All of us who care about the great State of New York must redouble our efforts to strengthen the ties between communities and the police officers and prosecutors who devote themselves so honorably to public protection."