James: ‘Struggle For Justice Continues,’ Public Advocate Says City Must Carry On Thompson’s Work

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Elected officials reflected on the life of Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson on Monday.

Thompson died Sunday after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Comptroller Scott Stringer said he was heartbroken at the loss of the Brooklyn D.A.

“He was really a great man, a great prosecutor. He had such a passion for justice,” Stringer said.

As WCBS-880’s Stephanie Colombini reported, Public Advocate Letitia James said it’s critical that the city continues to carry out Thompson’s work — vindicating the wrongfully convicted, and not prosecuting low level marijuana offenses.

She used to live around the corner from Thompson in Brooklyn.

“So I’m going to miss Ken. I’m going to miss him, seeing him in the grocery store, walking in our neighborhood. I’m going to miss him a lot, but I do know we got to carry on. So may he rest in peace, but the struggle for justice continues,” she said.

Thompson scored an upset victory in 2013 by defeating longtime Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes.

Thompson was the borough’s first African-American district attorney.

CBS2 spoke to Thompson in his office in 2014.

“I take many of these cases home with me, because at the end of the day, when anyone is shot and killed or violently attacked, it’s something that I ran to prevent,” Thompson said at the time.

The DA’s office noted Thompson’s many achievements.

In 2014, Thompson began what the DA’s office called a groundbreaking policy not to prosecute low-level marijuana possession arrests.

Before being elected DA, Thompson served as a federal prosecutor for the Eastern District of New York, where he was a member of the team that successfully prosecuted former NYPD Officer Justin Volpe in the 1997 beating and torture of Haitian immigrant Abner Louima.

Thompson also served as special assistant to the U.S. Treasury Department Undersecretary for Enforcement in Washington, D.C., and in the General Counsel’s office at the Treasury. He was on the team of attorneys and federal agents that conducted an investigation ordered by President Bill Clinton following the 1993 raid on David Koresh and the Branch Davidian Compound in Waco, Texas, the DA’s office said.

Thompson also worked with members of Congress and the clergy to convince the U.S. Department of Justice to reinvestigate the 1955 murder of Emmett Till, 14, in Money, Mississippi.


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