NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s the end of an era in Queens. Long-serving District Attorney Richard Brown says he will be retiring.
The 86-year-old served as Queens’ prosecutor 27 years, but now says it’s time to step down, CBS2’s Dick Brennan reported Wednesday.
In a statement Brown said: “After careful thought and consideration, I have made the decision to finish out my current term and not seek re-election. It has been an honor and privilege to have served the people of Queens County.”
Brown touted the decrease in violent crime during his tenure and his initiatives, like the treatment of opioid addictions and prosecution of domestic violence cases.
But the Queens DA will also be remembered for the major cases he prosecuted.
In 1996, he won a conviction against the “Zodiac” killer, who murdered three people. And in 2001, he successfully prosecuted the two men who carried out the Wendy’s massacre in Flushing, where five people died.
“This was as horrendous a crime as one could possibly imagine,” Brown said at the time.
However, Brown failed to get a conviction against police officers in the 2006 Sean Bell shooting. And recently, he could only get a hung jury in the high-profile Karina Vetrano murder case. The accused killer, Chanel Lewis, will be retried in two weeks.
Before becoming district attorney, Brown served as a judge, and even presided over the arraignment for the notorious “Son of Sam” killer in 1977.
In recent years, Brown suffered from Parkinson’s disease, and three candidates had already declared they would run against him. Facing a possible tough re-election, Brown decided now would be the right time to retire.
Brown said one of his memorable moments happened when he was a criminal court judge in 1973. A defendant fired eight shots in the courtroom and Brown said he ducked behind the bench. After that, he said he became known as “Duck-Down Brown.”