A.G. Schneiderman Announces Release Of First Ever Biennial Report Of NY AG Office's Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit
Biennial Report Released As Part Of A.G. Schneiderman’s Commitment To Transparency
Report Provides Overview Of Cases Assessed By Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit (SIPU) Under Executive Order No. 147, New Statistical Data, And Other Disclosures
Last week, New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the release of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit’s first ever biennial report. A.G. Schneiderman ordered the unprecedented report as part of his ongoing commitment to provide the public with as much information as possible about cases where a law enforcement officer causes the death of an unarmed civilian.
On July 8, 2015, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 147, which appointed A.G. Schneiderman as special prosecutor in cases where a law enforcement officer causes the death of an unarmed civilian and/or where there is a significant question as to whether the civilian was armed and dangerous. On July 9, 2015, A.G. Schneiderman announced the creation of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit (SIPU), led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg, to handle all cases under the Order.
The biennial report – available here – summarizes the eleven cases investigated by SIPU since Executive Order No. 147 was issued, as well as more than 80 additional cases where SIPU responded but determined the case was not within SIPU’s jurisdiction under the Order. The report also provides previously unreleased statistical and demographic data about the civilians involved in these cases. Finally, in addition to providing relevant legal analysis, the report summarizes the series of policy recommendations made by the Attorney General’s office over the course of the past two years.
“As the state’s Special Prosecutor in these difficult cases, it is my role to make sure each case is investigated thoroughly and fairly,” said Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman. “Over the past two years, our Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit has worked day and night to build a highly responsive, durable, and respected team that is always prepared to follow the facts wherever they lead. By working alongside community stakeholders and local law enforcement agencies, we’ve built the trust and network we need to get the facts and evidence required to act judiciously and effectively.”
Of the eleven incidents investigated, SIPU has charged one police officer, is currently investigating five matters, and has closed five others. SIPU issues a publicly available report for each case that is closed.
Details and recommendations relating to each case are available in the reports.
The leadership of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit includes Executive Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg, Chief Investigator Dominick Zarella, OAG Director of Advocacy Natalia Salgado, Deputy Chief Paul A. Clyne, Deputy Chief Joshua Gradinger, Deputy Chief Diane M. LaVallee, Deputy Chief Jose Nieves, Deputy Chief Jennifer Sommers, Deputy Chief Nicholas Viorst, Counsel Gail Heatherly, Assistant Attorney General Matthew Ross, Assistant Chief Investigator John Sullivan, Investigator David Giudici, Investigator Bryan Mason, and Legal Support Analyst Zulkifl (Muhammad) Zargar.