Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson sworn in

Nayaba Arinde | 2/13/2014, 10:47 a.m.
New Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson is the first African-American to assume that position.
Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson sworn in

Much was made of the pioneering “Mama” Clara Thompson, who, in 1973, was one of the first female police officers to walk the tough streets of Brooklyn. Her son Ken, Mayor Bill de Blasio declared, “understands the work of the law enforcement officer because it came home every night at the kitchen table.”

Rest assured, the mayor said, “Ken in going to help create a new New York where rights and safety work hand in hand, which includes reducing stop-and-frisk and getting guns off the streets.”

“We applaud him for his victory,” beamed the Rev. Herbert Daughtry. “I am convinced that he is going to do a good job, and I think he’s going to be particularly concerned with people in our community.”

Daughtry told the AmNews, “I’ve known Ken since the Louima case, when he was the assistant U.S. attorney. It is very gratifying to me that I have lived to see our first president of African-American ancestry and our first Brooklyn district attorney of African-American ancestry.”

“We are confident that Ken will take a close look at issues like stop-and-frisk and police power abuse, and put an end to the rampant racal profiling,” said former Council Member Charles Barron. “Ken is very much aware of how the Black and Brown communities have been mistreated by the Police Department, how officers have gotten away with killings, targeting and general abuse. We are hopeful that his administration will work to end all of that. Solid police-community relations is beneficial to the entire borough and city.”

In a moving moment, Thompson received the oath of office from popular federal Judge Sterling Johnson Jr. In his remarks, the new district attorney reiterated his mantra of equal justice for all. His reign would be seeking a society where crime was tackled fairly but not at the expense of civil liberties and moral. He kept to his campaign promise, citing his focus on eliminating the “epidemic of gun violence … and resolve ourselves of these illegal guns.”

While campaigning last fall, Thompson told the AmNews that as a “father of a young son who is 6 growing up in the city, the abuse and the misuse of stop-and-frisk is not some sort of academic exercise for me. It is very real to me, and I think we need to have new leadership in the Brooklyn DA’s office to deal with these practices for the sake of all of our children—to make the streets safer and stronger. I don’t think we have to do one or the other.”

After a grueling battle with 23-year incumbent Charles “Jo” Hynes and after Thompson won the primary handsomely, Hynes went back on a promise to assist with a smooth transition by engaging in a bitter campaign as a Republican and a conservative in the race for district attorney. In historic proportions previously unseen, newcomer Thompson trounced Hynes in the general election. It was a wrap. Thompson was the new district attorney for Brooklyn. It was a beautiful victory for him.