Guy Mitchell (122427)

Years of hard work have paid off for Guy Mitchell.

Last week, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office announced that Mitchell, who had been serving as an assistant state attorney general in charge of the Harlem-Bronx Regional Office, had been appointed as a criminal court judge.

After more than 20 years in the realm of law enforcement, where he juggled several important assignments at once on many occasions, Mitchell looks like a worthy appointment.

The Spanish-speaking Harlem native began his career as an assistant district attorney in Bronx County, prosecuting several high profile homicides and violent felony offenses. Mitchell served in the trial division-violent crime bureau and in the Bias Crime Unit. While there, he also worked as the complaint room and homicide-felony duty supervisor, where he was required to decide how criminal court complaints were drafted, advise assistant district attorneys at homicide crime scenes, decide when videotaped statements were taken from defendants, govern how lineups are conducted and determine whether the arrest of certain targets should be made.

“Being appointed really is a privilege and an honor, especially during Black History Month, because I am becoming a member of history,” Mitchell told the AmNews. “I’m becoming a judge of the New York City Criminal Court, and I will approach it by dispensing justice fairly and equally.” Mitchell also said that all members of the department and litigants will know, through his decisions, that he’s always fair.

“There will be no one placed in a position over the other because of economic or social status,” said Mitchell.

During his career, Mitchell also bestowed some knowledge upon students as a substitute criminal law professor at Monroe College and continued on the path of mentoring the young when he launched Hoop Brothers with co-workers to motivate inner-city youth.

After spending significant time in the Bronx district attorney’s office in the 1990s, Mitchell transferred to the United States Virgin Islands and served as the chief of the criminal division for the United States St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. Johns, where he oversaw narcotics offenses, violent felony offenses, family and special victims, white collar crimes and government corruption. Mitchell’s high profile led to him conducting hearings and trials, and he was successful at managing his work.

Mitchell also served as a special assistant U.S. attorney responsible for prosecuting high profile homicide cases. He coordinated law enforcement efforts with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program locally and federally.

When asked how he was able to juggle multiple tasks, Mitchell said that he felt he didn’t have a choice. “The energy I got is really … once you’re place in a position of authority or power, I think you’re obligated to as an African-American man.”

After serving on the islands for a few years, Mitchell came back to New York to serve as the assistant attorney general in charge of the Harlem-Bronx Regional Office. There, he investigated and enforced civil and criminal prosecution involving consumer fraud, civil rights, investor protection, environmental issues, immigration consultant fraud and health care.

Being a born-and-raised New Yorker, Mitchell understands how hard the road was to his success and understands how the road chosen determines the future.

“Seeing friends of mine who went to prison and some have died,” said Mitchell. “[I thought] once I’m in a position to make a difference, this will be an obligation for me to move forward. That has motivated me—the fact that I can make a difference and have someone look and say, ‘If he can do it, I can do it.’”