(DNAINFO) Jeff Mays — Surrounded by the family members of people who have been killed by police, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order Wednesday appointing Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as a special prosecutor to examine such cases.
The move comes after Cuomo was unable to get a law passed in the most recent Albany legislative session to appoint a special prosecutor.
While the Democrat Assembly passed a bill, the mostly Republican Senate wanted the special prosecutor to be regional so an upstate issue would be reviewed by a special prosecutor from upstate, Cuomo said.
The governor pledged to sign an executive order appointing a special prosecutor if the Legislature did not act. The executive order lasts as long the governor in power wants it to last, Cuomo said.
Cuomo said the order was necessary because there is a “crisis of confidence in the criminal justice system” following several high profile cases in New York City and across the country where police have killed unarmed men.