Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit

On July 8, 2015, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 147, which appointed the New York State Attorney General as special prosecutor in incidents where a law enforcement officer causes the death of an unarmed civilian, or where there is a significant question as to whether the civilian was armed and dangerous. The following day, the office announced the creation of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit (SIPU) to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute all cases that fall within the scope of Executive Order 147.

SIPU is staffed with experienced prosecutors, investigators, and a family liaison. While SIPU’s principal objective is to thoroughly investigate the incidents covered by EO 147 in order to determine whether a prosecution is warranted, SIPU also seeks to enhance transparency and strengthen public trust in the criminal justice system in these sensitive incidents.

To date, SIPU has launched investigations of 41 incidents across New York State. Of these cases, SIPU has brought homicide charges against two police officers, is currently investigating 16 open matters, and has closed out 23 investigations.

SIPU issues detailed written reports in those cases it closes without charges, setting forth the facts gathered about the case and explaining the legal analysis behind its decision not to prosecute. These reports typically include policy recommendations aimed at improving law enforcement practices. To date, these reports have made a number of important recommendations, including expanding police officer body camera programs, training officers in de-escalation techniques, and expanding the implementation of off-hour video arraignments, among many others. A bill permitting courts to open off-hours arraignments passed the New York legislature in 2016.

The leadership of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit includes Chief Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice Jose Maldonado, Acting Chief of the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit Nick Viorst, Chief Investigator Oliver Pu-Folkes, First Deputy Chief Investigator John Reidy, Deputy Chief Paul A. Clyne, Deputy Chief Daphna Frankel, Deputy Chief Joshua Gradinger, Deputy Chief Jennifer Sommers, Counsel Gail Heatherly, Family Liaison Priscilla Taveras, Investigator Ronald Enfield, Investigator Bryan Mason, Legal Support Analyst Landon Miller, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Kim Ramos, and Special Advisor to the OAG Tai Johnson.

Details and recommendations relating to each case are available in the reports linked below

Biennial Reports

Executive Order No. 147 requires SIPU to issue a biennial report regarding cases over which it has jurisdiction. The reports summarize open and closed cases investigated by SIPU, provides new data, and recaps major policy recommendations made over the course of the two-year period.

Biennial Report of the Office of the Attorney General's Special Investigations & Prosecutions Unit – 2019

Biennial Report of the Office of the Attorney General's Special Investigations & Prosecutions Unit – 2017

News and Reports

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report on the Investigation into The Death of Allan Feliz

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report on the Investigation into The Death of Evgeniy Lagoda

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report on the Investigation into The Death of Dwayne Pritchett

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report on the Investigation into The Death of DeWayne Watkins

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Gerard Roldan

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Michael Rizzetta

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Lillian Weyanna

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Jaime Lopez-Cabrera | Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Jaime Lopez-Cabrera -Spanish VersionEspañol

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Edwin William Garcia Lopez | Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Edwin William Garcia Lopez -Spanish VersionEspañol

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Jonathan Maldonado

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Robert Scott

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Saheed Vassell 

Attorney General James' Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Walter Perez

Attorney General's Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On The Death Of Susan LoTempio

Statement By A.G. Underwood On Grand Jury Decision Regarding The Death Of Andrew Kearse 

Attorney General's Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On The Death Of John Havener

Attorney General's Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On The Death Of Jose Hernandez Rossy

AG's Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On The Death Of Edson Thevenin

Attorney General's Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On The Death Of Wardel Davis

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Indictment Charging Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove With Official Misconduct And Perjury

Attorney General’s Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report on the Death of Ariel Galarza

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Release Of First Ever Biennial Report Of NY AG Office's Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit

Attorney General's Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On The Death Of Warren Corbitt

Attorney General's Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Report On The Investigation into the Death of Richard Gonzalez

Attorney General’s Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Detailed Report And Findings Of Extensive Investigation Into Death Of Miguel Espinal In Yonkers

A.G. Schneiderman’s Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Announces Detailed Report And Findings Of Investigation Into Death Of Joseph Seguin In Carmel

A.G. Schneiderman’s Special Investigations And Prosecutions Unit Releases Detailed Report On Investigation Into The Death Of Raynette Turner