Brooklyn D.A. Ken Thompson Denies He's "Abandoned" Pledge To Re-Examine '94 NYPD Killing Of Nicholas Heyward Jr

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Brooklyn (King's County) D.A. Thompson

A spokesperson for King's County District Attorney Kenneth P. Thompson has denied claims by the father of a teenager slain by a police officer 21 years ago that he's abandoned a campaign promise to "look into the case."

The spokesperson tells The Black Star News that Thompson did in fact meet with Nicholas Heyward Sr., who was accompanied by a delegation of supporters, over the fatal shooting of his then 13-year-old son Nicholas Heyward Jr., by a housing NYPD officer in 1994.

"It's unfortunate that he's making those allegations," the spokesperson says. "We do understand that he's in mourning," over loss of the son, the spokesperson says, adding that D.A. Thompson had asked Heyward, or if he had a lawyer, to come back to his office with any new evidence.

The spokesperson says D.A. Thompson has already developed a reputation of prosecuting officers "when warranted" and pointed to Peter Liang, the officer who killed Akai Gurley, in addition to two other cases against police officers now being handled by the Brooklyn D.A. 

He says the invitation by the D.A. to Heyward to return with any new evidence remains open. Thompson also gained national attention by having exonerated 14 people who were wrongfully convicted by the previous D.A. Charles Hynes, since he took office last year in January.

In a press release Heyward Sr.,  says "in 2013 then-candidate Ken Thompson promised to examine the  1994 case where Heyward Jr. was shot by a housing cop in Brooklyn.  Hearing this, Mr. Heyward campaigned for Mr. Thompson who has since gone back on his pledge."

The press release continues: "The Heyward boy  shooting ,  which occurred under then NYPD commissioner Bill Bratton, regained attention last year after the shooting of Akai Gurley in East New York, again under Bratton. In both cases NYPD cops patrolling public housing staircases shot black victims whose only mistake was to use the stairs. In the case of 13-year old Heyward, the NYPD claimed then that a small toy gun was confused for a real gun. 

Now disgraced former district attorney Joe Hynes,  implicated in corruption schemes, presented realistic-looking toy guns back during investigation of Brian George, the housing cop who shot Heyward, to suggest the shooting was justified. Mr. Heyward says his son’s toy gun had orange markings reminiscent of many common, legal toy guns on the market then. In a eerily similar case in Cleveland last year where 12-year old Tamir Rice was shot by a cop while holding a pellet gun, ajudge recommended  charges be brought against the cop involved in the shooting. 

Other victims of police brutality also say that Thompson's office has failed to hold cops accountable since he became DA. They will join Mr. Heyward as he denounces Thompson hosting the 21st annual Nicholas Naquan Heyward  Jr Day of Remembrance, a full day of events that mark a tragedy that continues to stain American society."

Heyward, his supporters and other activists plan a 12PM news conference tomorrow at Nicholas Naquan Heyward Park, in Brooklyn, on Wyckoff Street, between Bond and Hoyt.


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