A repository of women's grassroots social activism in Brooklyn since 1945

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson Dies at 50 After Battle With Cancer

On behalf of The Shirley Chisholm Project we’d like to pass our condolences to Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson’s family and friends.

After announcing his battle with cancer last week, Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson died at the age of 50.

Ken Thompson started his career when he became a federal prosecutor with the US attorney for the Eastern District of New York. His passion for advocacy in promoting racial justice led him to become the first black district attorney of Brooklyn. He also served as special assistant to the U.S. Treasury Department Undersecretary for Enforcement in Washington, D.C., and in the General Counsel’s office at the Treasury.

“Ken was a dedicated public servant who embodied the highest principles of the law, and his grand presence will be sorely missed,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “With a life and promise cut far too short, our city was blessed with but a glimpse of Ken’s unwavering commitment to justice and his unrivaled pursuit of a more fair system for all those he served.”

Thompson presided over the prosecution against Police Officer Peter Liang in the accidental shooting death of Akai Gurley at the Pink Houses. His most prominent case was representing an African-born hotel housekeeper, Nafissatou Diallo, who accused the French politician Dominique Strauss-Kahn of raping her in a Manhattan hotel room in 2011.

Thompson was a native New Yorker who graduated magna cum laude from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He received his law degree from the NYU Law School, where he earned the prestigious Arthur T. Vanderbilt Medal for his contributions to the law school community.

Thompson is survived by his wife of 17 years, Lu-Shawn Thompson; his two children, Kennedy and Kenny; and his mother, father, brother and sister.

 

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