Street renamed in honor of late Brooklyn DA Kenneth Thompson
A ceremony was held in downtown Brooklyn Saturday as a street was renamed in honor of Brooklyn's first African American district attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson.
"I remember hearing him so confidently lay out a very different understanding of what justice can and must be and he literally blazed the trail for redefinition that now has become the norm all over this country," Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
Thompson's vision is now memorialized through his name now standing along Jay Street.
"To do it in front of the district attorney's office... means that generations of young lawyers have something to aspire to," said Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.
Blasio issued a proclamation in honor of Thompson. His notable accomplishments include bringing justice to those who were wrongfully convicted, reopening the investigation into the death of Emmit Till and putting an end to low-level marijuana prosecutions.
"We talk about how much he has done for those who are wrongfully convicted but he was also very keen and focused on public safety," said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
And as New York City experiences a spike in gun violence, lawmakers now look to his work as an example of how to create safer streets.
"He took care of both. The kids who were wrongfully incarcerated but also the kids who need to be safe on the street, from gun violence. That is the kind of leadership that he showed and that we need to continue to show going forward," said Lt. Gov. Brian A. Benjamin.
Saturday marked five years since Thompsons's death from cancer.