NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - The family of Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced Sunday night that he lost a hard-fought battle with cancer. Thompson, 50, was the first African American to be elected Brooklyn DA. In his nearly three years in office, he established a reputation as a reformer whose top priority was protecting the rights of everyone.
Former Brooklyn Bar Association President and FOX Legal Analyst Arthur Aidala said Thompson had already made major accomplishments. He said Thompson will be remembered for choosing to not prosecute low-level marijuana possession cases and also reopening more than 20 tainted convictions.
Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered city flags flown at half-staff in Thompson's honor. The married father of two was born into law enforcement as the son of one of the city's first female police officers. He spent part of his childhood in public housing and went on to John Jay College and NYU School of Law.
A former federal prosecutor, he also successfully litigated major cases in private practice, like representing the housekeeper who accused Dominique Strauss Kahn of rape. As DA, he prosecuted former NYPD officer Peter Liang who was found guilty in the Akai Gurley case. He obtained a guilty verdict, but was criticized for recommending no jail time.
Legal experts said Thompson was fearless in his pursuit of justice. Aidala said the city and his family are facing a huge loss.
Brooklyn Chief Assistant District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said he and his executive team will continue Thompson's legacy of treating each case and individual with equal justice.