Queens County Criminal Court // Eagle photo by Andy Katz

Several Courtrooms Quiet During Last Week of Summer

With several judges out of their chambers and away on vacation, several courtrooms in the Queens County criminal courthouse remained quiet on Wednesday.

Justice Gregory Lasak, who recently decided to retire effective Sept. 14 and who presides over the court’s homicide part, was one of the absent judges. Cases scheduled for TAP D were moved to K22, along with the calendars for several other judges who were also away.

It remains unclear who will take over Lasak’s calendar, which includes high-profile homicide cases like that of Chanel Lewis, the man charged with killing Karina Vetrano, 30, while she was jogging in Howard Beach.

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Derrick Hamilton was wrongfully convicted and spent 21 years in prison. He speaks at a rally to establish a prosecutorial misconduct commission. // Photo courtesy of VOCAL-NY

Advocates Rally for Prosecutorial Watchdog Despite DA Resistance

More than 100 organizations rallied in New York City Monday to call on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a law creating a prosecutorial misconduct commission.

The watchdog would monitor and investigate claims of prosecutorial misconduct involving the state’s 62 district attorney offices.

“New York has an ugly stain as one of the states with the most wrongful convictions,” said Assembly Member Nick Perry from Brooklyn during a rally at 60 Centre Street Monday. “The governor should stand with us and sign this law.”

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A shih tzu like the one killed in Broad Channel. Photo by Vladyslav Dukhin

Shih Tzu Hits the Fan for Latest Alleged Dog Killer

He’s in deep Shih Tzu.
A Woodside man has been hit with an aggravated cruelty to animals charge after allegedly killing his girlfriend’s Shih Tzu last month.

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Queens County Criminal Courthouse // Eagle Photo by Andy Katz

Police Reform Group Charges That Queens Weed Busts Discriminate

There’s a new marijuana policy coming to town and the latest arrest data from the New York Police Department reveal the vast racial disparities that prompted the change.

In the first six months of 2018, 93 percent of people arrested for marijuana possession in New York City were black or Hispanic. The data was compiled from NYPD arrest records and distributed by in a new report released by the Police Reform Organizing Project.

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