The prosecution rests.
The nation’s top attorney, the governor, and two mayors joined hundreds of mourners at an East New York church on Saturday to celebrate the life of late Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson, and remember him as a tireless justice seeker who made history as the first African-American to hold the office in Kings County.
United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Mayors Bill DeBlasio and David Dinkins were among the family, friends, dignitaries, and civilians who eulogized Thompson, 50, at the Christian Cultural Center a week after he succumbed to the cancer he had battled privately until just days before his Oct. 9 death.
Thompson’s heartbroken widow Lu-Shawn, daughter Kennedy, and son Kenneth, Jr., listened intently as Lynch — the former federal prosecutor’s one-time boss — recalled his diligence as a public servant and devotion as a family man.
“We in law enforcement have lost one of our brightest lights, one of our stars, who had such promise for the future,” she said.
Lynch informed Thompson’s kin that the no-nonsense public servant with the infectious smile was happiest when speaking about his loved ones.
“You were his heart, and his smile was never brighter than when he was talking of you,” she said.
Thompson’s short tenure as district attorney was tall on gains, acknowledged Gov. Cuomo, adding he freed 21 wrongfully incarcerated men and women during his 33 months in office.
One of them, David McCallum, recalled emotionally how the district attorney won him his release after he served nearly three decades in prison for a murder he did not commit.
“Mr. Thompson didn’t only give me my freedom, Mr. Thompson gave me my 5-month-old daughter, Quinn,” McCallum said choking back tears. “If you did not do that for me, I don’t know where I would be.”
The funeral service included handwritten tributes from Thompson’s children and featured a lighthearted moment when Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D—Canarsie) spoke about his late friend’s voracious appetite for knowledge,.
“The brother was reading so much, I thought he had a Barnes and Noble in his basement,” said Jeffries, drawing chuckles from the crowd.
Thompson was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, where he was raised.