We've been following this story but waiting for a bit more information. No need to rush to judgment.
So, last year, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order pursuant to the Executive Law that would allow the Executive Branch jurisdiction over police shootings that involved unarmed suspects.....Whether District Attorneys like this or not, it is lawful. Governor Pataki issued a similar order giving the Executive the ability to step-in and take over death penalty cases. District Attorneys were not pleased with Pataki.
Pataki's order was directly related to a number of DA's that publicly stated they would not seek the death penalty. That, of course, was their prerogative. Cuomo's order was a political response to pressure from the black community following a number of questionable incidents in New York City. While legislation drafted in response to political pressure is typically flawed (see The Safe Act), it is a law.
As an aside, many DA's like this order, whether they'll say it or not. Perhaps not in smaller cities and rural areas but certainly in large urban areas. It essentially removes them from a lose-lose situation. If the officer is cleared, DA's are often accused of bias in favor of the police. If the officer is indicted, the DA can incur the wrath of an agency they need to work with every day.
With Officer French, it is inconceivable that a grand jury would indict. French could very well be dead or paralyzed if he had not acted.*
All that aside, after the Crist incident, the Reid incident and now after reading The Record article and the Times Union article: Is Abelove up to the job? You can read the petition here. The story also made the New York Times but we have not yet read that article.
Whatever the outcome, we hope that the Grand Jury's decision stands at that French is not subject to further proceedings. It would seem unfair to leave such a matter hanging over the officer's head due to the actions of the District Attorney.
*While we would make the argument that the decedent was, indeed, 'armed', that is not our call. Or Abelove's.