for breaking news visit www.qns.com OCTOBER 20, 2016 • buzz • The QUENS CourieR 65 A Homecoming for a Memorable Man Victoria’s Secrets Victoria SCHNEPS-YUNIS firstname.lastname@example.org tweet me @vschneps The enormous, 3,000-seat Christian Cultural Center in East New York, near Starrett City – a stunning and elegant mega church with 40,000 congregants – was the site of Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson’s “homecoming” service. Each seat was filled as the beloved DA was remembered after losing his fight with colorectal cancer, remarkably leaving his position only a week ago. I was privileged to be one of those people who felt a need to support his wife Lu-Shawn and bid goodbye to this man who, in his brief 50 years, impacted so many lives as a father, son, lawyer and then DA of Kings County, a journey he shared with his beloved wife of 17 years Lu-Shawn and children Kennedy and Kenny. I watched the steady flow for hours as people lined up to pay their respects and pass the open coffin before the service began. Remarkably, in his less than three years as DA (he had an upset victory over the prior Brooklyn DA, Joe Hynes, who had held the seat for decades), his office had a major impact on righting the record for many people who were wrongfully convicted. “What he did in a short time showed how committed he was to Brooklyn,” said former Bronx DA Robert Johnson. One of greatest accomplishments was the creation of the Conviction Review Unit which exonerated 21 people in just a little over two years. Among those who spoke at the service was Nafissatou Diallo, who had claimed that she had been raped by French politician Dominique Strauss- Kahn, a powerful international guest of the hotel where she worked. With tears flowing down her cheeks, sobbing between her words, she told of Thompson’s belief in her and his giving back her life. She was not the only person to speak of the difference that the late DA had made in their lives; one of the men freed also shared his heartfelt gratitude to the DA. I loved the words of his chief of staff Wayne Williams who has been the “Rock of Gibraltar” to Lu-Shawn. Marty Markowitz, the former Brooklyn borough president, spoke from the stage, telling Lu-Shawn about her husband’s undying love and devotion to her. He also shared how he had lost his father when he was only 9, but had great quality of time with him, and that was as important as the quantity of years. Many people noted that Ken’s mom Clara had been an inspiration to him. She was one of the first female NYPD officers to patrol the streets beginning in 1973 and served the department for 21 years. She and her husband and two surviving children stood and greeted thousands of people for hours. The family had been by his side at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center when he died, and asked for donations to that institution if anyone wants to pay tribute to him. Rows were filled with community and political leaders, and the funeral held the next day drew Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio and his wife Chirlane. The mayor shared the feelings of all touched by the DA. “With a life and promise cut far too short,” he said, “our city was blessed with a glimpse of Ken’s unwavering commitment to justice and his unrivaled pursuit of a more fair system for all those he served.” The beautiful music and songs of faith helped lift my spirits as I know how the hole in the heart of Lu-Shawn will remain with her forever. May she find the courage to carry on, having had the undying love of an extraordinary man. Our media company will be creating an annual Ken Thompson Memorial Community Service Award beginning at our Kings of Kings event on Nov. 17. May he rest in peace. Dynamic $1500 off Lumineers $500 off Invisalign DENTAL WORK CALL FOR FREE CONSULTATION THE INVISIBLE WAY TO SOME EXCLUSIONS APPLY STRAIGHTEN TEETH Third Generation Dentist 175-15 Jamaica avenue, Jamaica 718-297-4100 • 718-297-4106 Photo courtesy of New York State governor’s office Governor Cuomo joined in bidding farewell to the DA along with the mayor and wife Chirlane McCray. As pictured, behind him pictures of the DA and his family were flashed continuously during the moving funeral service. BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/Photo by SB News Lu-Shawn Thompson and her children as they sadly leave the church.
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