Former Civilian Complaint Review Board executive director Mina Malik became the 6th candidate running for Queens District Attorney when she officially launched her campaign Tuesday.
The longtime reformer and veteran prosecutor, who served as a prosecutor in the Queens District Attorney’s office for 15 years, joins Queens Borough President Melinda Katz, City Councilman Rory Lancman and former New York State Supreme Court Justice Greg Lasak and others in a crowded field to replace Queens District Attorney Richard Brown who announce he would not seek re-election to the office he has held since 1991.
“Queens is the most diverse county in the country, but for too long our justice system has been an instrument of outdated policies that have caused immense harm for communities of color and the poor. That simply cannot continue,” Malik said. “I never thought I would be running for elected office, but I know it is time for bold reform in the Queens District Attorney’s office and I heeded the call to serve my community.”
Malik has decades of experience in the criminal justice system as a defense investigator, prosecutor and reformer. Most recently she served as the Deputy Attorney General for Public Safety at the Office of the Attorney General for Washington, D.C. where she oversaw 110 employees on matters ranging from restorative justice and diversion programs to juvenile justice and domestic violence. Malik created a new Special Victims Unit and trained its staff in a victim-centered approach designed to protect victims from retraumatization and address the accused’s need in a holistic manner.
“I have seen firsthand that the status quo isn’t working for the people of Queens,” Malik said. “Growing up in a basement apartment in Corona, I saw the contrast between the vibrancy and diversity of our communities on one side, and the lack of diverse representation in our law enforcement on the other. This election is a once-in-a-generation chance to provide that representation and create a system that ensures true justice for all of us.”
When she ran the CCRB, Malik managed a staff of 200 employees. Tasked with changing the culture of the agency from top to bottom, Malik initiated major reforms to get justice for victims of police misconduct in a timely manner. During her two year tenure, the length of investigations was slashed from nearly a year to two months.
“The next District Attorney must be a leader in the fight for racial, social and economic justice,” Malik said. “No matter where you live, what color you are, how much money you have, how you pray, who you love, or where you come from, you deserve a justice system that is on your side. That’s what I’ve fought for my entire career, and that’s why I’m entering the race to be your next District Attorney.”
Also running in the race for Queens District Attorney is former state Attorney General’s office prosecutor Jose Nieves and public defender Tiffany Caban, an Astoria resident who was endorsed Monday by the Democratic Socialists of America.