May 6, 2019 By Laura Hanrahan
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, a long-time sufferer of Parkinson’s disease, died Friday night at the age of 86.
Brown served as Queens DA from 1991 until the time of his death.
In January, Brown announced that he would not be seeking re-election at the end of the year. Just two months later, he stated that he would be stepping down from his position in June due to increasing health problems.
“It had been my hope that I would be able to finish out this term in office,” Brown said at the time. “Unfortunately, that is not to be. Given the current state of my health and my ongoing health issues, it has become increasingly difficult to fully perform the powers and duties of my office in the manner in which I have done since 1991.”
During his time as DA, Brown created one of the state’s first Drug Courts, as well as Mental Health Courts and Veterans Court. He also oversaw the creation of a Domestic Violence Bureau, the Office of Immigrant Affairs, the Animal Cruelty Unit and, most recently, the Queens Treatment Intervention Program (Q-TIP), a new program aimed at addressing the opioid.
“Judge Brown loved working for the people of Queens,” said Chief Assistant DA John M. Ryan, who had recently taken on Brown’s responsibilities. “He would often be the first person in the office and very likely the last to leave every day—and sometimes on weekends too. He was known to visit crime scenes, meet with victims and work tirelessly to give them justice.”
Brown oversaw the prosecution of a number of high profile cases, including the charges against three police officers who shot and killed Sean Bell, an unarmed black man, outside a Queens strip club the day before his wedding. The trial resulted in no convictions.
Funeral services for Brown will be held on Tuesday May 7 at 11:30 a.m. at Reform Temple of Forest Hills, located at 71-11 112th Street.