Schneiderman forms unit to review civilian deaths at hands of police, other kids on the playground turning on Andrew Cuomo, Proctors and Universal Preservation Hall partnering

Police oversight
State attorney general Eric Schneiderman announced the formation of the unit created to review, and potentially prosecute, cases in which unarmed civilians die at the hands of police. The unit is headed up by Alvin Bragg, a prosecutor and former federal attorney, and also includes former Albany County DA Paul Clyne. Schneiderman was empowered to start the unit via an executive order signed by Andrew Cuomo earlier this week -- the governor says a review of such cases on the state level helps address potential conflicts of interest involving police and county prosecutors. On Thursday Albany County DA David Soares advocated for opening to the public the grand jurying process in such cases rather than taking the authority away from local prosecutors. [NYS OAG] [TU] [CBS6]

Troy police settlements
The Troy City Council approved settlements totaling $89k in two lawsuits involving allegations that police used excessive force. [TU]

New Albany police officers
Fifteen new Albany police officers were sworn in Thursday. Said acting chief Brendan Cox, who's in line to become the permanent chief: "The mark of an officer, hopefully under my administration, will be that they understand the tenets of procedural justice and that we can solve problems outside the criminal justice system." [WNYT] [TWC]

Cuomo the bully?
A bunch of kids on the state politics playground are pointing at Andrew Cuomo and yelling, "Bully!" [NYT]

Standardized testing
The state Education Department is switching providers for the standardized tests for grades 3-8. The former provider, Pearson, was a frequent target of criticism from advocacy groups. [NYT] [TU]

Schenectady casino
A designer for Rush Street Gaming says the new Schenectady casino design released Thursday was intended to symbolize "the new Schenectady." [AOA] [Daily Gazette]

Troy murder case dropped
A Rensselaer County Court judge had tossed the charges against Jacob Heimroth in the beating deaths of Maria and Allen Lockrow in Lansingburgh last year citing lack of evidence. [TU]

Judge criticized
Both the Albany County DA and the storeowner victimized in a $60k robbery are criticizing Albany County Court judge Peter Lynch for what they say is a too-lenient sentence -- five months time served and five years probation -- for the person who pleaded guilting in the case. [TU+]

Tax breaks in Troy
The city of Troy and the Rensselaer County Industrial Development Agency are at odds over tax breaks for two projects, the mixed-used conversion of the former Record building and the redevelopment of the Quackenbush Building. The developers behind the Record building project had sought breaks from the city IDA, but the offered deal was $1 million less than what they were seeking. [TU] [Troy Record]

Albany County legislature seat drama
Continued drama in the race for Albany County Legislative District 2: The county Board of Elections is investigating an allegation from incumbent Merton Simpson that challenger Sam Coleman (who also has the endorsement of the district's Democratic committee) doesn't live at the address in the district he listed. [TU+]

Universal Preservation Hall
Proctors and Universal Preservation Hall in downtown Saratoga Spring have announced they're forming a partnership, an arrangement similar to the Proctors involvement with Capital Rep. [Saratogian/Record] [TU]

Stuff going on

It's the weekend. Yippee. Look for our "Stuff to do this weekend" list later this morning.

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