Adds Resources and Expertise to Oversee All Firearm Cases;
Senior Prosecutor with Extensive Trial and Managerial Experience Appointed as Bureau Chief
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced the creation of a Gun Violence Suppression Bureau that will add resources to the Office’s core mission: keeping the public safe. The new Bureau will improve the Office’s response to gun violence by consolidating resources and expertise under a single umbrella, by working closely with law enforcement agencies to expeditiously collect and enhance the evidence necessary for successful prosecutions, by reducing gun recidivism and by training assistants who are assigned to firearm cases to apply strategies that help overcome hurdles in prosecuting these often-difficult cases. In addition, the Bureau will collaborate with the Police Department to focus on drivers of crime, track patterns of gun violence and identify likely retaliations. It will also enhance fairness by formulating and ensuring consistent plea offers to all defendants.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “With the recent and worrisome spike in gun violence, we must innovate and strengthen our response to all cases against those who carry lethal weapons on our streets. The new Gun Violence Suppression Bureau will provide a laser-like focus of our resources and expertise in targeting the small number of individuals who are responsible for most of the gun violence in our community. Maintaining the historic gains in public safety that we’ve achieved over the past decade is our vital obligation and I believe this Bureau will help in reaching this goal.”
The District Attorney said that the Bureau will be headed by Chief Patrick O’Connor. A graduate of Harvard Law School, ADA O’Connor joined the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office in 2014 as a Deputy Chief in the Gangs Bureau. Prior to that, he served for 19 years in the Queens District Attorney’s Office. He has tried more than 100 felony cases, including many homicides, during his career. About two years ago, he secured a conviction against a man who fatally stabbed 6-year-old P.J. Avitto and seriously wounded 7-year-old Mikayla Capers in a horrific unprovoked attack inside an East New York elevator. In December 2018, ADA O’Connor was appointed to lead the new Law Enforcement Accountability Bureau. His keen organizational skills, decades of legal expertise prosecuting difficult cases and a deep commitment to public safety and fairness will serve him well in his new position.
ADA O’Connor will be replaced as Bureau Chief of LEAB by Assistant District Attorney Aaron Nottage, currently a Deputy Chief in the Crime Strategies Unit. ADA Nottage, a graduate of Brooklyn Law School, joined the Office in 1994 after serving as a field coordinator for the launch of the Legal Lives program and an intake interviewer for the Alternative Sentencing Unit. As a prosecutor, he tried many felony cases, including robberies, attempted murders, and homicides. As a supervisor, he oversaw dozens of violent felony trials. He was promoted to several supervisory positions in a Trial Bureau, including Deputy Bureau Chief for Criminal Court, Grand Jury and Supreme Court. In 2017, ADA Nottage was appointed to spearhead the then-new Public Housing Crime Suppression Unit. He has ably led a team that draws on data-driven intelligence and works with the NYPD, tenant associations and community members to drive down violent crime in public housing developments. His seasoned and varied experience make him well suited for this endeavor.