Gov. Cuomo was asked Friday to appoint a special investigator to probe the May 24 beating and death of an inmate at the Attica Correctional Facility.
The death of James Charles, 31, touched off a two-day disturbance at the prison.
The request was made by the New York State Coalition for Criminal Justice, which also asked the governor to work with the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and Codes and Corrections committees of the State Legislature to set up an independent mechanism to address the issues of racism, brutality and harassment in the state prison system.
A state Department of Corrections spokeswoman said an autopsy found that Charles, who scuffled with correction officers, died of exertion and inflammations of the heart and brain -- not a beating.