Updated: May 12, 2021 07:47 PM
Created: May 12, 2021 12:35 PM
ALBANY - Police Officer Luke Deer pleaded guilty in Albany City Court to one count of assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor, and resigned from the Albany Police Department.
The district attorney says the key points of the plea agreement for his office were that Luke Deer resign and take responsibility.
In March 2019, police responded to complaints about a loud party at an address on First Street in Albany that they had been to many times.
The situation escalated.
Bystanders and police body cameras captured video from different perspectives.
Several weeks later, Officer Luke Deer and two others were suspended. Deer was charged with assault.
"Understanding that there were a number of calls to the house, the thing is, if you're responsible for public safety, then you cannot submit to what members of the general public would be submitting to, which is: you've had it," said Albany County District Attorney David Soares.
Police say one of the other suspended officers has been reinstated by an arbitrator, the other is still under arbitration.
Officials say the city paid $100,000 to the man Deer assaulted.
Under the plea, Deer will have to continue the treatment he's had for the last two years during his suspension.
"It did provide him with an opportunity to get into counseling and to engage in counseling with Veterans Affairs," said Soares. "All the reports that we were privy to demonstrated that he's taking responsibility and taking actions to address his issues, and so we felt very comfortable with the disposition as it was."
Sentencing was adjourned for a year. The district attorney says if Deer successfully continues treatment and is not arrested again, he can withdraw his plea and plead to a violation.
Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins released the following statement:
"Today's guilty plea is another step towards bringing closure to what was a painful incident in this community. Moving forward, we remain committed to working with our community to build meaningful relationships and enhance public safety. In addition, we will continue to always hold ourselves accountable and take the necessary actions to build trust, legitimacy and earn the public's confidence in our department."
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