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Albany police officer arrested; two others suspended

April 02, 2019 10:53 PM

Albany Police Officer Luke Deer was arrested on Tuesday. He's also suspended.

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said the charges stem from his actions while responding to a call for a loud party last month at 523 First Street. Police say they've had complaints on this address before.

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"Through a collaborative investigation between the D.A.'s Office and the Albany Police Department it was determined that not only had Officer Deer violated department policies, but he had also committed criminal acts as well."

Deer is being charged with felony assault and official misconduct, a misdemeanor. Two other officers are suspended. All suspensions are without pay.

Chief Hawkins made it clear this investigation is far from over. This investigation stems from a video taken by a bystander and then sent to an employee at City Hall.

Deer and another officer responded first, then Chief Hawkins says they called for backup and around ten officers responded.

Right now, only Deer is facing charges.

Three people were arrested from the incident that were at the home. Their charges will be dismissed Wednesday morning in court.

Chief Hawkins says this incident should have never lead to an officer assaulting someone.

"Whenever we have a situation when there's a call for service and there are no reports of weapons, no reports of narcotics and officers arrive and it doesn't escalate to that point with folks that were responding to it, then it should never escalate inappropriately from our officers," said Chief Hawkins. 

There is body camera footage from the incident, however police are not releasing it at this time. Chief Hawkins says there is evidence that one officer turned off their body camera during the incident, so there could be more suspensions. He said it wasn't any of the three officers suspended that turned theirs off.

Chief Hawkins said he hopes this doesn't put a dark cloud over the officers who do put their lives on the line for the right reasons.

"The overwhelming amount of our officers on this department are doing just that, the right things for the right reasons," said Chief Hawkins. "They're serving with distinction, they're serving with pride, they're putting their lives on the line every single day."

Hear from Albany's police chief about how this is a chance for people to look at internal policies.

WEB EXTRA: Full press conference on arrest and suspension of Albany cops

Credits

WNYT Staff

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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