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BLM rally, march demands justice for Bronx man who died in Schenectady Police custody

February 11, 2018 12:04 AM

Andrew Kearse's death certificate lists his cause of death as cardiac arrest. 

His wife, Angelique Negroni-Kearse, members of Black Lives Matter, and other groups are accusing Schenectady police of denying Kearse the medical care that could have saved his life. 

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“When you love somebody to make sure that you tell them every day because you never know when it'll be the last time,” Negroni-Kearse said. 

Negroni-Kearse did not know she would see her husband for the last time before he died in Schenectady police custody on May 11, 2017.

Now the Bronx women wants justice.  

“While he's in the police car, he's asking and he's saying please I cannot breathe,” she said. “I feel dizzy.”

Police said Kearse was arrested after fleeing a routine traffic stop.

Officers said they tried to get the 36-year-old father of nine medical help after he complained of feeling ill.

His wife disputes that claim by Schenectady Police. 

Negroni-Kearse said she has seen dash cam video, courtesy of the New York State Attorney General's Office, which contradicts Schenectady Police. 

“He pleaded and begged for his wife over a hundred times and this officer denied him the medical attention he needed,” Negroni-Kearse said. 

Organizers of the event want the video released. 

“This tape is so damning,” said Hawk Newsome of Black Lives Matter. “It's so condemning. That's why they won't release it to the community of Schenectady.”

Following a rally at First United Methodist Church protesters took part in a march to Schenectady Police Headquarters where they held a vigil to honor Kearse.

Community leaders say Schenectady police have a complicated relationship with residents.

“We're not talking about the good police officers,” said Rev. Horace Sanders Jr. of Mt Olivet Missionary Baptist Church. “We're talking about those who allow things to happen and not say anything.” 

“What if it was your son, what if it was your mom, what if it was your brother,” said Christopher Salata of peace advocacy group, Peace Accelerators. 

Police said Kearse was not shot or shocked with a taser when he was arrested.

Negroni-Kearse said her husband, who is also from the Bronx, may be alive if police sought medical help for his heart attack. 

“Andrew said I cannot breathe, I'm hearting I cannot get up for real, for real, for real,” she said. “These officers said ‘what do you want us to do?’” 

NewsChannel 13 reached out to Schenectady Police. 

NewsChannel 13 was then referred us to the New York State Attorney General’s Office, which is investigating Kearse's death. 

NewsChannel 13 is waiting to hear back from the Attorney Genera’ls Office. 

The Daily Gazette reported that Kearse's family has filed a notice of claim against the city -- a precursor to a potential lawsuit of 25-million dollars.
 

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Nia Hamm

Copyright 2018 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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