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Center for Law and Justice says report on Albany police shooting is flawed

September 11, 2018 06:49 PM

ALBANY -- Activists are pushing back against findings from Albany police that an officer-involved shooting was justified.

Ellazar Williams. 19, was shot by police on Elk Street following a chase on Aug. 20. Eight days later he was charged by police with menacing a police officer and criminal possession of a weapon.

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Police revealed the findings of their investigation last week, saying Williams had a knife and an officer thought he was in imminent danger when he opened fire.

Now the Center for Law and Justice is disputing the findings, saying it doesn't add up.

Alice Green, the executive director of the Center for Law and Justice, calls the report provided by police limited and flawed. She said there are eight specific concerns with it.

First, she wants to see a written report made available. There's only been the presentation the department gave last Thursday.

“This has limited the community’s access to it and prevented serious examination and review of the findings that they came up,” explained Green.

Another big concern she has is that there's no arresting officer signature on the arrest report.

She also said there are discrepancies between the oral report and that arrest report. For example, the arrest report stated Williams was displaying a knife and refused to drop it. It goes on to say Williams ran in the direction of the detective with the knife. However, she says during Thursday's presentation police said Williams was running away from the detective when he fell and dropped the knife and he was shot while attempting to rearm himself.

Another point brought up by Green that she said has a lot of people in the community upset is where exactly Williams was shot. While police say he was shot in the rear left shoulder, Green says she has seen the bullet wound and it was the upper back. She wants to know specifically how Williams was shot there after she said all police told her was that he was “fluid.”

"I don't understand how he got shot in the back,” said Green “There's probably an explanation but we haven't gotten it to our satisfaction and that's the problem because the community is really concerned about that particular issue."

Green made it a point to say she does feel the police department is more transparent and they’ve worked hard on community relations. She said she is also looking forward to working with the Chief Erick Hawkins on creating a protocol on how this process can be smoother if something like this where to happen again.

“Develop some kind of protocol for informing communities of situations like this if it happens again," explained Green.

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins released the following statement:

“Dr. Alice Green is a strong advocate for the Albany community and I understand her concerns with the investigation into the recent shooting incident that occurred on Elk Street. A final report into the incident is still being completed and I am willing to discuss the finding with Dr. Green and others in the community so they may better understand. Moving forward, I truly look forward to working with Dr. Green and other community members to build upon the great relationships and success this department has achieved, especially in community policing.”  

Credits

Emily De Vito

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

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