Albany County DA won't prosecute man paralyzed in police-involved shooting

January 08, 2019 11:24 PM

ALBANY - Ellazar Williams will not face criminal charges. The 19-year-old man has been paralyzed since he was shot by an Albany police officer back on August 20.

On Tuesday Albany County District Attorney David Soares said he will not prosecute Williams on the weapon and felony menacing charges he was facing. A statement was issued that read in part, "this matter was fully and thoroughly investigated by my staff with the ultimate conclusion that while there may be a credible case to be made, there is nothing to be gained. Punishment of Mr. Williams is not in anyone's best interest."


Last year a grand jury found Albany police detective James Olsen's use of deadly force to be justified.

Williams' supporters are happy Soares won't be pursuing the charges, but they said they're not done asking questions yet.

Dr. Alice Green said she doesn't believe Soares had a case.

"I think he's wrong I think we know from looking at the video that there was just no way that Ellazar could have been engaged in menacing the detective and they also have no evidence that that was his knife,” Green said.

Green said Albany police have yet to explain exactly what happened when detective James Olsen shot and paralyzed Williams behind a school on Elk Street last summer.

"We want the Albany Police Department to explain why they put out two reports that were in conflict with each other,” Green said. “The community needs that so this doesn't in any way drop this case and the need for more transparency from the police department."

Olsen retired from the force just last week. Green said she believes he resigned because of the shooting.

"The distrust and mistrust between the community and the police department has suffered as a result of this,” Green said.

She said now Williams is feeling hopeful about the future.

"He believes he's going to walk again and we are going to support him in every way that we possibly can from here on in,” Green said.

There will be a press conference at 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning at the Center for Law and Justice. Williams' attorneys have filed a federal civil suit against the Albany Police Department.

The representatives with the DA’s office declined to comment until the charges against Williams are officially dropped. They said the paperwork will be filed Wednesday morning, but the process could take a few weeks.

Stay with NewsChannel 13 for the latest on this story.


Emily Burkhard

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

Relay Media Amp
Firefighters respond to house fire in Pittsfield

Work continues on cashless tolling project

Biden claims momentum as Sanders marches past debate fray

Wild animals testing positive for canine distemper in Albany

Remsen Street continues to be rebuilt several years after devastating fire