Video shows arrest of Albany Police Review Board member

Jill Konopka
Updated: October 29, 2019 11:40 AM
Created: October 25, 2019 07:01 PM

13 Investigates has obtained the police body camera footage and dash cam video of the Aug. 5, 2019 arrest of Albany Law School employee Clay Gustave, who was also part of Albany’s Community Police Review Board.

Gustave’s attorney, Mark Mishler, tells NewsChannel 13 there was no reason for police to pull his client over that day.


Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins said at the time that his officer made a lawful arrest and Gustave failed to comply with the officer’s commands, escalating the situation and putting members of his department at unnecessary risk.

13 Investigates also obtained the three 911 calls from the incident as well.

"There's a cop that pulled over a guy and the guy is struggling with him and wrestling in the street," a caller told the 911 dispatcher. "You've got an officer that needs help, really quick," the caller continued.

When Gustave was pulled over, he was overseeing the Police Review Board.

"I review what you do, all of you. I manage the Police Review Board. I hear about these complaints and here I am," Gustave told the police.

Right after his arrest, he told other responding officers about the officer who pulled him over. That officer was Emiljan Miftari, who is no longer with the Albany Police Department.

"He didn't say anything. He told me to jump out of the car, so he could arrest me," Gustave said. "This is not how it works. This is not how it works."

This is a transcription of the traffic stop.

Miftari: "Turn the car off for me."

Gustave: "Say that again?

Miftari: "Turn the car off for me."

Gustave: "What?"

Miftari: "Turn the car off."

Gustave: "Why you touching my car?"

Miftari: "Turn the car off right now."

Gustave: "Why?"

Miftari: "You're being arrested. Turn the car off."

Gustave: "Don't tell me what the f**k to do. Turn that on, why you touching my car."

Miftari: "You're being arrested turn the car off.

Gustave: "Turn that on."

Miftari: "Don't move. Do not move."

Gustave: "Tell 'em all. Tell 'em all. Please turn your camera on."

Miftari radios in: "Going to be on Orlando and Western...It’s a Black Infinity."

Gustave: "Why are you pulling me over?"

Miftari: "I'll tell you that in a second. Can you step out of the car?"

Gustave: "Why?"

Miftari: "Because I'm asking you to step out of the car."

Gustave "Why'd you touch the door, dog?"

Miftari: "Put your hands on top of your head."

Gustave: "Why?"

Miftari: "Put your hands on top of your head."

Gustave: "Why?"

Emiljan : "Put your hands on top of your head or you’re going to get arrested."

Gustave: "Don't yell at me. Wait until your boys come."

Miftari: "Get out of the f******g car right now. Get out of the f******g car."

Gustave:"Why? Don't yell at me."

Miftari: "Put your hands on your head."

Gustave: "Don't f******g touch me."

Miftari: "Put your hands on your head."

Gustave: "Don't f******g touch me."

Gustave:"Do you know who I am?"

Miftari: "Put your hands on your head, put your hands on your head."

Gustave:"Do you know who I am?"

Miftari: "I don't care who you are. Put your hands on your head."

Gustave: "Get off me"

Miftari: "Put your hands on top of your head now. I'm not kidding."

You can see more of the incident from the officer's dash cam video before a civilian -- a state employee -- steps in to assist Miftari.

"I said do you need any help," the civilian is heard explaining to another officer. "He said, 'Yeah, come here, get on him.'"

NewsChannel 13 also reviewed dash cam video from Western Avenue minutes earlier. The officer wrote in his police report that Gustave’s actions behind the wheel on Western Avenue prompted the traffic stop. He wrote that Gustave "failed to signal to get into the north side lane...cutting off a vehicle...and unreasonably endangered that driver...who abruptly slams the brakes and veered right causing the car to almost drive off the road."

"I just want you to know he punched me in my face. I just want you to know," Gustave told other responding officers. "There was a woman behind him, who said, 'F**k you,' and I flipped her off and all of a sudden here I am."

Albany's police chief said in August that he stood by his officer.

Gustave told NewsChannel 13 at the time, he was racially profiled.

"I haven't thought about that because what I saw on the video was bad behaviors. I saw behaviors that unnecessarily, dangerously, irresponsibly escalated a situation," Hawkins said on Aug, 7. "I didn't see race."

There were no comments on camera outside court on Friday morning. However, Gustave's attorney did issue a written statement.

"We are in conversation and dialogue with attorney Shane Hug, the special prosecutor assigned to this case. That dialogue is an ongoing process," Mishler said. "We are convinced all of the evidence, including dash cam video and body cam video, completely vindicates Mr. Gustave and we look forward to an appropriate resolution to these charges."

The case was adjourned to Nov. 9. A plea deal could be reached.

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