Rally held for man shot by detectives in Albany

September 04, 2018 11:13 PM

ALBANY – A “Justice or Else” rally was held for Ellazar Williams at Malcom X Park in Albany Tuesday night.


The community is searching for answers after Williams was shot by an Albany Police detective in the back last month and was paralyzed from the waist down. His brother, Nick Grimm, said he’s been doing physical therapy and hopes to one day walk again.

"I saw a post on Facebook that somebody had been shot, I never thought it would've been my little brother,” said Grimm.

Grimm describes his brother as a typical teenager.

“Likes to play video games, sports, wrestle,” said Grimm.

Albany Police said Williams and two other men had been involved in a confrontation at a business on Central Avenue. Police had received a report of someone with a gun. Nearby detectives responded and eventually three detectives pursued Williams. One shot him behind the Tony Clement Center for Education on Elk Street. Police did recover a knife at the scene, but didn't find a gun.

"I just don't understand what made the detective just shoot him,” explained Grimm. “Right now there's no information on why he was shot, he was fleeing, and they say they found a knife on the scene, who's to say that was his. There's cameras around, no reports on them, they're still trying to get those to his attorney."

The community came together Tuesday night to rally around Williams. They’re demanding the police department release all video of the shooting and the 911 calls that came in about it. They want to make sure this shooting doesn't’t go unnoticed.

"We sent a loud and clear message that, really this is not going to be accepted,” said Albany Common Councilman Derek Johnson. “When an incident like this takes place, we shouldn't have to wait that long to find out the details."

Albany Police Public Information Officer Steve Smith said the department understands members of the community want quick answers when an incident like this occurs, but these investigations take time. He said the department is doing what the community would expect of them and that’s to conduct a thorough investigation.

While the community and Grimm wait for answers, he said he wants his brother to remain positive.

 "He's just blessed to be alive, he's really happy to be alive,” said Grimm.

Williams has been charged with menacing a police officer and possession of a weapon. Albany Police said they’re very close to completing their investigation into the shooting and they’ll be sharing the details of what they learned when it’s concluded.


WNYT Staff

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