Rally held in response to report on Troy police killing

January 19, 2018 05:33 AM

TROY - People from the Troy community and members of the group “Justice for Dahmeek McDonald” came together Thursday night at the Sanctuary for Independent Media to express their disappointment in the city.

It comes after the New York Attorney General’s Office released a report on the deadly police shooting of Edson Thevenin. That report blasted the Troy Police Department over its handling of the investigation.

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"Witness were pretty much discarded, evidence was covered up, and testimony was covered up,” said Anastasia Robertson of Troy about the findings. “It seems that the officer was not pinned, false statements were given."

Community members also discussed the recommendations for the Troy Police Department from the Attorney General. It included implementing body and dashboard cameras, which is something residents said they’ve repeatedly asked for.

“It's something that not only the community wants, but it's something the Attorney General recommends for the city of Troy, but it's still at stalemate,” said Robertson.

Members of the group “Justice for Dahmeek McDonald” are calling on the New York Attorney General again.

“If they did this in regards to the use of deadly force against Mr. Thevenin, then we are justified in concluding they must have done the same or intended to do the same in regards to the use of deadly force against Dahmeek McDonald,” said McDonald’s Lawyer Mark Mishler.

While many Thursday night said there will be no justice for Thevenin, it could be different for McDonald. He was shot and injured by a Troy Police Officer in August 2017 after a traffic stop. He was unarmed.

His case is currently being handled by the Schenectady County District Attorney.

"We could have no trust in not only Troy to investigate the case but Schenectady as well because they share a task force,” said McDonald’s Uncle Messiah Cooper.

Thursday night many people also said they’re disappointed with Troy Mayor Patrick Madden’s response the Attorney General’s findings.

He released this statement Tuesday:

“The City of Troy continues to be unfairly involved in the jurisdictional dispute between the New York State Attorney General’s Office and the Rensselaer County District Attorney. We fundamentally disagree with the Attorney General’s findings contained within the SIPU report and are confident that the Troy Police Department’s operations and procedures remain consistent with best practices adhered to by law enforcement agencies across the state and nation. While we believe the factual inaccuracies and errors contained within the report unfairly put the Troy Police Department in a negative light, we will continue to fully cooperate with Attorney General’s office in their investigation and remain in communication to further discuss their findings.”

Residents Thursday night said it’s time for the Mayor to step up.

“It's not about pointing out or saying we have the worst police department, because we don't,” said Robertson. “We do need some tweaking and refining and I don't understand why there's so much backlash and it has to be become a thing of us versus them when it's a matter of refining the tools that we have and making them work for everyone.”

Mayor Madden released another statement tonight in regards to the protests:

“Freedom of speech and respectful conversation are important parts of a functioning and open democracy. The City of Troy fully supports the public’s right to gather peacefully and express their opinions on issues involving our community.”

A petition has been started to for people to sign to support the state Attorney General taking over McDonald’s case. For more on that, click here.

More information:

Attorney general report on Edson Thevenin investigation


WNYT Staff

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