Rensselaer County D.A. testifies in officer-involved shooting investigation

October 27, 2017 06:57 PM

Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove testified before a grand jury on Friday. He defended his investigation of a police-involved shooting in Troy back in 2016. 

Abelove finally came out after spending eight hours in a courtroom with the grand jury. He went in around 9 a.m. Friday.

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Abelove seemed very positive on his way in - telling NewsChannel 13 that he was looking forward to telling the special grand jury everything he knows about the case.

It all stems from a very controversial officer-involved shooting in Troy that happened back in April 2016. Sergeant Randall French shot and killed 37-year-old Edson Thevenin during a traffic stop. Abelove presented the case to a county grand jury within five days of the deadly shooting.

Sergeant French was cleared of any wrong-doing. Abelove's handling of the case has raised a lot of questions.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office convened this special grand jury to investigate power that was given to him in an executive order signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to step into cases where an unarmed civilian was shot by police.

So far, the special grand jury heard testimony from many people with knowledge of the case.

Abelove has always maintained he's done nothing wrong. He didn't say much on his way out.

"I think it would be inappropriate for me to get into the substance of what was discussed. I would like to say that I'm very grateful for the opportunity that the grand jury gave me to come in and tell the truth about what occurred in this case and explain some of the decisions that were made in this case. Beyond that, I know it's still a pending case that they're handling, so it's probably inappropriate for me to discuss it any further than that," explained Abelove.

When asked if he signed a waiver of immunity, Abelove wouldn't answer, saying it was "inappropriate to talk about anything that occurred in the grand jury right now."

A signed waiver of immunity would mean that Abelove would be the target of the state attorney general's investigation, according to a legal source.

NewsChannel 13 saw Abelove go into the grand jury with his attorney – also a sign he is a target of the investigation. However, he didn't say anything about that.

Trust NewsChannel 13 to stay on top of this story. We will bring you updates on and our future newscasts.


WNYT Staff

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