Schenectady Mayor concerned over investigation leading to controversial arrest

Karen Tararache
Updated: July 10, 2020 11:35 PM
Created: July 10, 2020 09:38 PM

SCHENECTADY - Patrol car video shows Yugeshwar Gaindarpersaud asking for paramedics after patrolman Brian Pommer used a knee to the neck hold in an attempt to arrest him on Monday.  

What led to the arrest was Gaindarpersaud's neighbor accusing him of slashing his front and back passenger tires after a long standing dispute.


Pommer: "You have footage, you said?"
Neighbor: "Well, I'm trying to get it from my neighbor, she says she has it on the camera from the back and you can see everything straight."

Evidence the neighbor says proves Gaindarpersaud committed the crime is never received or reviewed by patrolman Pommer based on his own body cam footage. 

Pommer: "We checked the neighbor's cameras and you slashed their tires."
Gaindarpersaud: "I slashed their tires?"

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said Friday he had concerns over the thoroughness of the preliminary investigation prior to the arrest being made.

Jill Knopka: "Were you resisting arrest?"

Gaindarpersaud: "Yeah, they charged me with resisting arrest but I need the evidence, that's what they charge me with."

Gaindarpersaud says he went to the backyard so he could get to his parents and even today told reporter, Jill Knopka they arrested the wrong guy and wants Pommer fired for almost killing him.

"Yeah, I don't think that's gonna happen here, but I don't want to comment on what the District Attorney is looking at. But as far as arresting the officer I don't see that right now from my thorough review of the case," Chief Eric Clifford said.

The chief added, "We made it pretty clear after George Floyd's death that a knee to the neck was not acceptable. What we did not see was the interchanging of using your knee to hold down somebody's head and clearly we see a parallel there and we put out the order that that is not to be happening but prior to this incident on Monday, it was within policy to interchange that if needed."


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