Albany to pay $3 million to settle civil rights case by man shot by police

Albany man paralyzed in shooting accused of selling gun to minor

An Albany man paralyzed in a police shooting in 2018 is now facing charges, after a teenager killed himself with a gun.

The city of Albany has reached a $3 million settlement with the man who sued police after he was paralyzed in an officer-involved shooting in 2018.

Ellazar Williams had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court alleging violations of his civil rights. He was paralyzed after being shot by police. His attorneys had argued that he was running away from police.

A grand jury had cleared police of any wrongdoing, but Williams sued.

Without admitting wrongdoing, the city said it reached an agreement in which it will pay $750,000 each year for four years. The city will not have to borrow the money. It will come from the general fund.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan and Police Chief Eric Hawkins released a joint statement on the settlement. 

“On August 20, 2018, Jay Olsen, Lawrence Heid, and Chris Cornell did exactly what we trained them to do – respond to a 911 call for an individual with a gun – and we commend them for their service to our city,” they said.

“We hope both the grand jury’s decision in 2018 clearing Detective Olsen of any criminal wrongdoing and the withdrawal of this civil rights case brings these three decorated law enforcement officials, their families, and the Albany Police Department as a whole the closure necessary to move beyond defending their actions on that day,” the statement went on to say.

Williams admitted last month to giving a teen a gun who then died from an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound on Jan. 26. He is expected to be sentenced to 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison on July 12.