Schenectady woman settles police lawsuit over husband’s death for $1.5 million

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A Schenectady woman, whose husband was shot and killed by a city police detective, will get $1.5 million.

Chrystal Scism has settled her federal civil rights lawsuit in the 2016 death of her husband Joshua Scism.

Scism’s attorney argued detective Brett Ferris shot her husband when he walked into the middle of a drug sting.

According to court testimony, Scism approached undercover officers who were in an unmarked car and flashed a gun, allegedly thinking they were drug dealers.

The defense claimed detective Ferris feared for his life, and fired his gun.

Attorney Andrew Finkelstein says he’s not happy about the fact Ferris did not admit wrongdoing and is still on the job, but his client needed closure.

“Actions rewarded will be repeated, and he was rewarded for – and not being held accountable for – taking somebody else’s life,” said Finkelstein. “It troubles me that this is an individual who now is in our community, carrying a gun and a badge, and acted in the manner that he did.”

NewsChannel 13 was unable to reach Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford Monday, but he tells the Times Union – which first reported the settlement story – the settlement was a “business decision” and that he stands behind Ferris.