D.A. Schneiderman Files Suit Again D.A. Abelove

In Albany — Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has filed a suit to compel Rensselaer District Attorney Joel Abelove to comply with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order governing cases in which unarmed civilians are killed in interactions with the police. In a press release, Schneiderman said his interest relates to cases where there are significant questions as to whether the deceased person was armed and dangerous. He is specifically looking at the death of Edson Thevenin during an encounter with Troy police on Sunday, April 17th. The Attorney General’s suit seeks to bar D.A. Abelove from exercising jurisdiction to investigate the circumstances and to require the D.A. to surrender his case file. On the day Thevenin was shot by Troy police, representatives from the Attorney General’s office visited the scene of the incident and informed D.A. Abelove that more information was needed to determine whether the shooting did or did not fall within the Attorney General’s jurisdiction. The next day, D.A. Abelove publicly contradicted that message in an inaccurate statement to the Albany Times Union, saying, “it was relayed to me…that the attorney general…is not going to be claiming jurisdiction in this case.” In a subsequent conversation, D.A. Abelove assured the Attorney General’s office that he had been misquoted. Schneiderman said: “The Governor’s Executive Order was designed to restore public confidence in our criminal justice system. My office has worked collaboratively with D.A.’s across the state in pursuit of that goal, conducting fair, comprehensive, and independent investigations in every case within our jurisdiction. Unfortunately, as we’ve alleged today, D.A. Abelove’s actions not only violate the law, but directly undermine the public’s confidence in law enforcement, making the jobs of police officers and D.A.’s throughout the state more difficult.”

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