New York Attorney General Suing Rensselaer County DA

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is suing Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove over a fatal officer-involved shooting in Troy.

Schneiderman claims Abelove disregarded an executive order that gives the attorney general jurisdiction to investigate cases where civilians are killed during interactions with police.

"It is very unusual for an attorney general to sue a district attorney and allege that the DA has not followed the law," said defense attorney Paul DerOhanessian. 

Schneiderman is calling on Abelove to turn over his case file in the death of Edson Thevenin, who was fatally shot by a Troy police officer on April 17. Police there say Thevenin hit a police officer during a traffic stop, pinning him between two cars. He was then shot and killed.

Three days later, Abelove's office announced a grand jury cleared the officer involved in that shooting, Sergeant Randy French.

"So while the officer couldn't be charged again, there's still the potential to investigate and look at the conduct and activities if the attorney general is successful in saying 'I do have the authority,' " said DerOhannesian. 

Abelove tells Time Warner Cable News he is not going to comment at this time. But Schneiderman released a statement that reads in part, "District Attorney 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 district attorneys throughout the state more difficult."

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