Attorney General Says Rensselaer County DA Ignored Notices in Police-Involved Shooting

TROY, N.Y. -- In paperwork filed Wednesday, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove "flagrantly violated" an executive action put in place a year ago by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

On April 17, Troy police say Sergeant Randy French shot and killed Edson Thevenin after he fled from police, who were trying to pull him over because they believe he was driving while intoxicated. Once police boxed him in, authorities say he used his car to pin one of the officers against his vehicle.

Almost a week later, a grand jury declined to indict French in the shooting. That's where Schneiderman says Abelove violated an executive order, which allows Schneiderman's office to investigate police-involved shootings where there is a question as to whether a person was armed and dangerous at the time of his or her death.

In the lawsuit, Schneiderman says Abelove never told his office he was bringing the case to a grand jury, alleging one of his assistants contacted Abelove at least three times, both orally and in writing stating the attorney general had questions as to whether Thevenin was armed and dangerous. The attorney general's filing seeks a court order for Abelove to turn over all files and evidence related to the case.

TWC News has reached out to Abelove's office for comment; at last check, his office says the district attorney is still reviewing the lawsuit.

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