Defense: DA should step away from police-involved shooting investigation

TROY, N.Y. -- The attorney of Dahmeek McDonald is asking Rensselaer District Attorney Joel Abelove to recuse himself from the investigation into last week's shooting in Troy. Abelove, in response, issued a short statement asserting that district attorneys can handle these cases fairly.

McDonald, 22, was shot twice by police officers during a traffic stop. McDonald was wanted on a parole violation. It’s still unclear whether or not McDonald was armed.

During the rally and march that followed, a lot of Troy residents said they didn’t trust Abelove to investigate the case. That’s at least part of why Mark Mishler, McDonald’s attorney,sent a letter to Abelove urging him and his department to hand the case over to the state attorney general.

While citing the public’s distrust, Mishler also made note of the ongoing investigation into Abelove’s handling of a prior police-involved shooting. It’s alleged Abelove rushed that case to the grand jury.

In his letter to Abelove, Mishler wrote, in part:

“It is essential that there be a full, fair, impartial, independent and professional investigation of this incident. You and your office cannot conduct such an investigation.”

Mishler also says Abelove works too closely with the police department to conduct a fair investigation.

The Rensselaer County District Attorney's Office statement:

"While I am not able to comment on a pending investigation, I agree with DAASNY President and Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara, who stated in a Times Union article on August 19th his belief that District Attorneys can handle these types of cases 'fairly and dispose of them properly.'"

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