Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is using an executive order issued by Governor Cuomo to conduct a witch hunt over an officer-involved shooting in upstate New York.
In mid-April, Edson Thevenin, a Watervliet man who had been pulled over for a suspected DWI (it would have been his second), attempted to flee police not once, but twice. He first attempted to run a police officer over in an effort to escape. When that failed, he pinned an officer by his legs between his vehicle and a police vehicle.
The officer, likely in pain from having a vehicle rammed into his legs, shot the suspect dead through his windshield.
But that’s not what stands out to Schneiderman and the media. It’s not a repeat drunk driver fleeing and trying to run down law enforcement – it’s the fact that Thevenin was a black man, shot by a white police officer.
Plain and simple.
The Times Union reported:
Troy police said the incident began at 3:15 a.m. when an officer tried to pull over a vehicle on Sixth Avenue between Hutton and Hoosick streets. Police said the driver attempted to strike the officer with his vehicle and fled. The officer, who the Times Union learned is Sgt. Randy French, pursued the suspect, who attempted to make a U-turn on the Collar City bridge and struck a barrier.
The officer attempted to block the suspect in with his car and got out of the vehicle, with another officer arriving to block the suspect from the rear, police said.
The suspect then hit the police car behind him, according to officers, and drove forward and allegedly pinned French against his police vehicle. Troy police said that is when the officer shot through the windshield at the suspect.
The amateur reporters at the Times Union however, have been consistently identifying the man as being “unarmed,” despite well-known concepts such as vehicular assault, vehicular manslaughter, and vehicular homicide.
The editorial staff even wrote a column encouraging Schneiderman to interject in the case.
“This case begs for an investigation by Mr. Schneiderman,” the TU wrote. “The governor’s order last year was intended to make probes of the deaths of unarmed civilians by police as transparent as possible to restore public confidence that they are handled in a fair and just manner.”
Schneiderman followed the suggestion, eagerly jumping on any chance to villify law enforcement as racist.
Via the Wall Street Journal:
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued an upstate district attorney Wednesday, alleging he violated a state executive order in his investigation of a police officer’s fatal shooting of a civilian.
The lawsuit asks a state court in Albany to block Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove from investigating or prosecuting matters related to the death of Edson Thevenin, who was shot and killed April 17 by a Troy, N.Y., police officer.
It also asks the court to compel Mr. Abelove to hand over information related to Mr. Thevenin’s death to Mr. Schneiderman’s office.
“District Attorney Abelove’s actions not only violate the law, but directly undermine the public’s confidence in law enforcement,” Mr. Schneiderman, a Democrat, said in a statement.
Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order last year requiring the attorney general to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute cases in which unarmed civilians are killed by law-enforcement officers, including cases in which it is unclear whether the civilian was armed.
Schneiderman’s main issue seems to be the fact that Abelove convened a grand jury, which immediately cleared the police officer of any wrongdoing in the shooting death.
In other words, the two basic premises behind this witch hunt – that the suspect was unarmed AND that he didn’t receive a fair and just investigation, are completely bogus.
See, Abelove’s handling of the case by presenting it to a grand jury didn’t give the AG, New York’s governor-in-waiting, enough time to politicize and racialize the incident. That’s the problem.
Some residents took to social media and pointed out the obvious for Schneiderman. One, that Thevenin was indeed armed, and two, that the entire lawsuit is aimed at starting a race issue.
Vito Ciccarelli wrote on a local Facebook page that “the guy was armed– with a car for Gods sake.”
Another resident, John Nedoroscik Sr., stated that the attorney general is clearly “just another politician trying to start a racial war.”
Thomas A. Reppetto, past president of the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City and a former commander of detectives in the Chicago PD, correctly predicted that Cuomo’s executive order would eventually grant Schneiderman the authority to conduct witch hunts against the police.
Reppetto wrote, “unless Schneiderman is willing to ignore the law and bring in an indictment that he knows will never stand up, much less result in a conviction, the outcomes of his investigations are bound to be virtually the same as” those determined by district attorney’s such as Abelove.
Looks like he is indeed “willing to ignore the law” at the expense of our police officers.