TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A traffic stop gone wrong left one man dead and a Troy Police officer injured.
Police said Sgt. French then opened fire, which killed Thevenin.
“At the conclusion of the pursuit, the subject was ordered repeatedly to stop,” Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said. “Did not do so, and in defense of himself, Sgt. French discharged his weapon.”
More officers responded to help move the suspect’s car and free the officer. Thevenin was initially stopped for driving while intoxicated, according to police.
“It would appear that the actions of Sgt. French are certainly in line with the law department policy and his training,” Tedesco said. “We are fully supporting the sergeant and his actions.”
But Thevenin’s pastor Tre Staton of Empire Christian Center said the family has many unanswered questions.
“He’s a man that goes to church every Sunday,” Pastor Tre Staton of the Empire Christian Center said. “He served in church. He’s on the usher team, and he works. He’s got a big smile. Big heart. The police haven’t been very helpful towards the family, I don’t think. The family still hasn’t seen Edson, which is quite disturbing.”
“I asked his brother who he was with earlier,” he continued. “I said, you know, ‘Was Edson drinking or anything?’ He said, ‘Well, Edson doesn’t drink.’”
Staton said cameras would be helpful, but Troy police said there isn’t any dash camera video.
“There are cameras at that intersection, but they are not up and functional at this time,” Tedesco said.
Thevenin’s friend Celinda Okwuosa was in disbelief over learning of his death.
“I think we definitely need to have cameras because, you know, what it is? It’s the police word against the dead, and the dead can’t speak.”
Sgt. French suffered a non-life threatening injury. He has been released from the hospital.
Police are awaiting an autopsy report. The Rensselaer County District Attorney’s office will be investigating.