Second witness claims to have seen fatal officer-involved shooting in Troy

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A source familiar with the investigation of the April fatal police-involved shooting in Troy said a second witness has come forward.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman spoke out publicly for the first time on Monday about the death of Edson Thevenin. On Sunday, April 17, Thevenin was shot and killed by a Troy police officer following a traffic stop.

Schneiderman said his office will be pursuing the investigation aggressively.

“We’re talking to any witnesses that come forward, and we encourage anyone else with information relating to this matter to come forward to our office,” he said.

The first witness came forward on Friday and showed NEWS10 ABC reporter Lindsay Nielsen cell phone video they took of the incident. That witness said they were never subpoenaed to testify in the grand jury that acquitted Troy Sgt. Randall French.

Schneiderman said he will be in court on Friday regarding the lawsuit against Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove.

The attorney general said Abelove disregarded his request for more information on the case. Schneiderman also claims Abelove wrongfully put the case to a grand jury before his office was able to determine if an outside investigation was needed.

“I’m confident that the court will insist that he turn over the files,” Schneiderman said. “Our jurisdiction under the executive order cannot be clearer.”

Schneiderman is accusing Abelove of directly violating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive order. Cuomo issued an amendment to the previous executive order to give Schneiderman the authority to investigate and determine whether Sgt. French was at fault or not.

“Some circumstances under our criminal law can treat an automobile as a weapon,” Schneiderman said. “Part of the executive order, which is very explicit at this point, is that I have jurisdiction as a special prosecutor to supersede a district attorney when a law enforcement officer kills someone who is armed or there is a serious question whether or not they were armed. That sentence could not be clearer and it’s one of the things we’re seeking to determine.”

Shortly after the incident, Troy Police Chief John Tedesco told NEWS10 the AG’s office would not be taking over the case because it was determined that Thevenin’s vehicle was used as a dangerous weapon in the incident. Schneiderman, however, said that has yet to be determined.

“The people in Troy, the family and the police, and everyone have a right to understand that this was done thoroughly and properly, and we’re going to make sure that we get to the right results and do it as transparently as possible,” Schneiderman said.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden released the following statement regarding Schneiderman’s investigation:

“The Attorney General’s office can expect the full cooperation from the City of Troy in their investigation. We are fully supportive of a thorough and objective review by the Attorney General of the incident which occurred on April 17th. We are mindful of the trauma this incident has caused to the Thevenin family and Officer French, and we hope that the investigation and reporting on this case will also remain mindful of those sensitivities.”

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