Lawyer calling to have DA removed from Troy officer-involved shooting case

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The lawyer of a suspect who was shot in Troy is now asking the district attorney to step down.

A two page letter calls for Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove to step away from the Dahmeek McDonald shooting investigation. The letter was written by McDonald’s attorney who says there’s no way Abelove can fairly investigate this case.

“My question is do the people of Troy think that Abelove, is he going to be impartial to the investigation where he himself is being questioned,” Gertha Depas, Mother of Edson Thevenin, said.

Depas says she’s happy that DA Abelove has been asked by Attorney Mark Mishler, to recuse himself from the investigation into the recent officer involved shooting of McDonald who was shot and injured by a Troy Police officer during a traffic stop.

Thevenin was shot and killed by a Troy Police Officer last April after police say he fled a traffic stop and pinned an officer with his vehicle. Depas says Abelove, who is currently being investigated by the attorney general’s office for his handling of her son’s case, should not have anything to do with the McDonald investigation.

“He’s investigating his own people. They belong to him. They’re under one umbrella so is he going to be impartial.”

In this letter to Abelove, Mishler says “The Attorney General’s Office has stated that you acted beyond your legal powers, that you presented the Thevenin case to a grand jury when you did not have the authority to do so, and that you engaged in a ‘rush to judgment.'”

In a statement to News10 today Abelove said:

“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.'”

Mishler is asking for the AG’s office to enact Governor Cuomo’s executive order and assign a special prosecutor to the case. The AG’s office had no comment. The office would not investigate the McDonald case because the order states it has to be a death, and McDonald was injured not killed.

The AG’s investigations into Thevenin’s death and into Abelove’s handling of the case are still open.

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden had no comment and a call to Troy Police Chief John Tedesco was not returned on Tuesday.

Read the letter.

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