Community calls for change after officer-involved shootings in Troy

Edson Thevenin was shot and killed by a Troy officer in April 2016 (L). Dahmeek McDonald was unarmed when he was shot by Troy police in August 2017 (R).

TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Troy police, the Troy mayor, and the Rensselaer County district attorney are under fire by their community about the way they’ve handled officer involved shootings.

“If things don’t change, we’re heading towards another world war,” Messiah Cooper said.

Cooper is outraged and concerned that his family won’t get justice in the officer involved shooting that injured his nephew, Dahmeek McDonald.

“Do I think there’s going to be justice in my nephew’s case?” he asked. “Not the justice I want.”

The New York Attorney General’s Office released a report on Tuesday on the April 2016 fatal shooting of Edson Thevenin. The report slammed the Troy Police Department for an incomplete investigation and accepting a false account from the sergeant who fired his weapon.

Because of an immunity waiver, that sergeant won’t face criminal charges – something that’s hard for Cooper to accept.

“We don’t want that police officer in our neighborhood,” Cooper said. “We don’t want the one that shot my nephew in our neighborhoods.”

RELATED: Read the AG’S full report.

What’s more worrying to Anastasia Robertson was Troy Mayor Patrick Madden defending the police department. In a statement, Madden said the AG’s report unfairly put Troy police in a negative light.

“Accept the fact we did something wrong and let’s fix the problem,” she said. “We can’t always be 100 percent right all the time and have the sun shining on us.”

“Every single Troy police officer knows for sure that whatever they do the department will have their back,” McDonald’s attorney Mark Mishler said.

After what happened with Thevenin, Mishler wants McDonald’s case handed over to the attorney general’s office. Mishler believes that’s the only way they can seek justice. He and others also want city leaders, specifically the mayor, to step up and act on behalf of the community so the shooting incidents don’t happen again.

“Step away from the position of being mayor if you cannot govern as such,” Robertson said.

The attorney general’s office recommended the Troy Police Department implement body cameras to police and dashboard cameras to cruisers. The people of Troy are requesting a functional civilian review board.

In response to the protest, the mayor said he supports the public’s right to voice their opinions on issues in the community. He issued a statement on Thursday:

Freedom of speech and respectful conversation are important parts of a functioning and open democracy. The City of Troy fully supports the public’s right to gather peacefully and express their opinions on issues involving our community.

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