Vigil held for man who died in police custody

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Nine months after a man died in police custody, his family and the community is still looking for answers.

Saturday night more than 100 people marched from the First United Methodist Church to the Schenectady Police Department, some even traveling from New York City including Andrew Kearse’s wife.

“He didn’t call the ambulance, he didn’t do anything,” said Angelique Negroni-Kearse, Andrew’s wife.

It was last may (2017), when a Schenectady Police officer was trying to pull over Andrew Kearse for a traffic violation and Kearse led police on a short foot chase.

They caught him and on the drive to the station they say Kearse complained he felt dizzy and was having trouble breathing.

Upon arrival, he was found unresponsive before being pronounced dead at the hospital.

His wife is still heartbroken over the death of her husband.

Negroni-Kearse told NEWS10 ABC she just saw the dash-cam video from that day last month, as it was provided by the Attorney General’s office.

She said it shows her husband pleading for help and not getting any. Additionally, she says in it you can also see that it took several minutes for paramedics to arrive.

“What I saw on him was death, literally screaming for help,” Negroni-Kearse said. “He’s saying please, I cannot breathe. I feel dizzy. I’m feeling numb.”

She claims not once did an officer give him the medical attention he needed, something she and others call inhumane.

Now she and the Schenectady community are still seeking answers as NYS Police and the Attorney General’s office handle the investigation.

“We are talking about human beings,” said Hawk Newsome, Black Lives Matter of Greater NY President.

Schenectady Police Chief, Eric Clifford released a statement saying he supports the right to peacefully protest.

Also the Attorney General’s office said the investigation is ongoing, but they wouldn’t say how much longer it will take.

“He killed a man. His actions killed a man,” Newsome said.

“That police officer was not a medical professional. He could not determine whether or not Andrew was faking,” said Nupol Kiazolu, a member of Black Lives Matter of Greater NY.

They demanded answers from leaders and that the officer with Kearse at the time of of his death come forward.

“We’ve been patient and we’ve waited long enough,” said Horace Sanders of Mt. Olivet Missionary Baptist.

But as they continue to wait, Negroni-Kearse won’t be able to get that image of her husband out of her head.

She said back in November she filed court papers warning she plans to sue the city for $25 million after what happened.


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