Audio released after man dies in police custody

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Audio from police dash-cam video was just released from the moments before a man died in Schenectady Police custody last year.

BuzzFeed News sharing the nine-minute clip of part of the incident, just a few days after a protest here over the weekend.

Andrew Kearse’s wife, Angelique Negroni-Kearse tells News10 ABC’s Lauren Linder she recorded the audio when the Attorney General’s Office showed her the dash-cam video last month.

In it 36-year-old Kearse is pleading for his life on the ride to the Schenectady Police station May 11, 2017, after having been arrested for fleeing from a traffic stop.

“I can’t breathe, please,” Kearse told an officer in the car.

In the audio recording, Negroni-Kearse reacted to what she’s seeing while she watched the dash-cam video for the first time.

“He’s in pain, look you see his face? His eyes?” Negroni-Kearse said.

You can hear Kearse breathing heavily throughout it.

“Medic,” he said. “Is it hot? Probably shouldn’t run then son,” the officer responded.

And you hear Kearse begging an officer for help multiple times.

“Please,” he said. “What do you want?” the officer said. “Please come here,” Kearse adds.” “No what?” the officer responded.” “I really can’t breathe officer,” Kearse said.

He keeps asking until the audio clip stops.

“I really feel like I’m gonna throw up,” Kearse said. “Don’t throw up in my car,” the officer responded.

Negroni-Kearse said the video continues with her husband having a heart attack and dying one minute before arriving at the police department, and with an officer leaning on the cruiser crying. She said no one did that officer offer Kearse any medical assistance.

“Do your job. You didn’t protect nor did you serve,” Negroni-Kearse said in a phone interview.

While she can’t go back in time and bring her husband back, she hopes to get justice.

“I want him to be indicted. I want him to be prosecuted. I want him to go to jail,” Negroni-Kearse said.

Negroni-Kearse’s attorney told News10 ABC’s Lauren Linder the AG will be making a decision on whether the case will be brought to a grand jury soon.

The Attorney General’s Office released the following statement to News10 ABC regarding the investigation:

“Our investigation into Mr. Kearse’s death is ongoing and has involved a series of investigative steps including extensive medical testing and analysis (including by an independent cardiologist), interviews with multiple witnesses, and audio and video enhancement. As in all cases investigated by our Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit, we are committed to conducting an independent, comprehensive, and fair investigation to provide Mr. Kearse’s family and the community with the answers they deserve.”


Schenectady Police issued this statement on Thursday:

            “Over the past week, several media outlets have reported on and released selective information, obtained from persons in contact with the NYS Attorney General’s Office, despite their ongoing investigation.  The Schenectady Police Department has supported a full, reasoned, and independent investigation of the incident in question.  We immediately turned the investigation over to the NYS Police (May 11, 2017) and have cooperated fully with them, as well as the NYS Attorney General’s Office since the time they decided to take over the investigation (May 31, 2017).  During both investigations, we have respected the process and both agencies by not interfering or commenting.  The release of partial evidence or selected information before a decision is made is unusual and unfortunate.  There are many facts about this case that have not been disclosed, and until the Attorney General’s Office completes their probe, it would not be fair to comment further.”

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