Contact: David Galin
ALBANY, NY – Mayor Kathy Sheehan has released the following statement regarding the release of body-worn camera footage of the use of force incident that occurred early Monday morning on New Scotland Avenue.
“After moving swiftly to advance its internal investigation, the Albany Police Department made public today the body camera footage from the two officers directly involved in Monday’s use of force incident. As Chief Hawkins stated on Monday, it is clear from the video that the use of deadly force in this incident was justified and consistent with APD’s use of force policy.
It is clear from the video that at approximately 1:15 am, the two officers observed an individual in the middle of New Scotland Avenue crouched next to a dog, and with what appeared to be a weapon in his hand. It is clear from the video the individual told the officers he had a knife. It is clear from the video the officers directed the individual to drop the knife multiple times while maintaining distance from, and also retreating from, the individual. It is clear from the video the officers had less than 60 seconds to attempt to de-escalate the situation before the individual charged at one of the officers while threatening them with a knife, a deadly weapon.
A family representative has stated that the individual from this incident has been diagnosed with mental illness. Albany Police Officers are trained to identify signs of mental illness and are also trained in de-escalation techniques. As Chief Hawkins shared today, APD has responded to nearly 9,000 calls for service involving emotionally disturbed persons since 2019 – many of those calls involving instances where the individual possessed a weapon. In several instances, officers have been injured – sometimes seriously – while utilizing de-escalation tactics gleaned from departmental trainings, and none of these instances resulted in the use of deadly force by a member of APD. The commitment of our officers responding to those in crisis and using de-escalation tactics is clear and impactful.
As the investigation into this incident continues, I echo Chief Hawkins’ commitment to transparency and cooperation with external agencies.