An investigation by the Troy Police Inspectional Services Bureau into the death of Edson Thevenin found the sergeant involved gave false information.
A report conducted by the I.S.B. claims Sergeant Randall French illegally crashed Thevenin's car, causing it to hit the concrete barrier on the Collar City Bridge. The April 2016 incident started as a D.W.I. stop.
The investigation was done by Troy Captain Joseph Centanni. He says French didn't tell the I.S.B. he caused the crash.
It was first reported by the Times Union.
The report goes on to claim French's testimony is refuted by Captain Matthew Montanino, who was also pursuing Thevenin in that chase.
According to the investigation, French said before leaving his police car, Montanino was at Thevenin's driver-side window with his gun pointed at him. But Montanino claimed he didn't draw his gun until French started shooting.
French says he started firing his gun after Thevenin's car pinned him. However, the report claims French intentionally placed himself in the direct path of Thevenin's car.
According to the report, Thevenin was hit seven times, including a shot to the collarbone that killed him. He also had a blood alcohol content of .19.
Centanni's report drew these conclusions after speaking with several officers, witnesses on scene that morning, and forensic evidence. That includes meeting with French and Montanino multiple times.
Matthew Tully, Centanni's lawyer, released a statement on Tuesday asking for the attorney general and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division to review Centanni's report.
"Captain Centanni is a principled leader who conducted one of the most complex internal affairs investigations in the history of the Troy Police Department," said Tully in his statement. "I’m disappointed that instead of accepting responsibility for his failure to turn over the ISB Report during discovery, Mayor Madden via the city attorney has chosen to disparage Centanni and challenge the findings, which were extensively and carefully investigated. My client will continue to defend the integrity of this report and not engage in the City’s unethical rhetoric. Captain Centanni’s report speaks for itself and he should be commended for his work, not condemned for it."
"An independent, third-party review conducted by an experienced legal expert found that the subject Internal Services Bureau (ISB) report was fundamentally flawed and inconsistent with the facts of this case," said James Caruso, Corporation Counsel for the city of Troy, in a statement Monday night. "Further, this professional analysis concluded that the findings and recommendations contained in the ISB report were contradictory to the findings of the experts for both the plaintiff and defense, as well as the findings of the office of the New York state attorney general. The City will continue to abide by the established legal process and has no further comment at this time.”
French was cleared by a Rensselaer County Grand Jury. But former District Attorney Joel Abelove was indicted for his handling of the case.
“The Department leadership conducted a thorough review of the ISB report and other relevant information," said Troy Police Chief Brian Owens in a statement released Tuesdya. "This review revealed concerns which made it necessary to seek an outside legal expert to conduct an independent analysis of the ISB’s findings. In accordance with New York State law, police departments are prohibited from releasing internal affairs or personnel materials. The statement issued from the city’s corporation counsel affirms the position of the department in regard to this matter.”