Agencies: Troy Police Department - New York
Last updated: 12 days ago
Police shot and killed Thevenin when he drove his car toward an officer, trapping the officer between his car and the officer's, according to authorities. The officer began pursuing Thevenin after a traffic stop during which Thevenin allegedly tried to run over the officer before driving away.
The interview was conducted by officials from the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as he seeks to take control of the investigation under an executive order issued last year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The governor's order gives Schneiderman the authority to intervene in cases in which unarmed civilians are killed by police. Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove, who has criticized the governor's order, presented the case before a county grand jury that cleared the officer of wrongdoing five days after the shooting, while the investigation was ongoing.
Schneiderman's office responded by filing a lawsuit against Abelove last week accusing him of undermining the attorney general's authority. The litigation seeks a court order annulling the grand jury's decision and affirming the jurisdiction that Schneiderman said he has to take over the case.
After the lawsuit was filed, the Times Union reported that two civilian witnesses, including the Cohoes man, were not subpoenaed by Abelove's office and did not testify in front of the grand jury that cleared the officer.
Both of the civilian witnesses told investigators they did not think it was necessary for the officer, Sgt. Randall French, who fired eight rounds through Thevenin's windshield, to use his weapon, according to law enforcement sources and a person briefed on the case.
On May 24, 2016, it was reported that the family of Thevenin had filed a wrongful-death claim against the city of Troy and Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel E. Abelove, whose handling of the case is being examined by the state attorney general's office.
A New York State grand jury indicted Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel E. Abelove on charges of official misconduct and perjury on Friday afternoon December 1, 2017. The indictment stems from Abelove’s concealment of evidence about the shooting of Thevenin, and allegations that Abelove lied during a subsequent investigation. According to the indictment, Abelove repeatedly interfered with Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s efforts to investigate the killing of 37-year-old Thevenin, who was shot eight times by police sergeant Randall French following a traffic stop gone awry.