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Former Rensselaer DA Acquitted On Charges Stemming From Police Shooting

Former Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove
Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove
Former Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove

Former Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove has been acquitted of all charges stemming from his handling of a fatal Troy Police shooting in 2016. 

The New York State Attorney General's office had claimed Abelove rushed the case before a grand jury – which cleared Sergeant Randall French of wrongdoing in the death of Edson Thevenin. Abelove, a Republican who was elected in 2014 and served until 2018, also faced a perjury charge for allegedly lying about a separate police shooting. Abelove defended his performance throughout the trial, saying he believed French’s actions during the traffic stop and resulting shooting were justified.

The shooting has been the subject of conflicting investigations conducted by the Troy Police Department and the city. Thevenin’s family has sued the city. French died of COVID-19 earlier this year.

Demonstrators gathered outside the Rensselaer County Courthouse in downtown Troy during the trial, calling for justice for Thevenin.

Jim is WAMC’s Associate News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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