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NY AG Clears Schenectady Officers Of Wrongdoing In 2020 Fatal Shooting

An image of the New York Attorney General's report
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New York Attorney General Letitia James has cleared members of the Schenectady Police Department of wrongdoing in the March 2020 shooting death of Michael Wallace. The Democrat’s office says in the early hours of March 24, Wallace called 911 and during the call it was clear he was experiencing a mental health issue. After officers responded and following assurances from Wallace and his fiancé that he was OK, officers left.

Three hours later, a security guard at Wallace’s apartment complex made an emergency call saying Wallace had pulled a gun on an apartment employee. When Schenectady officers arrived, they kicked the door to Wallace’s apartment and announced their presence. When the door swung open and Wallace appeared to be holding a pistol aimed at police, officers opened fire. Wallace was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. It was later determined Wallace had a pellet pistol.

The AG’s office says because it was reasonable for the officers to believe deadly force was necessary to defend themselves or other officers from what they believed to be the use or imminent use of deadly force by Wallace, criminal charges could not be pursued against any officer.

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant 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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