Troy Mayor Discusses Death Of 11-Year-Old Ayshawn Davis | WAMC

Troy Mayor Discusses Death Of 11-Year-Old Ayshawn Davis

Sep 17, 2020

Troy Mayor Patrick Madden
Credit Lucas Willard / WAMC

The City of Troy is reeling from the shooting death of 11-year-old Ayshawn Davis Sunday night. So far, authorities have yet to identify a suspect or suspects in the killing — the 12th homicide the Collar City has experienced this year, as violence has increased across the Capital Region during a pandemic and economic downturn. 

WAMC's Southern Adirondack Bureau Chief Lucas Willard spoke with Troy Mayor Patrick Madden today about Ayshawn's death. The Democrat said there are "no words" to describe the horror the city is experiencing this week. 

Mayor Patrick Madden:  

He was a young man that touched a lot of lives in a short year and his family's grief and the community's grief is just,..it's maxed out right now. It's unimaginable.

Lucas Willard:  

Have you met with Ayshawn's family?

Mayor Patrick Madden:

I did. Yes. I communicated with them a couple of times. And I waited for a point where they were comfortable and they invited me up. I wasn't going to impose myself in their lives, but when they were ready, we got together. It was two nights ago. So what's this, Thursday? So it was Tuesday evening. I went up and met the family and Ayshawn's sister and brothers. And there's quite a family there. There's, if I have this correctly, there's a great grandmother, his grandmother, his mother, though there's a number of generations. I think there are five generations in that household.

Lucas Willard: 

Mayor, there's been 12 homicides in Troy this year. Is there anything that's being done differently with regards to law enforcement or do you have any ideas of something that needs to happen to prevent any more deaths?

Mayor Patrick Madden:  

Well, you know, this is a this is a troubling phenomenon and we don't know what the cause of this is. It's not unique to Troy, I don't think there's a an adequate or a singular explanation for what we're seeing. I suspect that the reasons are fairly complex. I've spoken with other mayor's I've been reading and researching. I don't find an answer, you know, some have blamed it on COVID shutdowns, some on bail reform, some on increasing reliance on drugs, some on boredom, but you know, there isn't data that that presents a single cause. But we do you know, we do have easy gun availability in this country and we have other, you know, some other underlying condition that just created an explosive year. So unfortunately, you know, at the municipal level where we're left with cleaning up this violence and trying to assuage fears in our community, our police force is working not only on this homicide but the others as well that have occurred this year. We are not bound. Our police department is not bound by their budget. They are authorized come in to expand as much as they need to in overtime to continue researching and investigating these horrific crimes. You know...there's prevention, which is very difficult when you don't know what's causing it. And then there is investigation, which is where most of our resources are going right now. But we are working with our partners in law enforcement, in the DEA, and the FBI, and the ATF and other federal agencies. We're in close communication with the Albany Police Department, the sheriff's departments in Albany and Rensselaer County, the Watervliert Police Department. Everybody is on this and everybody is devoting every resource they can to it.

Lucas Willard  

Yesterday the the FBI announced a $10,000 reward for any information that leads to an arrest and do you think that an FBI investigation into this is going to help bring information forward?

Mayor Patrick Madden:  

I do hope it does. We work regularly with the FBI and the resources they can bring to the table are significantly more than we might have at our disposal in complex cases, and certainly the reward is hopefully enticing to somebody. But I'm always heartened when they join us in an investigation. So I look forward to working with them on this one I know our department has developed a close working relationship with them over the past couple of years.

Lucas Willard:  

How does the city of Troy improve communication between the public and police and getting any sort of information that would lead to an arrest here?

Mayor Patrick Madden:  

Well, we work through our media channels, obviously our social media channels. We'll put out information where the we will be distributing flyers over the next couple of days announcing the FBI's $10,000 reward. Because some people aren't on social media, some people don't listen to the radio or watch TV, or read the news. So we're actually going to be walking the streets getting information out to people, how they might share information with us. And the availability  of the award that is out there for information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.

Lucas Willard:

Is there a pattern of Troy residents refusing to cooperate with police?

Mayor Patrick Madden:  

I think that, again, that's not unique to Troy. I think there are. We see that often, we are not seeing that. In this case, though, I do want to highlight that. The people who were on the scene have been cooperative with the police as best they can. But it is not uncommon in some of the other shootings we've witnessed this year to have people who are not cooperative, and that's a real tragedy, because public safety depends on a partnership between the community and the police and if the community isn't sharing information that they have it makes the job very difficult for any police department. So if you're out there and you have information, we would urge you, we would implore you to contact the police department. We can't sit around and accept this as normal. If we have information about this shooting, any other shooting, not sharing that information with the authorities is tacitly saying that, "This is okay. This is the world I choose to live in." And I don't think anybody wants that world because we don't know where the next bullet is going to come from and where it's going to strike.

Lucas Willard: 

As the city council discusses this issue, what sort of actions do you think that the city can take legislatively to prevent or address the violence that's being experienced in the city of Troy?

Mayor Patrick Madden:  

I think it's important for the City Council to support the work and the efforts of the police department and I don't say that in a way that is suggesting  that they don't. But the police department is under enormous stress right now, with these, with this homicide and with the others that preceded it. As I indicated we are... this is going to break our budget,  these investigations will find a way to pay for it. And I'm sure the city council will cooperate in any efforts to make sure whatever resources it takes are, are available to the police department to continue this work.

Lucas Willard:  

Is there a need for community dialogue right now? And will your office be fostering any discussion to address the violence that's been seen in Troy?

Mayor Patrick Madden:  

Yes, we're in constant dialogue with neighborhood groups about violence, about all sorts of other issues that are challenging our community. So we will continue doing that. It has been more difficult this year with COVID because of the difficulty of getting together physically. But there are some groups who we're still meeting with on a bi-weekly basis, if not more frequently. We'll continue that and we will bring players to the table who might have the ability to create change in our communities.