Albany County DA declines prosecution of Ellazar Williams

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Albany County District Attorney David Soares announced that the Office of the Albany County District Attorney will decline to prosecute the case against 19-year-old Ellazar Williams.

DA Soares issued the following statement regarding the decision not to prosecute Williams:

“It is my job as District Attorney to conduct a thorough and independent investigation into charged crimes separate from an initial police investigation. This matter was fully and thoroughly investigated by my staff, with the ultimate conclusion that while there may be a credible case to be made, there is nothing to be gained. Punishment of Mr. Williams is not in anyone’s best interest.”

Last month, a grand jury returned a no bill in the officer-involved shooting involving Williams.

Police say Albany Police Detective James Olsen Olsen shot Williams near Elk Street on August 20th. Williams is now paralyzed from the chest down.

In September, the Albany Police Department cleared Olsen of any wrongdoing in the shooting.

Photos show the detectives attempting to stop Williams when they spot him matching the description given in the original 911 call. The video tracks the detectives chasing him to a courtyard behind a school on Elk Street where the shooting happened moments later.

Commander Basil says it’s in that courtyard where Williams fell, exposing a 13-inch hunting knife and then picked it up, prompting the detective to fire.

Community leaders aren’t sure all the information from these short moments is available to analyze. They have been calling for answers throughout the investigation.

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