Federal lawsuit filed in Albany officer-involved shooting case


Ellazar Williams has filed a federal lawsuit against the Albany Police Department and the officer who opened fire on him.

The lawsuit states that Officer James Olsen used excessive force when he shot Williams in the back in August. 

“The allegation the police made, he got up, turned and ran towards the officer with a knife –I think that’s pretty clearly contradicted by the video,” said Williams’ attorney James Knox. 

Police were chasing Williams after receiving a 911 call. During the chase, Williams fell, exposing a large knife. Police said he picked it up, prompting the officer to fire two shots.

One of them hit Williams in the back, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.

“He’s going to be restricted to a wheel chair the rest of his life and requires ongoing, daily, care to meet his physical and medical needs, so the level of compensation needed is dramatic,” Knox said.

Olsen was cleared of any wrong-doing in September.

Albany Police Chief Eric Hawkins tells News10:

 “Immediately following the police involved shooting that occurred in August on Elk Street, the Albany Police Department conducted a thorough internal investigation. The work by the men and women in carrying out that investigation was done with diligence and I am satisfied with their findings. The Albany County District Attorney’s Office also conducted an investigation into the incident and presented the facts to the Grand Jury. I have the upmost respect for the judicial process and the decision returned by the Grand Jury. We are not at liberty to discuss any pending litigation.”

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