ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In a packed courtroom Friday morning, Jordan Young, the man accused of attempting to assault an officer last year, has plead guilty.
“He was basically forced to choose standing up for what he feels is right and his life,” said Albany Assistant Public Defender, Rebekah Sokol.
In January of 2022, Young, who’s family and supporters say he suffers mental health issues and is diagnosed with schizophrenia, was shot in the stomach by an Albany police officer.
Police say Young held a knife to his own dog and then he approached an officer with a knife. Shortly thereafter, shots were fired.
The police worn body cam footage was released soon after the incident, throwing the city into turmoil.
“It raises concern because so many people in our community are faced with that problem that they’re stopped by police illegally and with no reason,” said Alice Green of the Center for Law and Justice.
Young was facing several felony charges including attempted aggravated assault on an officer which carries seven to 20 years if convicted.
In today’s agreement, Young pled to a lesser charge of menacing an officer, a felony that has a two-year sentence. But in this case, those two years are expected to be suspended when he is sentenced.
“I think this is fair and I think this allows both sides to come away with saying we feel like justice is served,” said Sokol.
Throughout the trial, advocates for Young felt that the criminal justice system never gave the father of two a fair shake.
“We’re not happy that the district attorney failed to recognize the mental health issue,” said Green.
As for Young’s attorney, she feels this is a step in the right direction when it comes to how the legal system deals with mental health.
“I really hope that this case is the beginning of change in the criminal justice system,” said Sokol.
NEWS10 has reached out to the district attorney’s office, and they have declined to comment until after the sentencing date which is scheduled for August 18.