TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Troy City Council members have access to a confidential memo about the officer-involved shooting of Edson Thevenin that is reinforcing their feelings that the police department needs body cameras.
After Troy Police Chief Brian Owens reviewed the internal affairs report into the 2015 officer-involved shooting, he had concerns that made him feel it was necessary to seek help from an outside legal expert.
Councilman Anasha Cummings says that while he was curious about what the memo reveals from a citizen standpoint, he’s more focused on what that memo can teach legislators about how they can do better in the future.
“That’s making sure we have body cameras so that there’s less subjectivity,” Cummings told News10.
Councilman TJ Kennedy also read the memo, and he agrees. He adds that cameras should be put on the patrol cars and in public areas.
“We do believe that will protect the residents and the police officers better,” Kennedy told News10, “and hopefully prevent this from ever happening again.”
The City Council also wants to add a process that allows for civilian oversight. Cummings says that there used to be a Police Objective Review Board that looked at internal affairs reports, but that at this point, there is no such process beyond within the police department itself.
“We want the public to send in or provide names, or recommendations, on people who should sit on the police review board,” Kennedy said.
The council members could not tell News10 specific details of the memo, as it is being kept confidential from the public.
The secrecy of the memo was a cause of protest outside of Thursday night’s city council meeting. But Cummings says it’s his understanding that all internal affairs processes are, by requirement of state law, confidential.
Cummings says the memo “colors what the findings of the internal affairs report are.”
Kennedy says that although he feels they’re getting closer to knowing exactly what happened that night, they need to rely on the court process to make an ultimate decision.