AG report: No troopers fired at Dedrick James
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The New York Attorney General’s Office says it’s not pressing charges against police who were involved in a deadly shooting last September, according to a special investigation report released Friday.
Dedrick James was shot and killed with his own gun during a struggle with the fugitive task force.
The document for the completed investigation is 10 pages long and can be read here.
The Attorney General’s Office says it found the chain of evidence described by the U.S. Marshal is accurate and no charges will be filed.
The investigation concluded that 24-year-old Dedrick James died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest when members of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force attempted to arrest him at a home on Vinewood Place in Rochester last September.
The document states that ballistics testing and an autopsy showed that no troopers from the task force fired a shot from their own weapon.
The task force attempted to arrest James on an outstanding warrant for allegedly assaulting his young son.
The report says James ran into a bathroom when told he was under arrest. Officers followed him and tried to restrain him. During a “physical struggle” with task force members, the report says James pulled a loaded gun and pointed it at an investigator’s head. During the struggle to disarm him, the gun went off.
The report says one shot was fired from James’ gun, hitting and killing him.
The Attorney General says physical force from officers was justified, and the report concluded none of the officers present discharged their weapon.
The AG also says she urges task force agencies—including the Rochester Police Department and New York State Police—to outfit every officer with a body camera.
Community Leaders have questions
Community leaders have questions about the Attorney General’s findings in the death of Dedrick James during a struggle with police last fall. Some are raising eyebrows over the lack of body camera footage.
As News10NBC’s Stephanie Duprey found out, none of the officers involved were wearing the cameras.
“What concerns me is the fact that there was no body camera footage, none whatsoever,” Rev. Lewis Stewart said, president of United Christian Leadership Ministry of WNY.
Stewart says he’s been following this investigation since the day it happened. The AGs office says it found the chain of evidence described by the U.S. Marshal’s fugitive task force to be accurate.
Reverend Stewart disagrees.
“If you’re going to talk about trying to minimize mistrust between community and police, then you need footage to corroborate the story.”
Stewart says he had a meeting with the AGs office asking where body camera footage was. “They told me, well it was approved at the time, but they just didn’t have it,” Stewart said.
Stewart was asked if there was anything in the report he agreed with. “To be fair, they did ask him to come in twice and he refused to do so, and to be fair he did have a gun so the question is what was he doing with a gun? So I have to raise these questions. I have to balance. I have to be fair.”
We asked Stewart where his meeting with the AGs office ended, and he said it told him it would keep him in the loop with body camera developments.
The U.S. Marshal’s service said it prefers not to comment.