Widow of Andrew Kearse Who Died in Schenectady Police Custody Wants Police Prosecuted


SCHENECTADY – More than three months after her husband died in police custody, Angelique Negroni-Kearse still wonders why it happened.

And she wants to know who the officers are involved in his case are and why they’re still on the street.

Andrew Kearse died after a May 11 foot chase with police. He was unarmed when he ran from police who said they tried to stop him for driving erratically. The circumstances of Kearse’s death remain the focus of a state investigation.

“I don’t mind about the investigations, they can do their thorough investigation for justice for my husband. What I’m mad about is the fact that I do not know who the officers are that did this to my husband,”Negroni-Kearse said in a phone call from her Bronx home.

“I am adamant about this. Why are they still on the job?”

It will be some time before Negroni-Kearse gets answers. The State Police probe and the Attorney General’s Special Investigations and Prosecution Unit review of the case for possible criminal wrongdoing are not complete.

The review, which could take several months, might culminate in the AG’s office either bringing criminal charges against police or releasing a detailed report about Kearse’s death.

“We still have the case. It’s not closed,” said State Police Capt. Richard O’Brien, adding that an investigator from the agency’s Major Crimes unit is handling the matter.

Schenectady Police Chief Eric Clifford, who asked State Police to take over the probe, said that the preliminary determination from his own department’s internal probe are in. But the chief declined to say more, citing the ongoing state investigations.

Negroni-Kearse, who will not say if she plans to take legal action, is hopeful that the truth about her husband’s death will come to light. Negroni-Kearse, 40, said the cause of death on her husband’s death certificate says “pending.”

Police said Kearse became dizzy and fell unconscious after they took him into custody after the foot chase.

Asked about any possible heart issues or medical conditions her husband may have had, Negroni-Kearse was adamant that her husband of 10 years was an active and healthy 6-foot-2 man who weighed 270 pounds and loved to play hand ball.

Kearse’s encounter with police began at 4:34 p.m. May 11 when an officer saw him driving erratically on State Street and tried to pull him over. Kearse pulled into a Ward Avenue driveway and ran into a backyard, city police said. Officers chased after him.

The pursuit ended behind a Donald Avenue home and Kearse was arrested, city police said. At the time, police said he was not shot or shocked with a Taser but they would not comment on whether police used other types of force.

The man was put in the back seat of a police car and, on his way to the police department, he told Schenectady officers that he was having trouble breathing and felt dizzy, city police said.

By the time the police car arrived at the station, he was unresponsive, police said.

Paramedics treated Kearse at the scene. He was taken to Ellis Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

A city police spokesman previously said Kearse did not display any signs of distress before mentioning his symptoms.

“My husband was 36 years old, he had nine children, three stepchildren, and five grand babies. He was a young man who just came out from doing a two-year bid and only lasted 15 days,” said Negroni-Kearse, 40.

She has set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding page under the title ‘Justice For My Babies’ page to help the family with expenses.

Source: http://www.timesunion.com