Friday, June 11, 2010

Albany Police Officers Cleared in February Death

District Attorney P. David Soares today announced that an Albany County Grand Jury cleared Albany Police Officers Kevin Moynihan and Christopher Pageau of any wrongdoing surrounding the use of deadly physical force on February 16, 2010. The Grand Jury returned a vote of No Bill against Officer Pageau for firing at, and causing the death of Howard Tucker.

On the evening of February 16, 2010, Officers Kevin Moynihan and Christopher Pageau were on routine patrol when they noticed a vehicle commit a traffic infraction. Additionally, they believed the vehicle matched the description of a vehicle involved in a shooting the day before. Once confirming that the vehicle did in fact match the reported description, the Officers attempted to pull the vehicle over. The driver of the vehicle initially pulled over, but then fled as Officer Pageau noticed a handgun on the floor of the vehicle. As the driver continued to flee, the Officers pursued the vehicle on foot. The driver then spun around and began to accelerate toward Officer Moynihan. The vehicle continued to accelerate striking Officer Moynihan, dragging him on the ground and pinning him between the wheels of the car and a fence. As Officer Moynihan was being dragged by the vehicle, both Officers pulled their weapons and fired at the driver, Howard Tucker, who later died from his injuries. Officer Moynihan sustained injuries to his leg as a result of being dragged by the fleeing vehicle.

It was later learned that Tucker was on parole for a drug possession felony from New York County.

“The members of the Grand Jury considered all of the evidence presented to them over the past two weeks and determined that the use of deadly force by Officers Moynihan and Pageau on February 16, 2010 was justified. I would like to thank the Grand Jury for their service to the people of Albany County,” commented DA Soares. “I would also like to take a moment to thank all law enforcement officers who risk their lives every day to protect us. Our men and women in uniform are often put into situations where they must make split second decisions about the safety of themselves and the public. This case presented us with a tragic set of circumstances, but the evidence is clear. If Officers Moynihan and Pageau had not reacted in the manner they did - the manner in which they were trained to react - it is very likely that there could have been multiple lives lost that evening. ”
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