Schenectady

Footage of Schenectady K-9 attacking suspect, resulting in $225K payout, to be kept under wraps

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SCHENECTADY — The city is keeping under wraps the release of body-worn camera footage of an arrest that resulted in a $225,000 payout to a criminal suspect after being attacked by a police K-9.

The city formally denied The Daily Gazette’s request under the Freedom of Information Law on Monday for footage showing a police canine biting and severely injuring Ramel Gentry, who was bitten during a drug arrest in May 2019.

The records are sealed under a court order requested by the county District Attorney’s Office.

The altercation occurred during a narcotics buy involving a confidential informant, and county District Attorney Robert Carney said release of the footage would compromise operations.

“There was a sealing order because the videos would burn the confidential informant and police operations,” Carney said.

Gentry’s attorney, Kevin Luibrand, said on Monday he was unaware of the order.

Luibrand previously said Gentry was compliant during his arrest, a narrative he said would be confirmed through the release of body-worn camera footage.

But while Clifford acknowledged the K-9 latched into Gentry’s neck and shoulder unprovoked, he said Gentry was actively resisting arrest after he exited his vehicle.

Gentry was lying face down on the ground and handcuffed from behind when the K-9 lunged, ripping into his neck and shoulder, which resulted in the suspect going into convulsions from blood loss.

Yet even release of the clips may not provide a definitive degree of clarity as to what happened during the operation:

The footage is marred by an audio gap for the time period immediately preceding the attack, a measure Clifford attributed to unintentional user error as a result of officers still getting acquainted with the then-new technology.

The city authorized the payment to Gentry in October, the latest in a string of excessive force settlements, some reaching as high as $1.3 million.

Gentry, 34, was ultimately convicted on charges based on the encounter and is serving three years in state prison for criminal possession of a controlled substance and is eligible for release in 2022.

Clifford said city police don’t have the authority to ask for the record to be unsealed.

“If they wanted to unseal it, I would want to discuss the parameters as there are operational details that would need to be considered,” Clifford said, citing the vehicles and equipment used and personnel, among other factors.

“If it is limited to just the scope of the incident and nothing more, I don’t see a reason for objecting,” Clifford said. “However, I would reserve my final judgment until after consulting with the [district attorney] and [Investigative Services Bureau] commander.”

Categories: News, Schenectady County

3 Comments

William Marincic

I’ll tell you this, if I was a dirt bag criminal in Schenectady and I got arrested I would scream police brutality too. I might even resist so I could get beat up because I would know that the city would refuse to fight the lawsuit I would bring because they have weak city attorneys, the charges against me would be dropped and I could walk away with at least $50,000. This is something that every criminal in this city knows. The police risk their jobs and their lives while the city protects the criminals. That was like Obama and the Democrats charging people that didn’t have health insurance a fine while they gave Illegal Aliens free health insurance, welcome to democrat run Schenectady and America.

“Gentry was lying face down on the ground and handcuffed from behind when the K-9 lunged, ripping into his neck and shoulder, which resulted in the suspect going into convulsions from blood loss.”

When police commit violent acts then the DA seals court records, the public is denied transparency. Police avoid accountability. And events like this happen over, and over, and over again.

Oh, but that’s okay because a bad guy in handcuffs deserves to be hurt or killed. Some of my neighbors might actually believe this.

It’s horrifying to see authoritarian governments around the world brutalize people. Guess what’s happening here?

William Marincic

Yeah well he probably should not of resisted arrest in the first place. When I grew up I learned that there were consequences to my actions maybe he should’ve been taught the same lesson or maybe he was taught the same lesson it just happened later in life.

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