Albany County Sheriff’s Sgt. Vincent P. Igoe has been suspended after he tased a 16-year-old suspect who was on the ground with his hands on his head.
The incident happened last month, when Sgt. Igoe and others from the Albany County Sheriff’s Department were led on a high speed chase by 16-year-old Kelijah Fink. After driving over 100 mph during parts of the chase, Fink stopped in a residential neighborhood. There, police stood outside of his car and ordered him to get out.
It took roughly 45 seconds for Fink to comply with the officer’s orders and exit his car. Once he did, he immediately dropped to his knees and put his hands behind his head. Despite Fink’s clear position of surrender, Sgt. Igoe tased him. The tase temporarily paralyzed Fink, and officers handcuffed him. The entire incident was recorded on squad car dashcam.
Sgt. Igoe’s taser use prompted Sheriff Craig Apple to suspend him and launch an internal investigation. The investigation is ongoing, and the FBI is involved.
Here is footage of the incident, courtesy of CBS 6 Albany:
Igoe’s attorney, Stephen G. DeNigris, believes Igoe did nothing wrong.
"I thought it vindicated him," DeNigris said of the video. "He (Fink) is 6 foot and he's 240 pounds and he just led officers on a two-county chase at speeds exceeding 100 mph. ... They wanted him on his stomach. Everybody still had their weapons out. ... I view it as de-escalating the situation very, very appropriately."
Timesunion.com reports that this isn’t the first time Igoe’s use of force has come under scrutiny. In March 2010, Igoe fatally shot an undocumented immigrant. According to Igoe, Marcus DeJesus Alvarez was walking towards him and ignoring orders to stop. Igoe claims that Alvarez then threw a piece of cement at him, and he shot back in response. An internal investigation cleared Igoe of any wrongdoing.