It wasn't long after I'd arrived at church for Bible study Wednesday night when the pastor's wife had filled me in on a shooting that took place back in the home district 24 hours earlier. This morning, I've read accounts of the incident in 2 local papers, including a protest that almost immediately followed the shooting of 22 year old Dahmeek McDonald, who'd been wanted on a parole violation, amplified by the fact that McDonald had somehow managed to remove an ankle bracelet meant to keep track of his whereabouts so that he wouldn't get into further trouble.
McDonald was shot twice, once in the head, and once in the shoulder, and is expected to recover. On Wednesday, dozens of people marched down Hoosick Street, all the way to City Hall on River Street. Members of McDonald's immediate family met for anywhere from a half hour to an hour with Mayor Patrick Madden, based on accounts in the two local papers. Troy Police are conducting an internal investigation on the shooting, but on the surface, it'd appear that this is another case where officers, acting on assumption over perception, may have crossed the line. There've been too many of these incidents across the country over the last three years at least, and this is the 2nd in the Capital District in as many years.
Messiah Cooper, McDonald's uncle, called for more African-Americans to apply to become police officers, citing the fact that there aren't enough African-American officers on the Troy force. The officers involved in Tuesday's shooting are on administrative leave, per TPD regulations, until Saturday at the earliest. Rensselaer County DA Joel Abelove is, in turn, being investigated by state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for his handling of an earlier case, and I'd suspect Schneiderman may want in on this investigation as well.
This was the last thing the city needed, three weeks before the start of the school year. Will this ever end?