Edson Thevenin


Father, husband, community member, murdered by Troy police in April 2016

Edson Thevenin was murdered by the Troy PD in April 2016. In 2021, the City of Troy settled the a civil rights lawsuit brought to federal court by Cinthia Thevenin for $1.55 million. In September 2020, former District Attorney of Troy, Joel Abelove, was acquitted of all charges (perjury and obstruction) related to his handling of the Thevenin case. Having finally been brought before a judge by the Attorney General's Office, Judge Nichols let Abelove off once again.

Those who murdered Edson Thevenin and those who covered up the murder of Edson Thevenin benefit from the sort of amnesia created by the passing of time and how difficult it is to trace the intricate elements of this case and cover up.

We have created a chronological timeline with links to news articles, court documents, and reports to aid us in the struggle for justice for Edson Thevenin and his family. To help those just learning about this case. To advance this cause for justice.

We will not rest until we have justice for Edson Thevenin!

  1. Edson Thevenin is Shot and Killed by the Troy Police At 3:30 AM on April 17, 2016, Troy police sergeant Randall French fires eight shots and kills unarmed Black Watervliet resident Edson Thevenin in his car after a car chase, allegedly following a stop on suspicion of DWI. Read more
  2. Troy PD Holds Press Conference on the Shooting Prior to any investigation, the Troy Police Department immediately rallies behind Sergeant French. Troy Police Chief John Tedesco, at a press conference the day after the shooting, publicly states: “At this juncture in the investigation while it’s still ongoing, it would appear that the actions of Sergeant French are certainly in line with the law, […] Read more
  3. D.A. Abelove Incorrectly Tells the Press that the NY State Attorney’s General Office Would not Seek Jurisdiction District Attorney Joel Abelove tells the press, incorrectly and deliberately,  that the NY State Attorney General’s Office would not be getting involved despite the fact that the Attorney General’s office had investigators present beginning hours after the shooting occurred. Executive Order 147, signed by Governor Cuomo in 2015, appoints the NY State Attorney General as Special […] Read more
  4. Troy PD Begins Investigation While Attempting to Deny the Attorney General Office’s Jurisdiction Troy police begin their investigation despite the existence of an Executive Order requiring local police and prosecutors to turn over to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) any investigation in which an unarmed civilian is killed by police officers.  From The New York Times: “The order specifically requires that a district attorney obtain state […] Read more
  5. Abelove Pushes that Thevenin’s Car was a Weapon Mitchell Paurowski, former Troy police captain and investigator for the Attorney General’s office, was on the scene the morning of the shooting. Paurowski requested information at the time and followed up two days later seeking video footage, radio transmissions, medical reports, and witness accounts. The Troy Police Department and Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove […] Read more
  6. D.A. Joel Abelove Brings Sergeant French and the Shooting of Edson Thevenin to a Grand Jury Rensselaer County D.A. Joel Abelove presents the Edson Thevenin shooting to a Rensselaer County grand jury FIVE DAYS after the shooting occurred. For context, the quickest period of time that it took D.A. Abelove’s office to bring a homicide case to a grand jury was FORTY days and the average time period was 170 days. […] Read more
  7. Executive Order 147.4 Authorizes the Attorney General to Take Over the Investigation into the Killing of Edson Thevenin Governor Cuomo issues Executive Order 147.4, an amendment to Executive Order 147, which authorizes the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to seize control of the Thevenin investigation from the Troy Police Department and the Rensselaer County D.A. Abelove. Each time the Office of the Attorney General assumes jurisdiction in a new case, an amendment […] Read more
  8. Attorney General Takes Control of the Investigation into the Shooting Office of Attorney General Schneiderman takes control of the investigation into the fatal shooting of Edson Thevenin by Troy Police Sergeant Randall French. According to the OAG report that will be released in January 2018, “Investigators from the Office of the Attorney General (“OAG”) responded to the incident scene the morning of the shooting in […] Read more
  9. Thevenin’s Family Files a Federal Lawsuit Against City of Troy and Officer Randall French Cinthia Thevenin files a civil lawsuit in federal court alleging that Officer Randall French’s shooting of her husband was an unjustified use of deadly force. This lawsuit is still ongoing as of September 2020. Read more
  10. Grand Jury to Analyze Abelove’s Handling of the Shooting of Edson Thevenin The New York State attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman impanels a grand jury to investigate D.A. Abelove in relation to the fatal police shooting of Edson Thevenin. Read more
  11. D.A. Abelove is Charged with a Felony and Misdemeanors Following the grand jury hearing, the Office of the Attorney General charges Abelove with felony perjury and two misdemeanor counts of official misconduct. The first misdemeanor count charges that Abelove withheld evidence from the Thevenin grand jury about witness statements that contradicted French’s account. The second misconduct count accuses Abelove of unlawfully allowing Sergeant French […] Read more
  12. Centanni Recommences Secret Internal Police Investigation into Shooting of Edson Thevenin Captain Joseph Centanni of the Inspectional Services Bureau (ISB – the internal investigation division of the Troy Police Department) recommences investigation into the killing of Edson Thevenin in January 2018. This investigation began in May 2016 but was paused with the dispute between the Troy PD and the Office of the Attorney General. This report, […] Read more
  13. Office of the Attorney General Releases Report on Thevenin Case The Office of the Attorney General releases a 221-page report of its investigation into the killing of Edson Thevenin. The report calls into question Sergeant Randall French’s account of what happened that evening, citing a forensic analysis commissioned by the OAG that “conclusively established that Sergeant French was not pinned when he began firing his […] Read more
  14. City of Troy Commissions Ranalli Report to Refute Centanni Report In December 2018, what is now known as the Ranalli Report, was commissioned by the city of Troy. This report refutes the Centanni report, completed in September 2018, and has not been made public as of September 2020. Troy city leaders are declining to release a copy of a police expert’s 19-page legal memorandum that […] Read more
  15. Centanni Report Finally Released to Public, Thevenin Family The Report of the Troy Police Department Inspectional Services Bureau (ISB), conducted by Captain Joseph Centanni, is released by court order over the objections of Troy Mayor Madden and city officials.  According to the Times Union, “The [Centanni] report, which is dated Sept. 28, 2018, was never made public or disclosed to the attorneys for […] Read more
  16. City Questions the Integrity of the Centanni Report Upon the court-ordered release of the Troy PD Inspectional Services Bureau’s report conducted by Joseph Centanni, James Caruso, corporation counsel for the city of Troy, issued a statement challenging the integrity of the report. James Caruso stated, “An independent, third-party review conducted by an experienced legal expert found that the (internal) report was fundamentally flawed […] Read more
  17. Troy City Council Reads Secret Ranalli Report Troy pays for a new report which was written by Michael D. Ranalli, a former Glenville police chief. He was selected by city police department chiefs to analyze Centanni’s findings. This document known as the Ranalli Memo has been kept secret by the city. Troy City Council members demanded a copy of the memo after […] Read more
  18. Troy PD Officer Randall French Dies from Covid-19
  19. Mayor Madden Remains Silent on Edson Thevenin Just before 11,000 people marched for Black Lives in the streets of Troy, NY, Mayor Patrick Madden issues a statement to the Troy community. He writes, “Troy should be proud to add its voice to that outcry – that black lives do matter.” Madden invokes the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd at the hands of […] Read more
  20. 50-a is Repealed by NY State Legislature In June 2020, Section 50-a of the New York State Civil Rights Law is repealed following protests and citizen demands. According to the State Assembly, Section 50-a “permits law enforcement officers to refuse disclosure of ‘personnel records used to evaluate performance toward continued employment or promotion.’ This exemption was adopted in 1976 by the Legislature […] Read more
  21. Zamir, Edson’s Son, Speaks out for the First Time It has been more than four years since Troy Police officer Randall French shot and killed Edson Thevenin in Troy, NY. His family is still fighting for justice with an open civil lawsuit. On Tuesday, June 30 Edson Thevenin would have been 42 years old. WOOC correspondent Elizabeth Press spoke with Edson Thevenin’s twelve-year-old son, […] Read more
  22. D.A. Joel Abelove on Trial for Perjury, Obstruction in Edson Thevenin Case On September 14, 2020, the trial of former Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove begins. Abelove, who was the D.A. in April 2016 when Troy Police Department’s Sergeant Randall French murdered Edson Thevenin, is on trial for two counts of official misconduct and one count of felony perjury in the first degree in connection to […] Read more
  23. The Significance of the Reading of Abelove Grand Jury Testimony during this Trial The September 2020 trial of Joel Abelove for perjury and misconduct brought to light the proceedings from the 2017 grand jury called by the Office of the Attorney General. On September 21 and 22, 2020, Abelove’s 2017 testimony was read into the record by the prosecution. Below are two embedded audio files. These are the […] Read more
  24. Former D.A. Joel Abelove Acquitted on All Charges Edson Thevenin’s cousin, Jermica Depas, on the decision: “It was clear that Abelove took the law in his own hands, abused the law and denied society and the complete Troy community of justice — and then the judge did it again,” she said. Read more
  25. Deceased Officer Randall French Named in Suit over Systemic Racism in the Troy PD Christopher J. Johnson has filed a federal Civil Rights lawsuit against the city of Troy, the Troy Police Department, and deceased former police Sergeant Randall French, “alleging he endured systemic racism in the agency and that it has caused his career and personal life to suffer.” Johnson, one of the few Black police officers in the […] Read more
  26. City of Troy, French Appeal Heard in Second Circuit Court of Appeals, NY Today oral arguments were presented to the three-panel judges of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals of NY. In September, 2019, Federal Judge, U.S. Magistrate Daniel J. Stewart declined a motion by the City of Troy to dismiss the civil lawsuit, Cinthia Thevenin vs. The City of Troy et al. The City of Troy, at […] Read more
  27. Appeals Court Rejects City of Troy’s Appeal, Rules No Qualified Immunity for French. In September 2019, the City of Troy appealed U.S. Magistrate Daniel J. Stewart’s decision that Cinthia Thevenin vs. The City of Troy et al. should continue. Stewart cited eyewitness testimony providing enough material question of fact to bring the case before a jury. After hearing arguments last week, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit […] Read more
  28. Flowers for Black Life | Justice for Edson Thevenin To mark the fifth anniversary of the murder of Edson Thevenin, local community organizers from Troy 4 Black Lives and Reimagine Troy held a rally and march. Convening under the Hoosick Street Bridge, a memorial altar was created with stones, photos, and flowers. Speakers marked the occasion before a march moved through the north Hillside […] Read more
  29. Times Union: Time to Come Clean, Troy. “The resolution of the case shouldn’t include more concealment of the facts.” “This should not be an excuse for Mayor Patrick Madden or the Troy Police Department to bury the full story behind the sorts of fuzzy legal semantics the mayor has offered in the past. There should be no sealing records, no terms that […] Read more
  30. The City of Troy Pays $1.55 Million to Settle Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit in Troy PD Murder of Edson Thevenin The City of Troy settles lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Albany by Cinthia Thevenin, widow of slain community member Edson Thevenin. Edson Thevenin was murdered by Troy Police Department Sergeant Randall French in April 2016. In cases such as this, cities often settle rather than risk a loss in court with potentially […] Read more
  31. Troy 4 Black Lives Statement on 6th Anniversary of the Murder of Edson Thevenin On April 17, 2016, Edson Thevenin, a father, son, brother and husband, was killed after a police traffic stop in our Troy community. On the sixth anniversary of his murder, Troy for Black Lives would like to take the opportunity to remember Edson, highlight the injustice surrounding his death at the hands of the Troy […] Read more