State Attorney General Investigating Downtown Binghamton Arrest
The office of New York State Attorney General Letitia James is reviewing the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Hamail Waddell by Binghamton police.
Waddell was injured when police officers took him into custody around 3:20 a.m. New Year's Day. The incident happened near the intersection of State and Hawley streets, just steps from city police headquarters.
Cellphone video shot by people at the scene shows a Binghamton police officer with a knee on Waddell's neck.
Mayor Jared Kraham on Friday morning released a statement indicating city police officials have been in contact with the state attorney general's office regarding the incident.
According to Kraham, the office has requested records related to Waddell's arrest and a complaint he filed on January 2.
The mayor said he hopes the review by the attorney general's office "will result in additional bystander video footage of the arrest being made available to assist in determining the facts."
Kraham's also wrote: "“We are committed to following the facts — as the internal investigation remains open — and to protecting the integrity of the fact-finding process while addressing the Office of Attorney General’s request.”
The focus of the investigation will be on the actions of a Binghamton police officer who has been with the department for 19 years. He was placed on desk duty while the incident is being reviewed.
Dara Silberstein, Waddell's attorney, on Friday declined to comment on her client's case. But in an email, she welcomed the attorney general's office "involvement in looking into what appears to be egregious actions of the BPD." She wrote that there is enough evidence in the public domain "that shows the officer kneeling on Mr. Waddell's neck and other officers failing to intervene. If true, then we hope that appropriate actions will be taken against the offending officers."
The attorney general's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on its investigation.
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