Two years ago, we wrote about Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple, congratulating him after his deputies respected the rights of two journalists to record TSA checkpoints at Albany International Airport in New York against the wishes of the airport director, who wanted them removed.
Today, we will congratulate him again for demonstrating solid leadership against a deputy who tased a 16-year-old boy who was surrendering to deputies after a high-speed chase.
Kelijah Fink had stepped out of the car with his hands on his head and had gotten down on his knees when deputy Vincent Agoe fired a taser at him.
The incident, which took place last month, was caught on a patrol car dash cam, not only prompted Apple to suspend the deputy without pay – yes, without pay – it also prompted him to begin the termination process against Igoe, who was cleared by a grand jury in 2010 for shooting a man who threw a brick at him.
Apple granted an interview to CBS6 where he stated the following:
“I was a little bit enraged when I saw the video…Obviously, we want people to be able to come home safe at the end of their shift but in this case, we did not feel it (the second shot) was warranted, we did not have a combative individual at that point, again the tape speaks for itself so I’ll let public opinion rest on that,” says Sheriff Craig Apple of the incident.
“When the public sees this video, I want them to know that A.) We have a very professional department that works hard for the residents it serves and B) we uncovered this, this is not something that was brought to us, we uncovered this… I don’t want to use the term that we’re policing ourselves and are cleaning our own house but in fact, we are,” Apple says.
Many chiefs and sheriffs talk about running a clean department, but Apple is proving it. If only more were like him.