AG finds insufficient evidence crime was committed in Troy Hodge case

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FILE – In this June 11, 2019, file photo, New York Attorney General Letitia James speaks during a news conference, in New York. New York state, New York City, Connecticut and Vermont have filed a new legal challenge to new Trump administration rules blocking green cards for many immigrants who use public assistance including Medicaid, food stamps and housing vouchers. James, a Democrat, says the change is a “clear violation” of American values and 100 years of case law. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

(WIVB) — The New York Attorney General’s office has released its report on the investigation into the death of Troy Hodge in Lockport, finding insufficient evidence responding officers committed a crime.

The investigation conducted by the AG’s Special Investigations and Prosecutions Unit found “insufficient evidence to establish that a crime had been committed by any of the responding officers from the Lockport Police Department (LPD) and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office (NCSO),” according to the report.

The AG’s office, however, says there is cause for serious concern over the response to the incident.

Hodge, 39, died during an altercation with Lockport police and members of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office in June of last year.

The investigation unit is recommending the the Lockport Police Department discontinues its 911 call center, allowing Niagara County to take over dispatch operations.

Investigators found having two dispatch centers for the City of Lockport “hindered the emergency medical response in this incident.”

The report also recommended improvement on how law enforcement officers, dispatchers and emergency medical personnel are trained to handle high-stress and high-risk situations.

“To ensure that symptoms, such as the ones that Mr. Hodge displayed, are recognized as a serious medical condition that merits a more robust emergency response,” the report said.

The final recommendation was that the Lockport Police Department “review its “Use of Force” policy in its entirety and emphasize methods that focus on de-escalation and tailor the instances under which deadly force is authorized to fit a narrower description.”

Attorney General Letitia James extended her condolences to the family of Troy Hodge.

“I extend my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Troy Hodge.

We engaged in an extensive and complete review of the facts in this case and determined that there was not sufficient evidence to prove that a crime had been committed. However, the actions of some of the officers raised serious concerns and should not go unaddressed. By narrowly tailoring the “Use of Force” policy and training law enforcement to recognize signs of distress as a medical emergency, we can lessen the risk associated with high-stress situations such as the one we are addressing today. Troy Hodge’s death was a tragedy and we hope that the Lockport Police Department and the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office will implement the recommendations we have made in our report.”

New York Attorney General Letitia James

Patrick Ryan is a digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2020. See more of his work here.

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