Media Drudges Up Old Shooting While Officer Was Hospitalized, Fighting For Life

Holly Matkin

Troy Police Department Detective Sergeant Randall French battled the novel coronavirus for over a month.

Troy, NY – While a Troy police detective sergeant was on a ventilator fighting for his life against COVID-19, a local newspaper seized the opportunity to drudge up a fatal officer-involved shooting he had been involved in years prior.

The sergeant later succumbed to the illness.

The Albany Times Union published a story about Troy Police Department Detective Sergeant Randall French on April 13, after his wife, Danielle French, made a plea for plasma donations on social media.

“We need help,” Danielle wrote in the April 12 Facebook post. “My husband is currently fighting for his life, on a ventilator, in the ICU. He has Covid-19. We are scared and praying and trying our best to stay positive.”

“We need anyone who has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus and has since recovered to please consider donating your plasma,” she wrote. “This new treatment could save his life.”

But when the Albany Times Union ran a story about Sgt. French the following day, Danielle’s plea for plasma donations was not at the forefront.

“Troy sergeant in fatal police shooting struggles to survive coronavirus,” the Albany Times Union’s headline read.

The paper has since altered the headline, dropping the portion about the fatal police shooting, but retained the original opening sentence.

“Detective Sgt. Randall French, the city police officer who shot and killed drunken driving suspect Edson Thevenin nearly four years ago, is on a ventilator and fighting for his life after being diagnosed with COVID-19,” the article read.

The story briefly outlined Danielle’s Facebook posts, to include her April 13 update that a plasma match had been found for her 39-year-old husband, before providing two paragraphs regarding his positive COVID-19 test.

The balance of the article focused entirely on the 2016 officer-involved shooting, to include allegations that Sgt. French lied to internal affairs investigators about what occurred after Thevenin attempted to flee the scene.

Then-Rensselaer County District Attorney Joel Abelove presented the case to a grand jury, which ultimately declined to bring charges against the sergeant.

Sgt. French, a 16-year veteran-of-the-force who also served as a North Greenbush Ambulance Association paramedic, succumbed to the novel coronavirus on April 30, the Albany Times Union Reported.

In addition to his wife, Sgt. French leaves behind his daughters, Juliana and Caitlyn, according to his obituary.

"From his service as a paramedic, continued support and advisement with the Troy Police Cadet Post, and his leadership with the Special Operations Section, Sgt. French personified public service in the field of public safety," Troy Mayor Patrick Madden told The Troy Record.

“Sgt. French was a dedicated member of the Troy Police Department whose 16 years of service earned him the respect of his fellow officers, law enforcement professionals, and community members,” Madden continued. “His death is a profound loss for the department and the entire city of Troy.”

Comments (51)
No. 1-15
JBoH
JBoH

That's New York media for you and pretty standard in almost all MSM. Just gotta get that last dig in to the family. Nice.

stooge819
stooge819

I think it was my grandmother who told me: Just because you CAN say something doesn't mean you SHOULD. I hope the reporter and editor both develop pus-filled anal warts.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

"In its response to a $10 million federal lawsuit filed by Thevenin’s widow, Cinthia, the city, through attorney John Aspland Jr. of the Glens Falls law firm of Fitzgerald Morris Baker Firth, defends police Sgt. Randy French — who is also represented by Aspland — against allegations by Cinthia Thevenin that French unnecessarily used excessive and deadly force during an April 17 confrontation in which French shot and killed Edson Thevenin at the foot of the Collar City Bridge..."

"Edson Thevenin, 37, was killed at the end of a brief chase that began about 3:15 a.m., police have said, after French tried to stop a suspected drunken driver on 6th Avenue. After initially pulling over, police said, Thevenin sped off, nearly running French down before making his way up Hoosick Street and trying to make a U-turn onto the westbound entrance to the Collar City Bridge."

"Police said Thevenin hit a barricade, however, and was quickly boxed in by French and Capt. Matthew Montanino, the shift supervisor, who responded to French’s call for assistance. At that point, police said, Thevenin first backed into Montanino’s car, then pulled forward, pinning French between his cruiser and Thevenin’s vehicle. Police said French responded by firing eight shots from his service weapon into the windshield of Thevenin’s car."

"French says he started firing his gun after Thevenin's car pinned him. However, the report claims French intentionally placed himself in the direct path of Thevenin's car."

"According to the report, Thevenin was hit seven times, including a shot to the collarbone that killed him. He also had a blood alcohol content of .19. "

My gosh, who cares if the officer ran in front of someone's car, putting himself into harm's way so that others can be safe? They intentionally ran into him. Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

killed someone then lied about it? good riddance.

Marxest
Marxest

So what? They brought up something shady and un-toward from the late Detective Sergeant French's past history and someone is upset? Deal with it right wing snowflakes. The media does that all the time. If a victim of a crime or any incident has a criminal record or any impropriety in the their background it will always be brought up. Fallen police officers are fair game for that just as regular civilians are.

Grog
Grog

Just another example of the media being the despicable pieces of dung that they are.

Cop Watch
Cop Watch

oops! media taking a page from the blue lies mafia playbook using victim-blaming to support the story! ha ha! good riddance to the murderer!

Cduncanf
Cduncanf

The trolls mommies must have let them on the computer for eating all their paste at dinner.

Stanracer
Stanracer

The media is partially to blame for the war on the police.

Marxest
Marxest

Looks like the Chinese Coronavirus did what justice could not and took a not so good person off the Earth. God job.

GIJOE62
GIJOE62

I can't believe that this POS newspaper would dig up something on this officer who at the time was clinging to every bit of life that he possibly could and they just wanted to stab that knife right in the back. But wait, that's what newspaper do, they stab you in the back even when you are dying. I hope this newspaper folds.

Kanomica
Kanomica

Thank you for calling out the disgraceful newspaper Albany Times Union; please also name the a-hole reporter and editor that should be fired for reporting extreme bias and hate speech

NFPD103
NFPD103

What a pathic reporter,Kenneth C. Crowe II is ( @KennethCrowe) . We can all take the time to reach out to his Managing Editor Casey Seiler at the times-union cseiler@timesunion.com and express our displeasure at his hit job of a peice of a dying man.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

#dredgenotdrudge #karmasabitch

rhj10077
rhj10077

The Press is all ways for the headline and screw Law Enforcement. I feel so sorry for his family for this to happen.


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