The six-year-old Schenectady shooting case has now begun as the jury heard the opening statements on August 8. The case is against a Schenectady Police Department detective, who allegedly shot down Joshua Scism during an undercover drug operation. The case argues that the deadly force used by the SPD was unnecessary and excessive.
Joshua Scism, a Mount Pleasant resident, interrupted Detective Brett Ferris and his undercover team of police officers in June 2016 as they were about to bust drugs using a confidential informant in a criminally active neighborhood.
Opening Statements Are Heard In The Fatal Shooting Case Against The SPD Detective
A verbal dispute developed, and Scism, 33 at the time, walked away from the van displaying a 9mm handgun.
As per the attorney for the plaintiff in a federal lawsuit filed against Ferris, Joshua asked the Schenectady PD detective to leave the neighborhood.
According to Ferris, Scism said, “If you’re coming to meet somebody, don’t do it on my block”. Furthermore, Ferris said, Scism, walked away from the van, but not before revealing that he has a gun.
The defense attorney representing Ferris said, “That’s the moment everything changed.” Soon enough Scism lay dead with a fatal wound on the back of his head, apparently struck by one of the six-shot fired by Ferris.
In an affidavit, Scism’s wife is reported to have said, “[He was] facedown in the dirt with blood coming out the back of his head.”
Joshua Scism’s wife sued Ferris for using excessive force on her non-threatened husband.
The federal court accepted the city’s petition to dismiss the claim against SPD detective Brett Ferris in February.
The trial began on August 8 with opening remarks before 9 jurors (4 men, 5 women). District Court, Northern District of New York headed by Hon. Therese Wiley Dancks. Joshua Scism wasn’t participating in the narcotics operation and didn’t brandish his gun, accusers say.
In his defense, Ferris denied the claim and in sworn testimony alleged that the charges are “insulting and defamatory” because his actions were reasonable as he feared for his life.