ITHACA, N.Y. — The federal government’s Department of Justice has rejected a request from Tompkins County to provide technical support in studying a controversial, fatal standoff in Danby this January.
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Tompkins County is now in the process of submitting a new request to a separate office in the Department of Justice for help studying the incident, which left 37-year-old David Cady dead after a 61-hour standoff involving law enforcement.
Legislator Nate Shinagawa, chair of the county’s public safety committee, said that the initial request for DOJ assistance had been rejected as overly broad and cumbersome for the federal agency. He was optimistic that the second request would be granted.
In response to a question from Legislator Dooley Kiefer, Shinagawa detailed the following, more limited and specific, requests being made to the DOJ’s Community Oriented Policing Services office:
1 — A study of “the appropriateness of police actions during the incident.”
2 — A look at “effective communication strategies during high risk situations.”
3 — Asking the DOJ for help rebuilding “community trust” after the incident, Shinagawa said.
Legislator Martha Robertson, also a member of the public safety committee, added that the federal agency balked at the extent of the county’s request — for help studying not just the incident itself but the run-up to it.
“I think part of the scope that was scary was the idea of evaluating mental health services and alternative kinds of services … leading up to Mr. Cady (being arrested) before the incident.”
Cady died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a stand-off that began last New Year’s Eve that drew hundreds of law enforcement officers to the area.
Cady was wanted on a DWI warrant before firing on law enforcement. He barricaded himself inside his Danby home and fired a shot at a patrol, authorities have said.
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