The Saratoga Springs Police Department has released more photographs, video, and other documents related to the events last summer that led to the death of a Malta man in May of this year, but the family of the victim is still looking for more information.
At a press conference held Friday afternoon at Saratoga Springs City Hall, Public Safety Commissioner Chris Matthiesen and Police Chief Greg Veitch took questions from the public related to a police foot chase on Labor Day weekend of 2013 that resulted in life-threatening injuries for a Malta man.
In the early morning hours of August 31st, 2013 Darryl Mount, Jr. was pursued by police from Caroline Street, a popular bar area, after police responded to an alleged act of violence committed by Mount to his girlfriend.
Police pursued Mount until Mount disappeared in a construction scaffold. He was located minutes later at the base of the scaffold with severe injuries, which led to a coma and ultimately his death.
Police contend they lost sight of Mount as he ran into the scaffold, and there remains a lack of witness accounts as to what actually led to Mount’s injuries. As a result, the case has spawned protests and claims of police brutality.
Police were able to recover security camera evidence of the alleged assault that led to the footchase. The footage however, was not released at Friday’s press conference.
Instead Chief Veitch showed still images of Caroline street the night of the foot chase, as well as the scaffold that Mount supposedly entered.
“Here’s a picture of that night, this is the area where they lost Mr. Mount. It’s the other side of that wood wall that you just saw, and this clearly indicates that an officer would not go running blindly behind anyone they were pursuing after losing sight of the offender. Certainly they aren’t able to move as quickly and they wouldn’t want to be ambushed in the middle of the pursuit. It would be standard procedure for officers, that is how they are trained,” said Veitch.
Commissioner Matthiesen says the video will not be released to the public because of the sensitive nature of a domestic violence situation.
“No victim should be concerned that if they report abuse the police may release video evidence of their being victimized for all society to see,” said Matthiesen.
The New York Civil Liberties Union recently urged Saratoga Springs to assemble an independent police oversight committee.
Defending the police department against alleged counts of racism, Matthiesen said he was unsure of how an appointed citizen police oversight panel would function in Saratoga Springs given the city’s Commission form of government.
“I don’t think I would discount the idea of having this in some form because I do think that one of the things we are lacking is being able to reach out to all parts of our community. We have a very diverse community, and I do think that there are things that we ought to think about in terms of possibly setting up some sort of advisory board that we could refer to as needed of respected individuals,” said Matthiesen.
The officials continue to stress that no eyewitness accounts of police abuse have come forward.
Tensions grew at the meeting, which was attended by Darryl Mount’s family and friends. Miranda Mount, Mount’s sister, sparred with Matthiesen, demanding that police release the video of the alleged assault that led to the police chase and hire an independent investigation.
After the meeting, Miranda Mount spoke to reporters, accusing the city of not releasing key evidence in the case. She claimed her brother’s girlfriend, the one alleged to have been attacked, was not injured on that August night. Mount said she lived with the victim after the incident.
“I just find it funny that they’re calling her a victim where she even says herself that she wasn’t a victim, and they are making this big deal out of something that something she even says herself was nothing,” said Mount. “What they did is unjustifiable.”
Videos of public safety security cameras, audio transmissions, photographs, and redacted copies of case reports and witness statements related to the Mount case are posted on the Saratoga Police Department’s website www.saratogapolice.org.