New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Office of Special Investigation (OSI) today released its report on the death of Tyler Green of Oneonta. Following a thorough and comprehensive investigation, OSI concluded that an officer from the Oneonta Police Department was justified in his use of force to prevent Mr. Green from killing a child.
At the time of the incident, Tyler Green and his partner were the parents of a nearly two-year-old boy. On April 6, 2021, the partner, her sister, and the child were visiting Mr. Green at his home in Oneonta. Because of violent threats made by Mr. Green, the sister left the home and secretly drove to the Oneonta Police Department to tell them of her fears for her sister and the child. Members of the Oneonta Police Department decided to conduct a welfare check on the child. While on their way to Mr. Green’s home, they received a dispatch that Mr. Green allegedly threatened to stab his partner with a knife.
Two officers drove to the home and saw Mr. Green, his partner, and the child in the front yard. Mr. Green pulled a knife from his pocket, lunged at his partner, and threatened to kill her. The officers drew their guns and instructed Mr. Green to drop the knife. Mr. Green then cut his partner’s leg with the knife and swung the knife at one of the officers.
He then grabbed his two-year old son by the leg, and as he began to swing the knife at the child, one of the officers fired two shots striking Mr. Green, who immediately released his hold on the child. Officers called an ambulance and provided care to Mr. Green before it arrived. Mr. Green was initially transported to a local hospital, but that hospital was not equipped to treat Mr. Green, so he was in the process of being transported by helicopter to another hospital when he was pronounced dead.
Analyzing the officer’s conduct under New York’s justification law, OSI concluded he was justified in his use of deadly force, as it was reasonable to believe that Mr. Green was about to use deadly physical force against the child and that only the officer’s use of deadly physical force could prevent him from doing so.
OSI also reviewed the medical care Mr. Green received after he was wounded and observed that New York law prohibited medical personnel from giving him blood during his medevac flight from Oneonta to Albany. Therefore, the Attorney General James recommends that New York consider joining every other state in the nation and permit air ambulances to carry and provide blood to critically injured patients.
“After a complete and exhaustive review of this incident, my office concluded that the officer was justified in his use of force to protect the life of a two-year old child,” said Attorney General James. “While this situation was tragic, it could have been even more devastating if not for the actions of the responding officers. Members of law enforcement put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities, and these officers bravely and responsibly fulfilled their duty.”