Central Nyack residents demand answers into man's death during police response to domestic incident
Central Nyack residents held a protest Thursday night to demand answers after a 19-year-old man died during a police response to a domestic incident back in May.
Protesters say both police and the mental health counselors that were at the scene improperly handled the situation on May 30 involving 19-year-old Sean Harris.
Clarkstown police released a statement saying they were called to the house where they found Harris being combative, making threats and holding a bat.
Police told him to put down the bat, but they say he refused, so they hit him with non-lethal ammunition.
Sean eventually ran from the police but was later found in the bathroom after a lengthy standoff.
They performed CPR on him, and he was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
It does not appear the physical police actions caused Harris' death. His mother Judy Adams, however, is telling a very different story. She said two mental health counselors were at the house for a pretty standard check-in.
"I guess he was kind of very, very excited and maybe the other two people got kind of afraid," Adams said.
She said they went outside and called police. When the officers arrived, she and Harris were sitting in the living room talking. That is when she went to speak with the police.
A month later, protesters gathered on Main Street, furious over how the entire situation was handled.
"Someone having mental health challenges should not be permission for them to be killed, so the goal is to make sure that never happens again," said organizer L'Tanya Watkins.
Protesters are calling for both the police and mental health counselors at the scene to be held accountable.
Adams was uncomfortable showing her face on camera but said she needed to speak out so she could get justice for her son so that this would not happen to anyone else's child.
The Attorney General's Office is investigating the incident, which is standard procedure when police are involved.