BUFFALO, N.Y. - The New York State Attorney General's Office has released the report of its investigation into the officer-involved shooting of Jose Hernandez-Rossy.
Hernandez-Rossy was shot and killed following an altercation with Buffalo Police last May during a traffic stop.
According to the report, "the officers’ actions did not meet the requisite legal criteria of criminal misconduct."
The report states: "According to the involved officers’ testimony and the accounts of multiple civilian witnesses, the officers in this case had a reasonable, if mistaken, belief that Mr. Hernandez-Rossy had shot Officer Joseph Acquino in his vehicle prior to fleeing from the scene."
New York State law allows officers to use deadly physical force against a fleeing suspect if the officer believes the suspect committed a felony involving physical force against another person.
According to Buffalo Police following the incident, Hernandez-Rossy fired on Officer Joseph Aquino during a struggle, shooting Acquino in the ear. Acquino’s partner, Officer Justin Tedesco, then fired on Hernandez-Rossy who died as a result, according to police.
Investigators with the AG's office say an airbag injured the officer's ear during a struggle in the SUV Hernandez-Rossy was driving and that he did not have a gun.
Attorney Dennis Vacco represents Officer Aquino. He addressed concerns from some in the community who believe the initial traffic stop wasn't justified.
"The report goes on to talk about the forensics, which reveal the drugs that were in the perpetrator's system. The drugs that Acquino grabbed and pulled out of the vehicle. So in my estimation, there's no question about the validity of the stop," said Vacco on Thursday.
Attorney Nelson Torre represents Hernandez-Rossy's mother. He says there's a lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court against the City of Buffalo alleging wrongful death, excessive use of force, and a violation of civil rights.
"If all of this was engendered and started because of an improper car stop, and a violation of Jose's rights, and it all spiraled out of control this so-called calamitous confluence of events referred to in the AG's report, then there should be a reconciliation of those facts," says Torre.
The AG's report includes two policy recommendations for the Buffalo Police Department. First, that it look into getting tasers for all officers. 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik was told by police on Thursday that they are looking into that again after deciding against getting tasers for the whole department four or five years ago.
The report also recommends the department continue the process of becoming a New York State accredited law enforcement agency.
A Buffalo Police spokesperson says the two officers involved are off of work right now. Their status is "injured on duty."
An Executive Order, signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2015, authorizes the Attorney General’s office to investigate deaths which occur as a result of police encounters, where the decedent is either unarmed, or whether there are significant questions as to whether they were armed.