Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation Opens Investigation into Civilian Death in Utica

UTICA – The New York Attorney General’s Office of Special Investigation (OSI) has opened an investigation into the death of David Litts, who died on September 12, 2022, following an encounter with members of the Utica Police Department (UPD).

On the evening of September 12, UPD officers were dispatched to a residence on Neilson Street in response to a 911 call from an individual who was allegedly armed. When officers arrived, they saw Mr. Litts outside the residence and attempted to engage him verbally. Mr. Litts allegedly advanced towards an officer with a knife, and officers opened fire in response. Mr. Litts was then taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Officers recovered a knife at the scene.

Pursuant to New York State Executive Law Section 70-b, OSI assesses every incident reported to it where a police officer or a peace officer, including a corrections officer, may have caused the death of a person, by an act or omission. Under the law, the officer may be on-duty or off-duty, and the decedent may be armed or unarmed. Also, the decedent may or may not be in custody or incarcerated. If OSI’s assessment indicates an officer caused the death, OSI proceeds to conduct a full investigation of the incident.

These are preliminary facts and subject to change.