Attorney General James’ Office of Special Investigation Releases Report on Death of Jamie Feith

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James’ Office of Special Investigation (OSI) today released its report on the death of Jamie Feith in Hyde Park, Dutchess County. Following a thorough investigation, which included review of footage from a body-worn camera, interviews with witnesses, and evidence from the scene, OSI concluded that a prosecutor would not be able to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt at trial that the officer who shot Ms. Feith was justified.

On the afternoon of April 29, 2022, two Hyde Park Police Department (HPPD) officers and a New York State Police (NYSP) trooper responded to a 911 call placed by Ms. Feith reporting a domestic matter at her apartment located at 50 North Cross Road in Hyde Park. When officers arrived at the residence, they separated Ms. Feith and an adult male who was also at the residence. The NYSP trooper and a HPPD officer remained in the apartment with Ms. Feith, while the second HPPD officer accompanied the other individual outside.

When asked to provide identification, Ms. Feith refused to cooperate and began acting erratically. Ms. Feith then took out a folding knife from her back pocket and pointed it at the HPPD officer. The officer wrestled Ms. Feith to the ground and tried to take the knife away, but she resisted and got back up, knife still in hand.

Ms. Feith proceeded to ignore repeated commands to drop the knife from the officers and trooper and continued to advance towards them with the knife in her hand. The officers attempted to subdue Ms. Feith with a taser, which was ineffective. During the ensuing struggle, one of the officers fired his service weapon and shot Ms. Feith. Emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene and performed life-saving measures, which were unsuccessful. Ms. Feith was pronounced dead, and officers recovered a knife at the scene.

Under New York’s justification law, a person may use deadly physical force to defend against the imminent use of deadly physical force by another person. When the defense of justification is raised at trial, the prosecution must disprove justification beyond a reasonable doubt. In this case, the officers attempted to deescalate the situation by repeatedly asking Ms. Feith to drop her weapon. Ms. Feith ignored the officers’ requests, and instead continued to approach with a knife raised and pointed at the officers. Under these circumstances, based on the law and the evidence, a prosecutor would not be able to disprove beyond a reasonable doubt that the officer who fired was justified, and OSI determined that criminal charges could not be pursued against the officer.