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Connections: Why did AG James hire Dr. Gary Vilke?


New York State Attorney General Letitia James hired one of the country's leading police defenders to offer expert testimony in the Daniel Prude case. In dozens of cases, Dr. Gary Vilke has essentially argued the same thing: police did nothing wrong. That's exactly what he told a grand jury in Rochester, emphasizing that RPD officers might even have been giving Daniel Prude a better chance at survival.

Now there are growing demands from the community for an explanation: why did AG James hire Dr. Vilke? What was her purpose for bringing on an expert whose testimony was easily predicted? Dr. Vilke has said that Minneapolis police did nothing wrong in their interaction with George Floyd. Our guests discuss it: 

  • Natalie Ann Knott, criminal defense attorney
  • Don Thompson, attorney representing Daniel Prude's brother 
  • Chris Vanderveen, director of reporting at 9News in Denver, Colorado (see his  investigative piece, "PRONE")
Evan Dawson is the host of "Connections with Evan Dawson." He joined WXXI in January 2014 after working at 13WHAM-TV, where he served as morning news anchor. He was hired as a reporter for 13WHAM-TV in 2003 before being promoted to anchor in 2007.
Megan Mack is the executive producer of "Connections with Evan Dawson" and live/televised engagement programming.