More than three years after Dontay Ivy died at the hands of Albany police officers, his family is closer to receiving a more than half-million-dollar settlement from the city.
Ivy, who suffered from a mental illness, died in April 2015, following an encounter with three Albany Police officers. They chased him down and shocked Ivy with a Taser, which ultimately led to his death.
City leaders voted on a bond Wednesday night to move that settlement forward. The Common Council voted to issue a $625,000 bond that will go to the city of Albany for settlement with Ivy’s family.
The meeting began with Brian Shea, spokesperson for Mayor Kathy Sheehan, telling the Common Council that the settlement is happening no matter the outcome of the vote. Shea said the city would need the bond, however, to avoid budget actions that would negatively impact city workers and residents.
Derek Johnson, the first councilman to speak, is also Dontay Ivy's cousin. He was the only councilman to vote 'no', saying the settlement would not bring any closure to the family.
He added closure will only happen when people start talking about his cousin like a "human being."
“The things that you heard about Dontay up to this point was schizophrenic and heart failure, and no one talks about him being a college graduate and a former star athlete in three sports," said Johnson. "It’s important that other parts of Dontay get introduced to the conversation.”
Dontay's sister, Aneisha Johnson, agreed.
“There is no price on someone losing a life, especially in the way he did," said Johnson. "I definitely hope they change the police policies and how they interact with issues, how they stop people, why they stop people."
The final vote Wednesday was 11-1, with two council members abstaining.
• April 2, 2015: Dontay Ivy dies following police encounter in Albany
• October 2015: Grand jury clears Albany Police officers of any criminal wrongdoing
• January 2016: Activists hold rally at Mayor Kathy Sheehan's State of the City address
• May 8, 2018: Mayor announces settlement with Ivy family
• May 16, 2018: Common Council votes to approve $625,000 bond city will use to settle with Ivy family