ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Community members holding a rally Friday night are demanding justice for a local man who died in police custody.
But the family of 39-year-old Donald Ivy says they have nothing to do with the rally, and that they are waiting for the outcome of the investigation.
Officers say on Thursday at approximately 12:30 a.m., officers were on patrol when they encountered Ivy walking in the area of Lark Street and Second Street. During their interaction, they say he became highly aggressive and a physical altercation took place between him and the officers.
Police say they Tased him, but it had little or no effect. They say he continued to engage in a fight with the officers and eventually led them on a brief foot pursuit. The officers were able to apprehend him following the foot pursuit and placed him in custody. Once he was secured, he suffered an apparent medical emergency and lost consciousness. The officers immediately administered CPR and summoned emergency medical services to the scene.
Ivy was transported to Albany Medical Center Hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.
The group behind the community rally says they don’t believe police acted appropriately. They plan to be at the Albany Police Station’s South Station on Arch Street at 7 p.m.
Acting Police Chief Brendan Cox says all three officers involved are on administrative leave as an internal investigation is conducted.
Family members say Ivy suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was afraid of people. His cousin Christina Staton told NEWS10 that police called and stopped by Thursday morning to let the family know what happened.
“They approached him and asked him he would take his hands out of his jacket,” she explained. “They said that he refused, and you know, I don’t understand why he would refuse. I understand why he would refuse because he probably wasn’t mentally cognizant of what was being asked of him.”
Cox said the officers involved followed the proper protocols and procedures.
But other family members are still concerned.
“I don’t understand why they stopped him to begin with,” Ivy’s sister, Aneisha Johnson, said.
Cox said police initially approached Ivy because of suspicious behavior.
“We know it was based on suspicious activity at this point, but we still need to in our investigation find out exactly what that activity was,” he said.
“Our biggest concern is that some of the residents around here have a very different account of how things took place,” Staton said.
Police are still waiting for toxicology results and an autopsy report. The incident remains under investigation.