ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Celestal Hightower was Dontay Ivy’s cousin. She wants him to be remembered for more than just the police stop early Thursday morning and how his life ended. Instead, she hopes people will focus on all that he accomplished.
Ivy was a standout on the Albany High basketball team. He received a prestigious scholarship and went onto graduate college and serve in the navy. Then in his late 20’s, Hightower says things changed. Ivy was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. While the condition affected him, Hightower says it didn’t alter his personality.
“I’ll remember his smile, his kindness. He was so kind, he’d do anything for you. He would always come up to me and say looking good, you’re looking good.”
That’s why Hightower and the rest of her family still don’t understand how he could have become aggressive with officers. Police say he fought with officers and that’s why he was tased. He died shortly after in police custody.
“I don’t know what happened. I don’t know what took place. All I know is that we deserve answers. We deserve to have Dontay’s memory to be intact is who he really is,” Hightower said.