Grand Jury does not indict in Dontay Ivy death

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A grand jury cleared four Albany officers of any wrongdoing in the Tasing death of Dontay Ivy.

Albany County District Attorney David Soares delivered a letter to Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan on Wednesday. The letter detailed the investigation into Ivy’s death, including why officers initially stopped him.

“I had to speak with the Ivy family and inform them of the results of the grand jury,” Soares said. “If I feel off today, it’s because my heart breaks for them.”

The report stated suspicion of Ivy arose because Albany Officer Joshua Sears thought it was too warm for Ivy to be wearing a puffer coat and that Ivy was walking in a way that looked like he was carrying a weapon. Further investigation showed it was 29 degrees that night, and Ivy was unarmed.

“Mr. Ivy’s mental health problems were coming off as someone who’s nervous, someone who’s fidgeting,” Soares said. “He kept lowering his arms, so without an independent witness outside of law enforcement, this is the explanation for why Officer Sears was detaining Mr. Ivy.”

Soares said questions may remain about why Ivy was stopped for walking home, but the medical examiner’s report said the use of the Taser was not the cause of his death. The report stated the Taser was only a contributing factor as Ivy had an enlarged heart.

In the end, Soares said the case wasn’t about why the confrontation took place but what caused Ivy’s death.

“The doctor’s opinion is that the use of a Taser was not the cause of death; however, the use of a Taser was a contributory source of stress during the event,” he said.

Regardless of the grand jury outcome, the district attorney said Ivy’s death brings up a profound question that the entire nation is now struggling to answer.

“At the end of the day, we’re faced with the question, why can’t people of color be out walking at a certain time of night without police interaction?” Soares positioned.

Soares said the investigation took over six months because investigators were trying to find witnesses other than police officers, but they were not able to locate anyone else.

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