Local Black clergy members call for change after Dontay Ivy case

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Members of the Albany African American Clergy are demanding change after release of surveillance video and lack of indictments in the Dontay Ivy case.

Clergy members are demanding change and calling on state and local leaders to review policing policies in the aftermath of Ivy’s death. They said they want justice not injustice.

“We are calling for changes to the Albany police procedures and state policies in the wake of the grand jury’s curing cops in the death of Donald “Dontay” Ivy,” Albany African American Clergy Chair Rev. McKinley Johnson said.

The changes include fully operational video equipment to be put into all Albany police vehicles. They also want cameras to be worn by officers during encounters on the street and during traffic stops. They also want changes to the stop and frisk policy.

“Most of all we really are pushing and encouraging the increased neighborhood policing,” Johnson said. “If they come to know the folk in the community, then they’ll know how to react better. If we know them, then the fear on the police side and the fear on the community side will be lessened and then we can get more done. We’ll have a safe community.”

In addition, the African American Clergy United for Empowerment agrees that the situation has been emotionally charge with a lot of back-and-forth that hasn’t helped either side.

“There’s been a lot of he said she said,” Pastor Victor Collier said. “Until you see what it is in terms of the reality because everybody wants 15 minutes of fame.”

But they do want to see more community policing.

“Let’s, we the people, wake up and realize that we are people and not diversify ourselves based on our color, which is no different from the red and the blue or all the gangs,” Collier said. “But that we are human beings, and if we work together, we can have everything we want. But if we don’t change our thinking and renew our minds, we’re never going to change what God intended us to have.”

The call for change extends beyond the Albany Police Department. The group is also calling on the governor, the attorney general, and legislative leaders to review the grand jury’s decision to see if justice was denied.

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