Protestors interrupt State of the City address in Albany

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – As Mayor Kathy Sheehan began her State of the City address Monday evening, members of the community rallied for Dontay Ivy.

Mayor Sheehan had not even begun her State of the City address when city hall erupted in chants. Protestors cried out, “No Justice. No Peace.”

They chanted for Donald “Dontay” Ivy. The 39-year-old was unarmed when he was Tased by Albany police in April 2015. He died from a pre-existing heart condition that led to cardiac arrest during the incident.

Albany police said they were on patrol around 12:30 a.m. in the area of Lark Street and Second Street when they encountered Ivy. Police said he became aggressive and a physical altercation took place.

Ivy was Tased, but according to police, it had little to no effect on him. Police said Ivy continued to fight with officers before a brief foot pursuit.

He was then apprehended, suffered a medical emergency and lost consciousness. He was taken to Albany Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased.

The Albany County District Attorney conducted an investigation into Ivy’s death. A grand jury cleared the four officers involved in the incident of any wrongdoing.

After several rallies and meetings with city and police officials, Ivy’s family as well as the community said they are frustrated officials refuse to acknowledge what they call the illegality of police stopping Ivy in April. They also remain frustrated that no one has been held accountable for his death.

“Fire those cops! Fire those cops!” the crowd chanted on Monday.

Behind the podium, two signs unfurled that read “State of Denial” and “Justice for Dontay.”

Chants evolved into song as protestors filed out of city hall. Ivy’s aunt expressed gratitutde.

“It means a lot to me to see the city come together for a cause, and that’s the human cause,” she said.

Activists said they will continue to rally until someone is held accountable for Ivy’s death.

Back inside city hall, the mayor said she was glad the First Amendment is alive and well in the city.

“And I share in their pain and their frustration about how they move forward,” she said.

Before the speech, a press conference was held on the steps of city hall. Members of the Black Lives Matter movement announced they started a new, Upstate New York chapter and encouraged anyone interested in joining to find them on Facebook.

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