Changes to be implemented for Albany PD after Dontay Ivy death investigation

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Local leaders are asking for more changes within the Albany Police Department following the Dontay Ivy death investigation.

Leaders said their requests are finally being heard. A press conference was held on Thursday to outline some of the changes they said will be made.

The press conference was held by the NAACP, African American clergy members, and local government leaders who gave an overview of changes they said are being made by the Albany Police Department. Other community groups were on hand, but they said the changes are not enough.

More than a year after Ivy’s death, his aunt, Celinda Okwousa, is still in the healing process.

“The wounds is open all over again, and I’m struggling,” she said.

Okwousa is happy to see the city start to move forward.

“This is my home,” she said. “I don’t want to see tension. I just don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”

Community leaders said they’re finally seeing the change they’ve been asking for.

“These specific changes are only the beginning of the healing for our city,” Pastor David Traynham of New Horizons Christian Church said.

They said their demands have been heard by the Albany Police Department.

“This was a deep rooted problem and continues to be, and nothing that we have done is going to say that the hurt and the pain is going to just go away,” Traynham said.

Some of the changes include speeding up the implementation of body cameras, more training for police, and business cards for all officers so they can connect with the community more easily.

But other community groups said it’s not enough.

“I think, with all due respect, what we heard today in terms of proposed reforms are woefully and completely inadequate,” Colin Donnaruma with Capital Area Against Mass Incarceration said.

“We know that policing and the way the current movement of young people around the country are saying that we want systemic structural changes,” Rosa Clemente with Black Lives Matter said.

Okwousa agrees with the changes.

“They are a step in the right direction, and I think that it has to start someplace,” she said.

But Okwousa wants it to go further. She wants video footage from police fed to a third party for review.

“It should be fed into an independent organization rather than going into the police,” she said.

Okwousa also said she’s far from finished when it comes to fighting for justice for her nephew.

“If you don’t make some noise, you won’t get things done,” she said. “And it takes people making noise to get action.”

Additionally, the leaders at the press conference said they want more dialogue moving forward and ways to take boundaries down between law enforcement agencies and the public.

NEWS10 ABC reached out to police for comment but did not get a response.

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