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Black man’s death in Albany cop confrontation yields no charges

ALBANY - Albany County District Attorney David Soares said Wednesday that a grand jury has decided not to charge city police officers in the April death of an African-American man who was subdued with stun guns.

Soares said the medical ruling of the death was heart disease and a heart condition, not the confrontation with police. Bruises from the stun gun were evident in the autopsy and clearly added to “stress” on the man, Donald Ivy, but the stun gun wounds didn’t contribute to the death, said the prosecutor, who is African-American.

“It added to the stress, but it was not the cause,” Soares said in a televised news conference on the heels of a string of cases nationwide about African-American men who died in police confrontations.

Ivy, who was 39, died on April 2 after police stopped him after he acted suspicious and moved toward them, police said.

He said law enforcement officials were unable to find a person seen on video near the scene. Without any eyewitness testimony, the case relied heavily on police statements, Soares said.

Soares, a Democrat, said police and the public need to stop opposing each other and come together to end the rise in violence in the city.

“We’re all being painted with a brush,” he said. “As a person of color, as a black man living in Albany, I am frustrated with the number of young people who are taking one another’s lives. This speaks to hopelessness.”

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