- Published on Thursday, 28 May 2015 12:38
(Note the signature list of legislators)
From the Albany County Common Council:
The Black Lives Matter movement is sounding an alarm across the U.S., highlighting the disparate nature of how justice is inequitably administered in America. As challenges mount and tensions soar regarding community and police relationships across the nation, it has prompted us to look locally, here in the City of Albany, at our own challenges and areas in need of improvement. Without question, we must work together to find solutions.
Over the past several weeks, the Albany Common Council has heard questions and concerns from many people about the events that led to the tragic loss of Donald “Dontay” Ivy’s life. On Friday, May 15, Acting Chief Cox outlined a new policy on the use of Tasers and plans for body cameras in the future. These are meaningful steps forward after Mr. Ivy’s tragic death and the serious disabling of another resident. As our Police Department and District Attorney's office conduct separate investigations into the circumstances surrounding Mr. Ivy's death, we must keep the family and community in our prayers. We must also remain open to learning more about what happened and build a coalition dedicated to preventing similar tragedies in our city.
In late 2009, in response to the cries of neighborhood leaders and many elected officials in our city, the Albany Police Department changed direction and began to implement a community policing philosophy by working with residents throughout the city. We recognize the important strides that have been made by the men and women of our police department building trust in our neighborhoods. We also recognize that there is still more work to be done – particularly in our communities of color.
Our city is not immune to deep-seated cycles of racism, discrimination, oppression and misguided national policies that have contributed to increased negative police interactions with African American males. These policies have also contributed to disproportionate incarceration rates among African Americans– these incarceration rates have devastated too many African American families. We are painfully aware of the headline stories of troubled community/law enforcement encounters, and we recognize that there are many untold stories from others who have experienced less than dignified interactions with law enforcement.
As elected representatives, we must respond to the calls of our constituents and encourage and create a platform for positive action that promotes equitable treatment throughout our city. We cannot wait until the next bad thing happens. Future meetings and forums are being planned to work together, and legislation is being considered by the Common Council. We appreciate that Mayor Sheehan and Acting Chief Cox are supportive of our efforts to proactively address these matters. As a result, we will sustain action-oriented and collaborative dialogue with the administration, other government partners, community organizations and most importantly, you – the residents of the city of Albany. We believe there is no other choice.
Hon. Carolyn McLaughlin, Common Council President
Hon. Dorcey Applyrs, Common Council Member-First Ward
Hon. Vivian Kornegay, Common Council Member-Second Ward
Hon. Ron Bailey, Common Council Member-Third Ward
Hon. Kelly Kimbrough, Common Council Member- Fourth Ward
Hon. Mark Robinson, Common Council Member- Fifth Ward
Hon. Richard Conti, Common Council Member-Sixth Ward
Hon. Judy Doesschate, Common Council Member- Ninth Ward
Hon. Leah Golby, Common Council Member-Tenth Ward