The Troy city council met for the first time Thursday night after the killing of an 11-year-old boy on Sunday.
The unsolved shooting death of Ayshawn Davis has been followed by a week of vigils, gatherings, and fundraising.
As remembrances continue for the boy who was killed in a drive-by shooting late Sunday, just blocks from city hall, the Troy city council held a two-minute moment of silence for Ayshawn.
Troy City Council President Carmella Mantello opened the previously scheduled Finance Committee meeting with a short tribute to Ayshawn. She said she met with his family this week.
“Ayshawn would say ‘you could accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.’ A couple people called in him a kid of the future. His brother, [Jayvon] Alston, told me yesterday everybody loved him.”
Mantello, a Republican, said she wants to act on a wish by the boy’s father to rename Old Sixth Avenue to Ayshawn’s Place.
“What he specifically said is, when people take the turn by the corner store, he wants folks to remember his son.”
Kevin Pryor, a friend and mentor to Ayshawn, is President of Troy Look Inc. The non-profit has raised more than $6,000 for a reward for information on Ayshawn’s death.
“We can’t turn the light off on this. We gotta keep the light on. If it’s a strobe light…we just can’t let this one go. Because it would send a really bad message to the people.”
At the same time, the FBI announced a $10,000 reward for information. On Friday afternoon, Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said his office is partnering with American Shooter Supply and Trustco Bank to offer a combined $15,000 for such information as well.
The Lansingburgh School District established a scholarship in Ayshawn’s memory, called the “The Ayshawn Davis Anything Is Possible Scholarship.” The district is now taking charitable contributions toward the scholarship.
On Friday, Republican New York State Senator Daphne Jordan, whose 43rd District includes a northern portion of the City of Troy, announced she would introduce legislation to increase the penalty for a drive-by shooting to First Degree Murder.
Though the Troy city council did not take any action regarding public safety Thursday night, Mantello did announce the Troy Police Department has chosen a vendor for new surveillance cameras. The council issued an RFP for new surveillance cameras before the pandemic hit earlier this year. Complaints about non-functioning existing cameras have persisted in Troy.
Mantello said she expects legislation to be brought forward by the administration to support the cameras in the coming weeks. The next regularly scheduled city council meeting is October 1st.
Speaking with WAMC earlier Thursday, Troy Mayor Patrick Madden said the city will conduct an outreach effort to gather clues into Ayshawn’s death.
“So we're actually going to be walking the streets getting information out to people, how they might share information with us. And the availability of the award that is out there for information that might lead to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators.”
The Troy police department is stressed under the weight of 12 homicides this year as the city faces fiscal uncertainty with a federal COVID-19 relief bill stalled. Though Madden said the investigations could “break” the budget, told WAMC he’s determined to “find a way” to pay for it.
The Troy City Council’s Public Safety Committee meets September 29th. Mantello has requested several items be discussed including the surveillance cameras, minimum staffing on police patrols, and more.
Mayor Madden is also developing a presentation on public safety with police.