Newburgh City Council seeks state help to investigate police shooting
City of Newburgh leaders are now calling on the Governor's office to help sort out the facts in the fatal shooting of Michael Lembhard. Our Christian Farrell has the latest from city hall.
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NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- And with her own vote Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy ends the city council's emergency meeting Friday evening. Kennedy joins other council members in approving a resolution calling for Governor Cuomo to appoint a special prosecutor to take the lead in the police involved shooting case of Michael Lembhard.
"I believe it's the right course of action to bring some healing to this community - to open the door to create some trust. People have not trusted for so long," said Kennedy.
According to Kennedy the city's decision to ask for outside help in solving a crime is unprecedented.
"People need to have full trust in the outcome of this investigation, so that we can move forward," said Kennedy.
Orange County civil rights attorney Michael Sussman said he's also forwarding a letter to the governor requesting local authorities not be the ones to render justice in the death of a 22-year-old man gunned down by city cops.
"Too many similar needless deaths have occurred, and there is a pressing need for a much stronger official response," said Sussman.
Mayor Kennedy said she has already spoken to the governor's office about appointing a special prosecutor. She said she has made clear the importance in this case of making a decision as soon as possible.
For now the investigation remains in the hands of state police and the Orange County District Attorney's office. Although, Newburgh Police Chief Michael Ferrara said he has no issue with bringing in someone else to look over the evidence in a case the police and public view differently.
"I believe in the district attorney's office and the state police, but if they want an independent investigation, again, the police department has nothing to hide," said Ferrara.