Special prosecutor denied for police-involved shooting death
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NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- The governor's office has denied the City of Newburgh's request for a special prosecutor to investigate the police-involved shooting death of Michael Lembhard.
The 22-year-old, who was wanted, was shot and killed earlier this month after four members of the anti-crime unit chased him into his sister's home. Two of the officers shot Lembhard when they said he threatened to kill himself, then came at them with a knife. His family disputes the officers' claims.
The city then requested a special prosecutor to investigate the incident. The governor's office said the request has been denied because, by law, a special prosecutor can only be granted if the district attorney does not conduct an investigation.
Orange County DA Frank Phillips is conducting an investigation along with State Police and the county medical examiner's office.
Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy released a statement saying, "While we have worked hard to get a Special Prosecutor and are disappointed that one will not be assigned, we are united in our commitment to ensuring a fair and just outcome to this tragic event and we will cooperate with the investigation in every way."