Forum to discuss Michael Lembhard shooting
One man's death brings a hundred people together at a forum. A gathering was held after Michael Lembhard was shot and killed. Our Elaina Athans has more.
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NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- "Any violent acts can work against what this family is working toward," said Christian Ministerial Fellowship President Pastor Jeffery Woody.
A night of peaceful dialogue after some rather aggressive marches and rallies in Newburgh following Michael Lembhard's death. Thursday night, different organizations came together and hosted a forum. The NAACP was one group on the panelist and says this incident shows there needs to be strong communications in the city.
"We want to create an environment so citizens can walk down the street without having to worry about being attacked or bothered by the police. There's always a need," said NAACP State Legal Chair Leroy Gadsen.
22-year-old Lembhard was killed earlier this month in an officer involved shooting. Police say Lembhard lunged at officers with a knife, leading them to shoot. The department said the officers response followed procedure
The shooting sparked outrage. Some people feeling police used excessive force. A request made to the Governor's Office to review the shooting in a special investigation. That request was denied earlier this week.
"I think there's a conflict of interest. the governor still needs to step up and take over this case," said Lembhard's uncle Mark Coolige.
As his family tries to move forward, they're planning another massive march. Saturday more than a thousand people are expected to wind through city streets.
"No more killings at least in the City of Newburgh and hopefully it'll spread out to other cities," said Lembhard's aunt Edith King.
But for this city, the organizations involved in the forum plan to use the information to improve community relations.