Protests for justice continue in Newburgh
The family and friends of Michael Lembhard will not go quietly. Saturday, they stage the largest rally to date. Our Christian Farrell has more.
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NEWBURGH, N.Y. - The family and friends of Michael Lembhard haven't changed what they want. Saturday they rally in a familiar spot. About 100 people gather at the corner of Liberty Street and Broadway, calling for justice in the Newburgh police involved shooting of the 22-year-old man.
"The DA needs to step down so the governor can act on it. The only way the governor is going to act is if the DA steps down," said Mark Coolidge, uncle of Michael Lembhard.
This week Governor Andrew Cuomo rejected the request of the Newburgh City Council to appoint a special independent prosecutor to take the lead in the case. The governor says it's the Orange County District Attorney's job to investigate. But Coolidge refuses to accept Cuomo's decision.
"This case needs to be taken out of Orange County. That's the only way to do this," said Coolidge.
Lembhard was shot and killed back on March 7th. Police claim the two officers who fired shots acted in self-defense after Lembhard lunged at them with a knife. Lembhard family member Annmarie Mahoney questions their use of force.
"The police are here to protect us, not harm us. They need to use better discretion in the future of when they really have to go for those guns," said Mahoney.
Organizers say rallies and marches will continue until they get what they want - which they say is a fair trial for a young man who should not have been killed.
"If we keep screaming loud enough somebody is going to hear us," said Juanita King.