Hours after Michael Lembhard is laid to rest, his friends, family members, and outraged community members took to the streets of Newburgh to demand answers about his death. Our John Wagner has more on their march to city hall, and what city officials are saying about the situation.
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NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- "We want them arrested for murder; that's what they did, committed murder," said Mark Coolidge, an uncle of Michael Lembhard. "If it was me or anybody out here in the street, they'd be in jail."
Emotions ran high as hundreds of Newburgh residents took to the streets, marched on city hall.
"The city needs to get some justice done or this is never going to stop," said Stacey Morales, a friend of the Lembhard family. "They're going to have riots and they aren't going to like what happens to them. They might harm a couple other people. Some things got to be done before things get out of hand."
The marchers shut down Broadway for an hour and later took their fight inside at a city council meeting. Some threatening retaliation; others calling for resignations from police.
"They are crooked and they are murderers and they need to pay," said Morales.
"The kid died for nothing," said Coolidge. "They had tasers. Tase the poor kid, he didn't have to die!"
The Newburgh Police Chief defends the four officers involved in the shooting, saying he will continue to back them up unless the outside investigation proves there was any wrongdoing in the case.
"It's a slow process," said Chief Michael Ferrara. "It's going to take time for the city of Newburgh to heal over this, there's no doubt in my mind."
"And when those results come back, we commit to letting people know what those results are," said Newburgh Mayor Judy Kennedy.
The name Michael Lembhard has become a rallying cry for those who said they want the violence, the police brutality, to stop. They said it's time for a whole new Newburgh.
"We're here peacefully, nobody's in violence," said Coolidge. "We're just doing it in peace; hopefully we can get justice out of it."
"We have this issue but then we have a bigger issue," explained Mayor Kennedy. "How do we really start healing this community? How do we start working together so that we don't ever arrive here again?"