What to Know
- Police body camera footage shows an exchange between police officers and a Newburgh city councilman
- The councilman delivers a profanity-ridden tirade toward officers
- The city council is preparing to discuss the incident at a scheduled meeting Monday night
The Newburgh City Council is preparing to address a controversy centered around one of its own at a public meeting Monday night.
At attention is leaked police body camera footage showing an interaction between Newburgh police officers and Councilman Omari Shakur.
"Just give me your license and registration so we can be on our way," said one of the two officers that responded to the scene Tuesday afternoon.
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"I'm not giving you nothing... arrest me cause I'm sitting here taking care of business," Shakur can be heard responding in the video.
The incident unfolded on Carpenter Avenue after investigators say one of the officers happened to pull up behind Shakur, who was parked in the middle of the street. They say the officer used his horn and police lights, but Shakur refused to move out of the way.
Police body cameras captured a more than 20-minute profanity-laced tirade from the councilman. Sources shared the video with MidHudsonNews.com, which shared the video with News 4.
"Then get the ---- out of my face then!" Shakur shouts at one particularly heated moment. "I'm your ----ing boss!"
Less than one week later, the video was viewed tens of thousands of times, prompting responses from people, including the city's mayor.
"Unprofessional, unacceptable... an no one, whether you're an elected official or not, should speak to any law enforcement officer in that regard," Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey said.
Councilman Shakur has since apologized for the incident in a statement posted to Facebook.
"Before the video footage there was approximately 15 minutes of an unrecorded interaction with an undercover officer during which I was subjected to direct and personal harassment that were deeply disrespectful to me, my deceased son and my family," the post reads.
Shakur's son, Antonio "Tony" Bryant, was shot and killed by Newburgh police in 2006.
Meanwhile, people who live in the community are split over the councilman's actions.
"His title at that time really didn't matter because how he felt like he was being targeted and mistreated so he's going off his emotions, I think," said Taj Humbert. "I don't think he was wrong, but due to his title he could have handled it a little better."
"Nothing justifies his attitude and the appalling behavior this person had, and if he feels he was justified in doing that then he needs to rethink how he thinks because it was definitely unprofessional on his part. Very embarrassing and very insulting," said John Kraften.
A city council meeting is scheduled for Monday night where the incident and video will be addressed.
The incident is also under investigation by an outside agency as well as the district attorney to determine if the councilman could face any disciplinary action.