New York councilman under fire after profanity-filled tirade with police

WABC logo
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
New York councilman under fire after profanity-filled tirade with police
Lucy Yang reports on the profanity-filled tirade involving Newburgh Councilman Omari Shakur and a police detective.

NEWBURGH, Orange County (WABC) -- A New York council member is under fire after his profanity-filled tirade with police last Tuesday.

Newburgh Councilman Omari Shakur was involved in an incident with a City of Newburgh police detective where authorities say the conduct of Shakur during the interaction was profane, vulgar, intolerable and unacceptable.

Shakur was verbally abusive -- according to police -- used obscene language, made obscene hand gestures and even said to the detective that "I'm your (expletive) boss."

Authorities say Shakur, who was captured on a body camera, also threatened to run over another uniformed police officer, telling him, "Pull your gun out (expletive), 'cause I'm getting ready to go at you."

Shakur apologized for his actions to residents at a public meeting Tuesday, but not to police.

"The reaction displayed is not who I am," Shakur said. "I believe all people should be treated with respect and dignity, and that includes members of the police department. That respect must be reciprocal."

Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey is asking for punitive actions for any future issues between elected officials and the police, with the confrontation putting a harsh spotlight on racial issues in the diverse city.

The Newburgh Police Department commented on the incident, stating that the actions by Shakur toward police officers are an example of the exact type of immoral, unethical and divisive behaviors that can never be tolerated.

"Councilman Shakur has repeatedly engaged in conduct that undermines the very fabric of our democracy and has endangered the lives of City of Newburgh Police Officers as well as other first responders that serve our community," their statement read.

The Police Superior Officers Association also states that they stand behind and are in full support of the detective involved in the incident, commending him for the restraint and professionalism he displayed in the face of extreme adversity.

Shakur's mother also spoke about the incident involving her son.

"There's some good police, but there's bad, nasty ones also," she said.

There is bitter history as the councilman's son was shot and killed by police years ago.


* More Northern Suburbs news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts