Monday, September 01, 2014

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Mohawk Valley

Family, friends of Michael Lembhard gather at DA's office

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Albany/HV: Family, friends of Michael Lembhard gather at DA's office
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GOSHEN, N.Y. -- Friends and family of the Newburgh man shot and killed by police earlier this year are demanding the Orange County District Attorney allow an outside prosecutor handle the case.

Dozens of friends and family members of Michael Lembhard gathered outside the DA's office in Goshen on Friday. They carried signs urging DA Francis Phillips to step down from the case.

Police shot and killed 22-year-old Michael Lembhard last month after police said Lembhard came after officers with a knife.

Some community members argue officers used excessive force.

Lembhard's first cousin said the DA is friends with police, which is a conflict of interest in the case.

Juanita King said, "Numerous times before today we have asked the city council to write letters to ask the DA, Francis Phillips, to step aside from this case and give it to the governor. To this point, he has not done so. He feels that he can be impartial. We don't feel like he can be. We need an outside prosecutor to come in and be an impartial party on this."

Family members have said they will rally everyday until their questions are answered.

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