NEWBURGH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A traffic stop in an Orange County city escalated into an ugly confrontation between a local lawmaker and police.
As CBS2’s Scott Rapoport reported Monday, that lawmaker, Newburgh Councilman-At-Large Omari Shakur, directed an explosive, profanity-laced tirade at an officer.
Officer: “Why can’t you just give me your information, we’ll be on our way?”
Shakur: “I’m not giving you [expletive]. Get the [expletive] out of my face or arrest me.”
“Get the [expletive] out my face. Don’t touch my [expletive] door. Don’t touch me.”
The exchange happened last Tuesday on Carpenter Avenue. Police said Shakur had stopped his SUV in the middle of the street, and that when cops beeped for him to move he ignored them. As seen on video, an officer then approaches Shakur and asks for his license. That’s when things got ugly.
Officer: “Mr. Shakur, just give us your license and registration so we can be on our way. I’m not giving you nothing.”
Shakur: “[Expletive] arrest me.”
Shakur repeatedly refuses to hand over his license and tells cops he is on a working call and claims he is being harassed.
“I’m sitting here talking about some official business. I’m your [expletive] boss,” he says.
Officer: “You’re not my boss.”
Shakur: “Get the [expletive] out of here.”
The entire 25-minute encounter obtained by CBS2 was captured on police body cam. At one point, the furious councilman cranks up the music in his car — the song “Fight The Power” and then he defiantly gives police the finger.
Reaction from local police and the Police Benevolent Association was that of condemnation and anger.
“Total disrespect. That’s it. Simple,” said Det. Mike Loscerbo, the vice president of the PBA.
“When we’re treated like garbage by a councilman or any elected official in Newburgh, it’s disgusting. It really brings the morale down for the police department,” PBA President Ricardo Rivera added.
Councilman Shakur has since apologized for the incident in a statement on Facebook, but claims the video didn’t show everything.
“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,” Shakur wrote.
Police said Shakur’s 23-year-old son, Antonio “Tony” Bryant, was shot and killed by city police during an incident in 2006.
Rapoport messaged Shakur several times throughout the day Monday requesting an on-camera interview, but he said he could not do one in time for this report. However, he said he would speak about the incident on Monday night after a regularly scheduled city council meeting.
Shakur has called on the city for an independent investigation into the matter. The mayor of Newburgh said that the investigation was already underway Monday.