The City of Newburgh government censors will not be happy about this one.
The City of Newburgh Police Department was so busy handling major crimes last night, they had to call in off-duty officers from home to help with the chaos unfolding across the city, The Newburgh News has exclusively learned.
In the first of three major incidents simultaneously, city police rushed to Front Street just south of Billy Joe’s Ribworks for a person who was stabbed while large crowds flocked to the popular Newburgh Waterfront to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
At approximately 9:30pm, police initially received a report that somebody had been stabbed in the area of the Newburgh Ferry parking lot. Police arrived on the scene and found the victim stumbling along Water Street. Officers called an ambulance from Mobile Life Support Services to rush the patient to St. Luke’s Hospital.
Police located the crime scene outside of 6 Front Street, which is the Riverview Salon & Spa. The crime scene was secured and detectives were called in to investigate.
As police were first securing the crime scene, officers reported individuals on dirtbikes or ATVs leaving the area on Water Street. The drivers were not found and it is unknown if they were part of the stabbing.
While police were investigating the stabbing, officers were called uptown for a report of several juveniles walking along Ann Street displaying guns. Officers quickly swarmed the area searching for the suspects, but it is unknown if they were ever located.
A City of Newburgh Police supervisor made the decision to call in off-duty officers to help with the heavy call volume as additional lower priority calls were stacking up.
Then, at approximately 10:15pm, as police were at St. Luke’s Hospital interviewing the stabbing victim, officers learned there had been another stabbing on Mill Street. Police are investigating that incident as well.
Last night’s chaos unfolded amid ongoing censorship from the City of Newburgh government to cover up crime from the public. Mayor Torrance Harvey has faced heavy public scrutiny for censoring multiple citizens attempting to speak at several council meetings when they opposed the City Council. Harvey has attempted to hush the citizens under threats of having police eject them from the meetings.
On September 22, 2022, the Newburgh City Council declared their intentions to begin censoring news from the public and “control the narrative” (story here). City Manager Todd Venning also issued a gag order to all city agencies prohibiting them from releasing information to the public without his say so. Venning is appointed by the City Council.
On October 28, 2022, the City of Newburgh government issued their final press release about any new crime occurring in the city. After this, the City Council then began to vehemently deny that they were covering up crime.
After the public became outraged and accused the city government of covering up crime, The Newburgh News launched its own investigation.
On February 5, 2023, The Newburgh News submitted open records request under the Freedom of Information Law requesting publicly accessible police incident reports for all shootings and stabbings. The request was submitted to the Newburgh City Clerk, who is also appointed by the City Council.
On March 13, 2023, that request was denied by default after the legally mandated 20 day response period had expired with no records produced. The Newburgh News broke a story that evening exposing the cover-up (story here).
On March 15, 2023, The Newburgh News broke a story exposing new censorship that occurred during a March 13, 2023 council meeting. The Council has faced intense public backlash over low staffing levels at the fire department. The Council scolded the public for not following the Council’s “narrative” and having their own opinions. The Council declared they “ignore” the public’s demands because they know what is best for their constituents (story here).
During that meeting, Councilman Omari Shakur went as far as threatening to fire the firefighters for redressing their government, which is protected under the First Amendment rights, and opposing the Council while speaking as individual citizens in plain clothes during the public meetings.
On March 16, 2023, the very next day after The Newburgh News exclusively broke two censorship stories, the City Clerk’s office abruptly produced the previously denied open records.
On March 17, 2023, The Newburgh News exposed the City Council for covering up three stabbings and one shooting in December 2022 and January 2023 (story here).
Later on March 17, 2023, the City of Newburgh government finally issued their first press release about new crime in the last five months. The press release announced a murder that occurred just north of the Newburgh Waterfront the night before (story here).