Tuesday, June 6, 2023

City of Newburgh Mayor Threatens to Kick Out Homeless Woman from Public Meeting for Calling Him a Bully

Embattled City of Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey threatened to kick out a homeless woman from a public City Council meeting last night when she said she was tired of him being a “bully.” See the video below.

Harvey has routinely threatened to eject anybody who speaks badly about the Newburgh City Council during the public comment section of meetings (see series of articles here). Prior to the public comment sections at each meeting, Harvey issued censorship mandates to the public requiring them to be “professional” and “respectful.”

On March 21, 2023, The Newburgh News reported (story here) that multiple state and federal courts across the country have already determined these rules violate the U.S. Constitution. A federal court ruled that government officials cannot censor “abusive, personally directed, and antagonistic speech, facially and as-applied.” Court rulings have also determined that a person cannot be censored from speaking if they do not wish to disclose their address.

During the next three City Council meetings following this report (on March 27, April 10, and April 24, 2023), Mayor Harvey’s introductions to the public comment sections drastically changed. Harvey no longer issued censorship rules to the public. Instead, he simply requested members of the public state their names and speak about whatever they wish.

The restrictions on free speech and rights to redress government lasted for almost three full meetings – until last night. When a homeless woman called Harvey a “bully,” the mayor abruptly imposed another new rule that the public cannot “call out” a member of the City Council.

Jubile Martin, who said she is homeless, began addressing the Council after introducing herself. “I’m here to say that I don’t like bullying,” she said. She went on to explain her situation and why she did not wish to give her address.

“Now, I’m not going to disclose my location because you seem to have a bully mentality,” Martin calmly stated while looking at Harvey.

“Me?” Harvey asked.

“Yeah, you,” Martin answered.

This is when Harvey’s previous censorship tactics resurfaced.

“Okay, I’m going to stop you because, Jubile, I’m going to stop you,” Harvey stated.

Martin interrupted and explained to the mayor that she is playing by his rules of being respectful. “You could stop me all you want. I’m saying it respectfully,” she said.

Harvey then slammed the gavel and created a rule that the public cannot “call people out, including the Mayor.” He went on to list a slew of his other free speech restrictions that citizens must obey if they wish to speak to their elected representatives.

After continuing his rant, Harvey threatened, “Please, do not do that, or I’m going to ask you to be removed from this meeting. And that’s the rule for anyone that comes before the Council because we have rules, we have protocols, and we have procedures that have to be followed that this Council adopted in terms of conduct in our meeting. Okay? So please, respectfully, do not call anyone out.”

Martin replied, “I have been respectful and I’m saying I don’t like the bullying. I don’t like the bullying.” She then went on to discuss her personal situation.

Martin concluded, “If something physically happens to me, I’m going to be on record in saying, I’m not going to blame the police department. I know who to blame, but I can’t mention him.”

City of Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey threatens to eject a homeless woman who called him a bully during the public comments section of a public meeting.

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