Updated 06/15/2012 10:05 PM
Lembhard's family holds news conference on autopsy report
Grand jury deliberations are set to begin next week in the deadly police shooting of Michael Lembhard, just days after family members receive his autopsy results. YNN’s Venise Toussaint has the story.
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NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- Michael Lembhard was shot by police 15 times, including eight times from behind, according to an autopsy received by Lembhard family attorney, Michael Sussman. During a news conference, Sussman says those results infuriate family members and further supports their claim that police used excessive force in the 22-year-old’s death.
“The autopsy confirmed our biggest fear, which is that multiple shots were fired. That number of bullets is not fired at someone without the intent to kill and for four officers to be in a room and be unable to subdue someone with other techniques is inexcusable,” said Civil Rights Attorney Michael Sussman.
Sussman says the autopsy also found angel dust, small traces of marijuana and alcohol in Lembhards system but not enough, he says, to cause Lembhard to act erratically. Lembhard was shot and killed during a police confrontation in March.
Four officers trying to serve an arrest warrant chased Lembhard into his sister’s home in Newburgh, where they shot him after they say he lunged at them with a knife.
The Lembhard family’s request for a special prosecutor was denied, they’re now calling for the City of Newburgh to take action against the officers.
“They have a responsibility to ensure that police officers that engage in this kind of conduct do not police again in this city,” said Sussman.
Mayor Judy Kennedy attended the press conference but says she will not comment until a grand jury makes its decision.
“I am a representative of the city and the city has to do its due diligence as well, I cannot make any comment,” Kennedy said.
Jury deliberations will begin Monday. Sussman says family members who were at the home at the time of the shooting will testify. Newburgh Police and Orange County District Attorney Frank Phillips were not available for comment.