At This Point, “What’s “Really Going On” Out There ?

First and foremost, I render my deepest sympathy and prayers to the family of Tyrell Fincher, who lost his life recently due to an incident with the city of Newburgh’s Police Dep’t. My prayers are also being sent out to the families of Runston “Pop” Lewis and Susan Prokosch whose lives recently ended. They both were involved as members on the City of Newburgh’s School Board. Runston was once the president on the board and served on it for many years. Though he was no longer on the board he never withdrew his involvement in our community. He was also a businessman for years as owner of “POP’s Paradise!” Susan Prokosch had been on the school board for nearly ten years and was the Vice President of the NECSD for the past five years.

Yesterday I was shocked to hear that city of Newburgh Police Chief Solomon was suspended from his position and relieved of his duties. Lt. Kevin Lahar has been appointed officer-in-charge of the police department. Why? Could it have been due to this statement that Police Chief Solomon made in the past re: Councilman Omari Shakur? “I can’t speak to the past, but since I’ve gotten here, we’ve had an open dialogue about things,” Solomon said.” “He (Shakur) has called me on several occasions where he’s had concerns or has advocated for the part of people wishing to look into one thing or another.” “ I get requests for information, and have dialogue with the mayor and members of the council all the time on many different topics, and I will assume that I will have that interaction with him, as well,” Solomon said. “As always, I will do my best to work and cooperate with requests for information from the City Council.” Apparently, this latest development may throw a monkey wrench into that last statement, which it did. WOW!

The City Manager is the appointing authority for the city government and, therefore, had the ability to make the decision, without a vote by the city council, to suspend Chief Solomon. WOW! As to the reason why City Manager Donat chose to appoint Lt. Kevin Lahar was due to the fact that he felt that he’s a man of honor and valor, and has the respect of the rank-and file members of the department. As the result of reading this information in a press release that was in the paper, I decided to look into finding out some information re: Police Chief Solomon. He once was the police chief in Beacon. In 2014 he was elected Village Trustee in Monticello. In 2015 he was appointed Mayor. In 2016 he was elected to a four year mayoral term but resigned in 2018 to focus on his job as Police Chief in Newburgh. WOW!

The city of Newburgh is presently being faced with some real “SERIOUS” situations and I’m very concerned as to how the future is going to be as it pertains to the African American community. Why do I say that? Because of the relationship that has been in existence between my community and the police department throughout the years. Quite a few lives from my community have been lost due to the actions coming forth from several of our police officers. It’s scary to realize that our elected officials have no real authority re: the behavior of our policemen. Only the City Manager has that. WOW!. “SERIOUSLY” think about that! That is what happens when you have a “City Manager” form of government. WOW!

This is “Lillie’s Point of View” and I’m just having my say. Now it’s time for you to have yours.

Hopefully, this article will not put me nor any of my family in any danger, but if so, let it be me and not them. I’m 80 years old now therefore I do not have the time that I used to have.

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