Coming under criticism for his appearance in a rap video that critics say glorifies gun violence and gangs, Mayor Torrance Harvey has fired back.
The mayor is shown in the viral video shaking hands with teens and young adults who, according to City of Newburgh Police Detective Mike Loscerbo, belong to one of the most violent groups in the city.
“He’s seen smiling and shaking hands with everybody and did nothing to remedy the situation,” Loscerbo told Hudson Valley New 12.
The mayor, in a letter released Monday, defended the young people who put the video together. He said they were simply a bunch of kids pursuing a dream to create a music video.
“They had no mentors to guide them, no classes that they could take, and no guidelines to follow. And, so they pursued their dream the only way they knew how. The music production, lyrical acrobatics, and cinematography were all very impressive,” the mayor said. “ These kids have a lot of talent. So, let’s support THAT talent!!!
Harvey said there were “no arrests, no violence, no one was injured, no property was destroyed, no police were involved, there were no incidents,” just a large gathering downtown.
Harvey said he plans to hold a press conference on Monday to announce plans to support “the obvious talent that exists in the City of Newburgh. “