Newburgh mayor explains his cameo in gangsta rap video

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Newburgh Mayor Torrance Harvey says he had no clue he was being recorded and was acknowledging a former student's 'hello'

NEWBURGH – A video on YouTube, filmed in Newburgh, is filled with language and images that are anti-police, misogynistic, and vulgar. It also includes a brief cameo of Mayor Torrance Harvey smiling and pointing out his car window.

The mayor, who is a high school teacher, told Mid-Hudson News he drove to the neighborhood because he was informed of a large crowd of young people gathered and when he went there to check out the situation, he saw a couple of his former students and as they engaged him in a brief conversation, he responded, not knowing the content of the video or the fact that he was being recorded.

“I do not condone that type of rhetoric. I come from the old school genre of hip-hop and in my day and in my choice of music is on a positive… we are talking Run DMC, LL Cool J,” he said.

Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said the mayor’s video appearance may have been innocent, but with gun violence nationwide on the rise, it does not sit well with law enforcement.

“It sends a message to all those in law enforcement and the message isn’t a good one. We expect our community leaders to use more common sense in these circumstances,” he said.

The mayor said he would ask that his video be removed from the recording if he knew who had produced it.