Newburgh boutique owner apologizes for photo with controversial shirt

Posted: Updated:
NEWBURGH -

A Newburgh boutique owner faced criticism from activists after posting a photo of herself wearing a controversial T-shirt online.

The shirt says "Newburgh - where the weak are killed and eaten." The photo was posted on Facebook and Instagram Saturday by Cream Newburgh boutique owner Amal Ishak one day after a fatal drive-by shooting that killed 40-year-old resident Jermain Cooper.

Newburgh activist Omari Shakur says he lost his own son to a police-involved shooting in the city, and that he and others were outraged by the post.

Shakur commented and the photo and said he'd protest outside of her shop if her "building is still standing."

Ishak says the shirt's message was misinterpreted and issued a public apology online, saying, "I'm so very sorry. If I thought that the original and intended meaning of that shirt, which was we are tough and strong here in Newburgh, would be misconstrued to be an insensitive, terrible thing - I would have never posted it. Myself and my family are distraught over any harm that this has caused anyone."

Cream Newburgh is blocks away from sites of multiple homicides, including a triple murder in 2003 and the slaying of a 4-year-old in 2009.

Ishak says she has notified police of online threats and declined to be interviewed citing safety reasons.

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