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Implications of expanding Indian success in the west

All Charges Dismissed Against Asian Indian Students at Herricks

The ACLU notified The Illustrated News that charges were dismissed against the Asian Indian students at Herricks and then sent the following release:

"More than a year and a half after 19 Asian Indian students were arrested on charges of Criminal Trespass for congregating on a Herricks ball field, all charges have finally been dismissed. Judge Margaret Reilly of Nassau County First District Court, dismissed charges against the remaining four students on grounds of lack of a speedy trial.

"The case originated on October 25, when Herricks High School Superintendent John Bierwirth asked the police to arrest a group of students who were dispersing after being asked to leave the ball field of the Centre St. Elementary School in Williston Park. Taken away in handcuffs, they spent several hours locked up at the police precinct where both they and their parents claimed they were mocked on racial grounds. Though white students were present on the ball field, none were arrested.

"A year ago the charges of Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Trespass were dismissed by Judge Lea Ruskin of Nassau County District Court on grounds of insufficient evidence. When the district attorney sought to re-present the charges to the Grand Jury, Judge Ruskin declined to grant permission. Nevertheless, both the district attorney and the school superintendent proceeded to try a third time by bringing the same charges against four of the students who had been asked to leave the high school field earlier that same day. With no new evidence, it is these charges that Judge Reilly dismissed today.

"Attorneys for the Nassau Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, who have been representing the students, have also brought a claim of racial profiling against the Nassau County Police Department and the school superintendent on the grounds that none of the white or light-skinned students present were arrested.

"Cooperating attorney Marvin Zevin remarked, 'These charges were baseless from the start. The police found no weapons, no drugs or alcohol, no injuries or evidence of a fight. The persistence of the prosecutors did not fool the judges, which should enhance our faith in the integrity of the courts.'

"Assistant legal director E. Christopher Murray, who has filed the civil suits, commented, 'Now we plan to go full steam ahead with our civil complaint to recover damages inflicted by this frivolous and prolonged criminal prosecution.'

"NYCLU Nassau has also filed a civil suit on behalf of Dr. Balvindar Sareen, father of one of the students, who had complained to the police and the NYCLU originally. Six days after the arrests he was stopped by the police, detained while he and his car were searched and let go. According to chapter director Barbara Bernstein, this was 'pure intimidation in retaliation for his complaint, since the police gave him no ticket for an expired inspection ticket, indicating they had no reason to stop him in the first place.'

"Another parent, Viren Mehra, reacted to the news, 'The parents are overjoyed. It's a shame the district attorney decided to reprosecute the four Herricks students and a shame that the superintendent did not prevent the reprosecution of his own students.'"

The Illustrated News contacted Herricks Superintendent Dr. Jack

Bierwirth who commented, "It was not me or the district who refiled the charges in court, but the district attorney."

Dr. Bierwirth added, "Over a year ago the Herricks Indo-US Association proposed that all sides drop the charges and actions including the police, the DA, the district, the parents and the ACLU and just walk away. The district indicated willingness to do just that and it all would have been over at that point."

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Implications of expanding Indian success in the west - by G.Subramaniam - 01-08-2014, 04:56 PM

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