Manhattan District Attorney Drops Charges Against Anti-Israel Student Protesters

Israeli vs Palestine

Scores of anti-Israel demonstrators, who this past April took over and locked themselves in Columbia University buildings, had their charges dismissed this past Thursday.

Over the recent weeks, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg had dismissed cases against 30 students and staff members who were detained due to the campus disturbances.

In court, Judge Kevin McGrath stated: “The interest of justice is to dismiss and seal all these matters.”

The protesters, who all were arrested on April 30 hours after occupying Hamilton Hall, were charged initially with trespass in the third degree, classified as a misdemeanor.

A prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, Stephen Millan, said that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove that any individual defendant had committed property damage or hurt anyone. Prosecutors also said none of the students arrested had criminal records, including those who were threatened with suspensions and expulsions by Columbia University.

The students who had their case dismissed currently face school disciplinary proceedings.

The chaotic demonstrations followed a week-long series of similar protests in which thousands of anti-Israel demonstrators set up illegal protest camps on college campuses for the duration of Israel’s war with Hamas. The suspensions sparked a massive boycott.

Bragg’s office would not dismiss the charges for 13 other defendants. Two of the 13 are former Columbia students and the other 11 had no connection to the school.

Their cases would have been dropped if they avoided being arrested over the next six months. However, they rejected the offer and are scheduled to appear in court next month.

The office is currently prosecuting James Carlson, who is not a student at the university, due to criminal mischief and arson charges for burning an Israeli flag before the takeover and damaging a police surveillance camera in jail.