Bronx District Attorney Aims to Drop Curfew Charges Against Protesters

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 31: Protesters set a dumpster on fire on May 31, 2020 in New York City. Major cities across the United States have seen increased protests against police brutality and civil unrest since the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. (Photo by Stephanie …
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The office of the district attorney for Bronx County, New York, recommended Tuesday that charges be dropped against more than 300 Black Lives Matter protesters who were recently arrested.

In a statement, Democrat District Attorney Darcel Clark said her office would dismiss the “more than 300 summonses” that were issued for curfew violations during the June 4 protest, adding that she sees “no purpose” in prosecuting those minor violations.

A statement from Clark notes that the dismissal of the charges is due to health concerns as courts are trying to limit in-person appearances:

I believe in and encourage our Bronx residents to raise their voices to protest social and racial injustice in a peaceful way. I said back in June that I would not prosecute protestors simply for violating the curfew. While my Office does not prosecute summonses, I will file a motion with the court to dismiss theses summonses, which were issued June 4 in the Mott Haven section, in the interest of justice. The people who received these summonses are due back in court on them on October 2, 2020.

As the COVID-19 virus is still very much with us, and the courts are trying to limit inperson appearances, I believe it serves no purpose to summon hundreds of people to the courthouse for low-level violations. These unprecedented times require prosecutors to be flexible as well as compassionate

The city-wide curfew was implemented by local and state leaders for one night on June 1. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio extended that for several days in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

Thousands have flocked to New York City to protest in favor of Black Lives Matter, including de Blasio’s daughter, Chiara de Blasio, who was arrested during a protest at the time.

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