A former ice cream shop owner in Upstate New York who was accused of calling police and falsely claiming to be threatened by non-violent Black Lives Matter protesters final 12 months was ordered Wednesday to pay them a complete of $4,500 for violating their civil rights.
The choose’s ruling stemmed from a lawsuit by state Attorney General Letitia James in opposition to David Elmendorf, former owner of Bumpy’s Polar Freeze in Schenectady, about 167 miles north of New York City.
Under the ruling, Elmendorf should pay $500 every to 9 protesters he harassed, totaling $4,500.
Elmendorf’s protection legal professional, James Mermigis, stated the allegations had been “categorically false” and that his shopper’s identify was being smeared. Mermigis stated Elmendorf was by no means correctly served a summons, so no protection was made in court docket.
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James’ lawsuit was the primary to rely, partly, on a brand new legislation that makes it unlawful to submit a false “race-based” police report. The legislation was handed final 12 months after a White girl called 911 on a Black birdwatcher in New York City’s Central Park and falsely claimed he was threatening her, studies stated.
Elmendorf is accused of violating state legislation by making “multiple armed threats, including death threats, using derogatory racist language, against peaceful Black protestors and made false reports to the police regarding those protestors,” the swimsuit alleges.
The protesters went to his enterprise in June 2020 to reveal after racist textual content messages Elmendorf allegedly wrote had been shared on social media.
Elmendorf was additionally accused of calling 911 to falsely report that there have been “20 armed protestors who were threatening to shoot him,” in accordance to the lawsuit. He allegedly referred to the Black protesters as “savages,” the swimsuit added.
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“There is zero tolerance for harassment, intimidation, or violence of any kind against anyone in New York,” James stated. “As this nation continues to be plagued by division and hate, this decision sends a critical and clear message that those who perpetuate racism and discrimination, including filing false, race-based police reports, will be held to the fullest extent of the law.”
“This is an important step forward, but our work isn’t over — we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that every New Yorker feels safe and protected,” James added.
Elmendorf is completely barred from making future threats in opposition to individuals due to their race. He’s additionally barred from brandishing a lethal weapon inside 1,000 ft “of any person or group of persons peacefully protesting.”
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Elmendorf is now working in a unique state.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.