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Bragg’s Manhattan Office Drops Charges Against Columbia U Protesters

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s office has dropped charges against most of the protesters at Columbia University who occupied campus buildings last month to protest against Israel.

The local prosecutor’s office dropped charges against 31 of the 46 people indicted on trespassing charges, citing “mainly a lack of evidence.” NBC News.

“Prosecutors have told the other 14 that the cases will be dropped if they are not arrested within the next six months, but the defendants have rejected the offer and are scheduled to appear in court again on July 25,” NBC reported.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg attends a news conference in New York, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (Photo by The Associated Press/Seth Wenig)

The 31 dismissed cases involved students or staff from Columbia University, Barnard College and Union Theological Seminary. The defendant, James Carlson, has no ties to Columbia but has two outstanding lawsuits on other charges, one of which involves flag burning.

The 12, who refused to allow the case to be dismissed if no more arrests were made, told reporters they “rejected the prosecution’s conditional dismissal to show solidarity with those who are facing the harshest repression in the entire pro-Palestinian movement.”

Prosecutors said the dismissed case would have been “extremely difficult” to prove because the DA’s office lacked evidence, such as hidden surveillance footage. Some of the defendants were wearing masks, making it difficult to pinpoint their specific actions.

The defense lawyers asked the court to immediately dismiss the charges against all the defendants, saying there was no allegation that they had injured anyone or damaged property.

As Breitbart News reported last month, the New York City Police Department (NYPD) responded to an encampment of anti-Israel protesters who had occupied a Columbia University building and were demanding that the school provide meals.

“The New York City Police Department (NYPD) reportedly launched raids on Columbia University hours after the university restricted access to the campus,” the report noted.

“Columbia University Got information The statement added that the university ordered students to ‘shelter in place’ “hours after it restricted access to campus after anti-Israel protesters occupied the academic building Hamilton Hall early Tuesday morning.”

A video showing police storming in with riot gear went viral.

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