With Case Against Her Dismissed, Mariah Charles Plans to Sue City

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NEW YORK — The Brooklyn District Attorney’s office formally dismissed the case against a Brooklyn teenager who was roughed up by police on her way to school, a story covered by JJIE last week.

Mariah Charles’ case was dismissed Friday afternoon in a mostly empty courtroom. It had been scheduled to be dismissed in the morning but her file couldn’t be found.

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After a year of wending its way through the legal system, witnesses in a 10th-floor courtroom said the dismissal took all of a minute.

ny bureau“On behalf of the people of New York we dismiss this case,” witnesses said the assistant district attorney announced.  

On the morning of April 28, 2017, Charles, then 19, was walking to South Brooklyn Community High School a few blocks from her apartment in the Red Hook Houses, a housing project, with a friend. They were stopped by a police officer and a sergeant, who asked where they were going and asked for their ID. Charles said she didn’t have an ID, pointed to her school half a block away and told them that’s where she was headed.

When she started to walk away, they slammed her to the ground, put her in handcuffs and tossed her into the back of the police car head first. Her friend and a nearby surveillance camera captured video of the violent arrest, which lasted just under five minutes.  

Police charged Charles with two misdemeanors, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration. Initially the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office had planned to prosecute her.

Charles said she plans on filing a civil suit against the city for the treatment she received at the hands of the sergeant and the officer that day.

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