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Columbia University students’ charges dropped after pro-Palestine protest arrests

June 22, 2024 at 11:40 am

New York Police Department officers detain dozens of pro-Palestinian students at Columbia University after they barricaded themselves at the Hamilton Hall building near Gaza Solidarity Encampment earlier in New York, United States on April 30, 2024 [Selçuk Acar/Anadolu Agency]

New York Criminal Court Judge Kevin McGrath decided to dismiss the cases filed against 30 people arrested during pro-Palestine protests in Hamilton Hall at Columbia University.

According to The Guardian: “Stephen Millan, a prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, told the court on Thursday his office would not prosecute 30 protesters who were Columbia students at the time of the arrest, nor two who were Columbia employees, citing prosecutorial discretion and lack of evidence.”

The prosecutor added that no police officers were harmed during the arrests.

Judge McGrath confirmed that the cases filed against 30 detained protesters and university employees had been dropped.

On 18 April, 2024, students and academics who condemn the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip began a sit-in on the campus of Columbia University in New York, demanding that its administration stop its academic cooperation with Israeli universities and withdraw its investments from companies supporting the occupation of Palestinian territories.

After the intervention of the police and the arrest of dozens of protesters, the protests expanded to other universities and spread to countries such as France, the UK, Germany, Canada and India, all of which witnessed demonstrations in support of their American counterparts and demands to stop the Gaza war and boycott companies that supply weapons to Israel.

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