Charges to be dropped against most pro-Palestinian protesters from Columbia University

Written by on June 21, 2024

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

(NEW YORK) — The Manhattan district attorney’s office on Thursday moved to dismiss the charges against most of the pro-Palestinian protesters arrested at Columbia University and nearby City College, though prosecutors are moving forward with cases against a handful of protesters who allegedly assaulted police officers.

Prosecutors said they’re hamstrung by “extremely limited video or surveillance footage of what occurred inside Hamilton Hall” since most cameras were covered by the protesters.

Charges against 31 people will be dropped, though they’re still subject to discipline by Columbia University since they’re students or staff.

“In light of those disciplinary proceedings, the People move to dismiss these cases,” prosecutors said.

The district attorney’s office offered adjournments to 12 other defendants who are not employees or students at Columbia University provided they stay out of trouble.

The cases against six defendants who are charged with assaulting police officers at either Columbia or City College remain ongoing.

The protest movement connected to the Israel-Hamas war began in April at Columbia and swept across college campuses nationwide.

Hundreds of protesters were arrested at campuses across the country, while encampments were torn down and events canceled.

Columbia University canceled its large graduation ceremony on the main lawn where a protest encampment had been based before the NYPD dismantled it in May.

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