A former ice cream store proprietor in Upstate New York who was accused of calling police and falsely claiming to be threatened by non-violent Black Lives Matter protesters final yr was ordered Wednesday to pay them a complete of $4,500 for violating their civil rights.
The decide’s ruling stemmed from a lawsuit by state Lawyer Basic Letitia James towards David Elmendorf, former proprietor of Bumpy’s Polar Freeze in Schenectady, about 167 miles north of New York Metropolis.
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 consumer’s title was being smeared. Mermigis stated Elmendorf was by no means correctly served a summons, so no protection was made in court docket.
James’ lawsuit was the primary to rely, partially, on a brand new legislation that makes it unlawful to submit a false “race-based” police report. The legislation was handed final yr after a White lady referred to as 911 on a Black birdwatcher in New York Metropolis’s Central Park and falsely claimed he was threatening her, stories stated.
Elmendorf is accused of violating state legislation by making “a number of armed threats, together with demise threats, utilizing derogatory racist language, towards peaceable Black protestors and made false stories to the police concerning these protestors,” the go well with 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 had been threatening to shoot him,” in accordance with the lawsuit. He allegedly referred to the Black protesters as “savages,” the go well with added.
“There’s zero tolerance for harassment, intimidation, or violence of any type towards anybody in New York,” James stated. “As this nation continues to be tormented by division and hate, this resolution sends a crucial and clear message that those that perpetuate racism and discrimination, together with submitting false, race-based police stories, can be held to the fullest extent of the legislation.”
“This is a vital step ahead, however our work isn’t over — we are going to proceed to work tirelessly to make sure that each New Yorker feels secure and guarded,” James added.
Elmendorf is completely barred from making future threats towards individuals due to their race. He is additionally barred from brandishing a lethal weapon inside 1,000 ft “of any particular person or group of individuals peacefully protesting.”
Elmendorf is now working in a unique state.
The Related Press contributed to this report.