Take a crime prevention class or go to jail: Westchester DA’s scathing rebuke of anti-Israel college protesters

Westchester County prosecutors are giving anti-Israel protesters who have been busted throughout a campus demonstration at SUNY Purchase a selection — enroll in a crime prevention course or face jailtime.

Westchester District Attorney Mimi Rocah mentioned almost all of the 68 protesters arrested on the state college on May 2 may have the choice to take a three-hour “Fresh Start” course as half of plea offers to hold them out of the county lockup, the workplace mentioned Wednesday.

“After evaluating the facts and circumstances, the WCDAO is offering our pre-arraignment diversionary program to eligible individuals, as we routinely do when first-time defendants face trespass violations,” a spokesperson for Rocah mentioned in a assertion.

Westchester County DA Mimi Rocah.
Westchester County DA Mimi Rocah says anti-Israeli protesters busted at SUNY Purchase can keep away from jail time in the event that they agree to a three-hour crime prevention course. Pacific Press/LightRocket by way of Getty Images

The “Fresh Start” program was created by Rocah in 2021 in its place to prosecution choice for first-time offenders.

Most of these arrested on the state-run faculty have been charged with trespassing when college police broke up the demonstration on the suburban campus after pupil and school protesters didn’t disperse, in accordance to a report by

The controversial sweep led to negotiations between pro-Palestinian protesters and college directors, with the scholar group accusing police of overreacting.

“It was completely uncalled for,” pupil protester Kaelin Martin instructed of the May 2 raid. “We actually began sitting in a circle quietly, even respecting the quiet hours that our school implements.

“It’s completely ridiculous and they couldn’t have handled it worse.”

The Purchase protest was one of dozens taking part in out on college campuses throughout the US, together with at Columbia University and different faculties within the Big Apple.

SUNY Purchase students in court.
SUN Purchase pupil protesters wait to face a choose in Harrison Town Court after busts at anti-Israeli protest. Seth Harrison/The Journal News / USA TODAY NETWORK

On May 7, cops cleared away an anti-Israel encampment on the Fashion Institute of Technology.

It got here after the NYPD stormed Columbia’s Morningside Heights campus final month and arrested greater than 100 protesters, together with 44 who had damaged into Hamilton Hall and barricaded the historic educational constructing.

Days later, police broke up a tent encampment at New York University and the New School, arresting greater than a dozen anti-Israeli demonstrators.

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