Downtown Baltmore - There were actually two protests today against City State's Attorney Greg Bernstein today.
The Black Media Workers want the city state's attorney's office to explain why the most serious charges against a member of a Park Heights community watch group called Shomrim were reduced.
The group which is made up of talk radio personalities says the whole episode is causing a lot of black folk in the city to lose confidence in the judicial system.
“A young African American being attacked that goes to that northwest high school they want to know no comment is going to suffice for them they want to know exactly why and Mister Bernstein still works for the citizens in this city." Black Media Group Member Hassan Giordano says.
“The perception is that this is not being handled in a way it would normally be handled if this were an African American in reverse." Pau Robeson Institute President Michael Johnson says.
The other protest was on the other side of the Mitchell Courthouse.
Several community activists are calling for City State's Attorney Greg Bernstein to step down over the Shomrim case.
They're accusing Bernstein of not taking a crime against a black person seriously....because the accused are white and Jewish.
Brothers Avi and Ellie Werdesheim face false imprisonment and second degree assault charges for allegedly detaining and beating a 15 year old who was walking through upper Park Heights.
They're say the reduction of Ellie's Werdersheim's charges to second degree assault is especially is a slap in the face.
“When a young youth a 15 year old from northwestern high school who has no choice but to walk through a wealthy predominately white neighborhood is told that you don’t' belong in this neighborhood what is that but a cold word for racism." Sharon Black of the Baltimore People’s Congress says.
Late this afternoon Bernstein's office released a statement.
He says based on their investigation the charging decisions made in these cases are consistent with the law and the facts.
He says quote...
"No factors beyond the facts and the law were considered, nor will any factors outside the facts and the law ever be considered in making charging decision in future cases."
In the statement Bernstein also says that it is not appropriate to make any further public statements about the fact of this case or any pending cases until after a trial in which all of the evidence is presented.
The head of the Baltimore City Council said Bernstein should be given the opportunity to make his case. "I think people should wait and let the state's attorney do what he's supposed to do and let's see what happened from there,' said Council President Bernard 'Jack' Young.
Councilman Carl Stokes argued that the Shomrim group's activities should be suspended, but he defended Bernstein's actions in the case so far. 'We should accept his explanation as to why he changed the charges or lowered the charges on what he feels is necessary to win a conviction,' Councilman Stokes said.
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