N.Y. Judge Dismisses Students’ Discrimination Suit
A federal appeals court has dismissed discrimination charges in a lawsuit brought by 32 Black students at the State University of New York at Oneonta, who alleged that state police singled them out as suspects in an attempted rape investigation because of their race.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined the state police investigation was not based on a racial profile, but rather on the victim’s description.
However, the appeals court ordered a portion of the lawsuit returned to a lower court for trial on the students’ claim that they were illegally detained.
An attorney for the students says he will continue to pursue the discrimination charges and would ask the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case.
The case dates back to September 1992, when a 77-year-old woman said she was attacked in her home near the Oneonta State campus. She could only identify her assailant as a Black male who might have cut his hand.
State police had school officials compile a list of Black male students, then systematically questioned 300 Black men and examined their hands and arms.
Former Gov. Mario Cuomo, the state police and college officials later apologized for the searches. No one was arrested.
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