Sunday, March 15, 2015

NY's Hate Crime Law Covers Athena Assault


Why Isn't GPD Taking Action?

New York State Penal Law §485.05 Hate crimes.


1. A person commits a hate crime when he or she commits a specified offense
and either:
(a) intentionally selects the person against whom the offense is committed or
intended to be committed in whole or in substantial part because of a belief or
perception regarding the race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion,
religious practice, age, disability or sexual orientation of a person, regardless of
whether the belief or perception is correct, or
(b) intentionally commits the act or acts constituting the offense in whole or in
substantial part because of a belief or perception regarding the race, color,
national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability or
sexual orientation of a person, regardless of whether the belief or perception is
correct.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


(b) the term “disability” means a physical or mental impairment that
substantially limits a major life activity.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Crimes that can be charged under this NY Statute include various levels of: harassment, stalking, coercion, menacing, assault, reckless endangerment, sexual abuse and criminal mischief.


30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Depends how many $ the parents have and how connected they are to the administration.

Anonymous said...

What about the child pornography laws? It's my understanding that the vile little punks recorded that young person in the nude and then shared the recording via snapchat. Doesn't this fall directly under under the laws prohibiting such actions?

SCATS said...

To 2:55PM ~~ Yup, especially if the one kid is the son of a cop, as is being discussed on social media.

To 3:06PM ~~ Great question.

Anonymous said...

I believe the boy was targeted because he was an easy target, as would be argued by an astute defense attorney. Not because of the disability in and of itself.
More likely the perps could be charged with sex crimes. Hope they are no longer in that high school.

SCATS said...

To 7:23PM ~~ His disability likely makes him an easy target as per the legal definition under the Hate Crimes Statute: "the term "disability" means a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity."

Anonymous said...

This story has sort of stalled in the news. While I'm sure that's a relief to the GCSD, the residents of Greece should be kept informed. How long does it take to *investigate*?? Why isn't the PD and school board making any statements? My kids are telling me that they're all talking about it at school and a lot of 5th graders are scared to go on to middle school!
Are these bullies still in school? Has any action been taken?

SCATS said...

To 11:29AM ~~ Friday afternoon is when officials breathe a huge sigh of relief over stories like this one. They know that weekend news crews (third string) aren't likely to keep up with the story.

All I can tell you is that reading/watching social media will give you info the media doesn't. The students know what's going on in school, but they also know they have to be careful in spreading the truth. Another student can get them into trouble and have their cell phone taken away & contents destroyed by GCSD employees with NO accountability on the adult end at all.

It is obvious the cell phone policy GCSD adopted DOES NOT WORK,

Anonymous said...

You can bet the district and Town will try to keep it hushed up until after the vote!!

Anonymous said...

I'm betting none of the specified crimes fit this case and who knows what a major life activity means but I'm also betting that doesn't fit either. He goes to school so that's not substantially limited. I went online and I don't see any offense that fits judging by what we've been told by the media. Which of course will probably end up being wrong as usual. These kids will be getting in trouble and arrested if that is possible. There is no rush to do that. I'd rather see it go slow and be done right since we have no clue what really happened or is in the video.

SCATS said...

To 2:59PM ~~ You REALLY need to get out more! If you want to know "what really happened" just talk to an Athena student, read some FB pages, look at Twitter. How do you think the D&C was able to break the news with the actual details??

BTW, plenty of students attend school in wheelchairs, or suffer from significant heart conditions and/or respiratory issues which I'm pretty sure qualifies as "limiting a major life activity." It sure doesn't help in phys ed!

Anonymous said...

DA Sandy Baby damn well didn't have any problem ordering Roderick Scott cuffed up and hauled in in the wee hours of the morning even though the cops on scene said it was a good shooting.

The DOUBLE standard is in full force in this case, after all some other "news" story closer to a restaurant or bar will pop up soon and it's a long drive to Greece to stand a talking head in front of a school sign for a maybe story.

Anonymous said...

I heard one week suspension.

Anonymous said...

what are the social media pages & groups that are talking about this?

SCATS said...

To 4:17PM ~~ That is pathetic! (if true)

To 4:43PM ~~ Ask an Athena student for help with that. I believe there's around +/-1000 of them in Greece.

Anonymous said...

I love the "Anything Goes" quote on the Athena signboard in the background whenever a reporter is out front shooting a piece for this story!!!

Anonymous said...

So now we get "what really happened" from teenagers, facebook and Twitter. Let's see all three are GOSIP magnets. Anyone can say anything on there without any actual knowledge of the events. Ever play that game where u sit in a circle and tell the first person something and then hear the crap that ends up being said? I'm all for punishing these kids but it can't be a hate crime if it doesn't fit. There is an "and" in there it has to be one of the offenses (which it's not) AND the victim must fit the legal definition or what the courts have ruled. Just because he is disabled doesn't work. you have to read the law and understand it. Otherwise any thing done to anyone of another race or color would be a hate crime but it's not. If you hated people in wheelchairs because they had in your mind wronged you or your family and now you are targeting them specifically then it could be a hate crime. Just robbing a person in a wheelchair is not. Sorry but your headline is wrong you need both halfs and I don't think you have even one half, at least from what has been released to us, not GOSIP on facebook or from kids who where not there.

SCATS said...

To 5:46PM ~~ Appropriate? lol

To 9:17PM ~~ Oh boy, where to begin ...
Apparently you haven't heard. The offense was videotaped and POSTED TO A CELL PHONE APP WHERE IT WENT VIRAL!

Because of that, another student told a teacher about the incident. Without the online media and social sites, there would have been no evidence, no tattling, no issue.

If you listened to the reporters, they are saying that they got their info FROM STUDENTS & TEACHERS. WHERE DO YOU THINK THEY GOT IT FROM??

I think your understanding of the law is almost as good as your spelling. If these kids were a few months older, they would be charged with several offenses, period.

By the way, Berkeley Brean covered the situation from the angle of the Hates Crime Laws tonight :) SCATS got a two-fer for media coverage today !

Anonymous said...

Hi SCATS,

Since the GPD (AKA: Keystone Cops) can't seem to handle this relatively simple situation and the fool district wants this to blow over as soon as possible; what about the NY State Police or the AG's office?

There is video of the incident and the scum perpetrators are now known. I would think it would be very easy to handle this situation.

Maybe the parents of the Victim need to contact an attorney; the kind that goes for the jugular and doesn't let go. Maybe when the 3 idiots' parents are sued and face the possibility of losing all the stuff they worked for (assuming they have anything). Maybe then something will change...

I know it's a lot of "maybes", but I sure hope the Town and the School does not let the Victim down.

As an aside, I attended Athena Jr. High from '77-'79. It was by and far the worst experience in my public education. The kids were animals back then, and now you have the offspring of those animals causing more grief. My heart truly goes out to not only the Victim, but the good, decent kids that just want to get an education.

Thanks for the blog, and thanks for letting me get this off of my chest. Keep up the good work! :)

SCATS said...

To 8:09AM ~~ Just last evening, a friend & I were talking about whether it would make a difference if the victim's family came forward. But it was more in the context of how things would PROBABLY be handled much differently if the victim were female - because then there would be none of this "boys will be boys" mentality that is likely feeding into the repercussions doled out by a mostly female school district staff, and mostly male police force. The point is that what happened to the special needs kid is tragic, outrageous and likely an indicator that the twerps who did it are cemented onto a pathway of future criminal activity we're likely to read about in headlines down the road.

I have a saying I use in watching human behavior: Twice IS a pattern, because humans tend to be creatures of habit. For two of these boys, this was TWICE.

TY for the compliment :)

SCATS said...

Looks like some other people who ought to know agree with SCATS about this being a hate crime & criminally charged!


From WHEC-TV:
Elaine Spaull says, "Free passes are not good for young people. They need to be held accountable."

Spaull runs the Center for Youth and she was on the governor's commission that recommends raising the youthful offender age from 16 to 18.

Spaull: "But absolutely there must be a consequence."
Brean: "Criminal consequence, even if they're 15?"
Spaull: "Criminal consequence, absolutely, but it doesn't mean they go to an adult jail. So the consequence may be in some kind if security system or detention or probation or some kind of impact on them."
Spaull says New York is one of only two states that allow 16-year-olds to be charged as adults -- North Carolina is the other. In the other states, where the age is 18, there is a decrease in juvenile crime and an increase in graduation rates.
Sixteen-year-olds in adult jails are 28 times more likely to commit suicide and significantly less likely to graduate from high school. So even though people are angry about this, remember, we're still talking about 15-year-olds.

http://www.whec.com/news/stories/S3736920.shtml?cat=565

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree that the parents should get a lawyer, because the school district and pd won't do a damn thing, however I feel that the victim probably just wants this all to go away. I'm all for the little jerks being expelled, but their friends could go on to harass the poor kid for the rest of his days at Athena. Of course that SHOULD NOT happen, but it could. My heart breaks for the victim and his parents. What a horrible situation that's made worse because had these bullies learned their lesson the first time (which most likely was not thier first time bullying), if the GCSD had actually held them accountable for the bus monitor incident and set an example that this behavior will NOT be tolerated, well maybe this wouldn't have happened.

Anonymous said...

Civil Court Implications forthcoming??? Criminal charges tend to substantiate the need to settle out or stand one's chances for damages.

Anonymous said...

Scat's
Is there any opportunity here for you to create a poll that might influence our GCSD Board and Super to "do the Right Thing"?

One that might ask GCSD staff and students alike whether they feel safer with these student attending school or bounced to Industry?

Especially in light of the fact that 2 of the 3 are admitted abusers of an adult(elderly) and child (who as heard from District Head of Security was, "not all that disabled of a victim").

SCATS said...

To 6:17PM ~~ I can create a poll, but it won't be very scientific. We're hoping to get back to the issues surrounding a vote in ONE WEEK, but the idea you have can be done anytime. TY.

Anonymous said...

Well well well I guess I was right again. 3 kids arrested as juveniles, no hate crime and directly from chief Phelan's quote on the news (ch 13) "Some media outlets exaggerated The facts and told half truths about the allegations". What is reported on the news is not always the facts, they need viewers and rating. I'm glad to see they were arrested and hopefully get expelled too. The one mother needs some parenting classes or she needs to stop believing everything her son tells her and find the truth as well.

SCATS said...

To 9:29PM ~~ Right about what exactly? Oh yeah, you have NO idea! In the end the one kid might end up with Sex Offender status. I guess he must have had something pretty damning on that cell phone to get charged with possessing the obscene performance of a minor!

I read that quote from Ch. 13 earlier today and compared it to what Phelan said, what a mom stated and even to what one of the three boys told reporters in an interview. I'm satisfied that the media was at least 99% accurate from the gitgo.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else smell a rat?
The charges filed are nowhere near indicative of the statements made by Phelan. He states a pornographic video with a minor victim exists, that requires felonies all around!!! If it is sexual assault on a person with diminished capabilities, then they are charged as adults!!! GRAND JURY?!?!

SCATS said...

To 6:09PM ~~ Actually, only one person still had possession of the video - the person who took it originally. Snapchat deletes it after the others saw it one time.

However, I tend to agree with your last sentence. Nothing else makes sense.

Anonymous said...

I am not speaking of the snapchat video being the sole portion of evidence. There is traceable evidence on the phone used to record that resides in perpetuity. That video evidence will include all parties to the crime... And whether participating, filming, or broadcasting child pornography, AS CHARGED, all involved are charged as felons. Any DVD's burned??? Or Thumb drives, or PC files up/downloaded.... Oh yeah phones will show evidence of any and all accessing of that datastream!!!

SCATS said...

To 5:24PM ~~ While I suspect you are correct, I also suspect GPD employs NO ONE who understands, or knows how to access those evidence streams. They barely know anything at all about identity theft, despite having numerous cases weekly reported to them.