DA’s Office determines that no criminal charges should be filed in strip search

Local News

The Broome County District Attorney’s Office has determined that no criminal charges should be filed over the alleged strip search of four 12 year-old black girls at East Middle School in Binghamton.

In a letter to the school district’s superintendent and chairman of the board, DA Steve Cornwell says that separate investigations by the Binghamton Police Department and New York State Police determined that charges should not be filed against district employees in the matter.

The 4 girls allege that on January 15th, they were forced to remove articles of clothing in the nurses office and were subjected to demeaning comments after school officials suspected them of giddy and inappropriate behavior.

The district has asserted that there was no strip search but rather a medical evaluation.

Governor Cuomo had asked the State Police to look into the actions of the principal, assistant principal and school nurse 2 weeks after the alleged incident.

Cornwell says the investigation only looked into the possibility of criminal charges and did not consider school policy or whether the Constitutional rights of the girls were violated.

The district released a statement saying that it appreciates the efforts of the DA and law enforcement and is still awaiting the results of its own third-party investigation by Syracuse law firm Ferrara Fiorenza.

Meanwhile, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which has filed suit against the district on behalf of the girls says the DA’s determination has no bearing on the fact that the searches were unconstitutional and violated the girls’ civil rights.

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