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ADL Urges Justice Dept. to Pursue Charges in Crown Heights Murder

New York, NY, January 14, 2002 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today urged the Department of Justice to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges against Lemrick Nelson and Charles Price for the murder of Yankel Rosenbaum during the 1991 Crown Heights riots.

"New York has spent ten years healing from the Crown Heights riots, and it would be a shame if those responsible for Yankel Rosenbaum's death were to go unpunished," said Glen A. Tobias, ADL National Chairman, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director. "This case has been an example of how a hate crime injures not only its immediate victims, but also the community as a whole."

In a letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft, the ADL leaders called on the Justice Department to either refile the federal criminal civil rights charges against Nelson and Price, or to pursue an appeal of the recent decision overturning their convictions by the 2nd Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

"The Justice Department has in the past made heroic efforts to make sure that the interests of justice are served, and we are confident that you will continue to do so," the ADL letter said. "While we were pleased that the Court upheld the constitutionality of the federal civil rights statute, and found the evidence was sufficient to uphold the convictions, we are concerned that the perpetrators of a vicious hate crime could remain unpunished for this crime."

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

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