Man accused of US hate attack on imam is cleared

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
December 17, 2010 02:46

 
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NEW YORK — A transportation police officer accused of aiding a bias-fueled beating of a Muslim religious leader in a subway station has been cleared of all criminal charges.

Manhattan prosecutors dropped their case against Eddie Crespo this week after a grand jury declined to indict him on any charges in the December 8 incident. Co-defendant Albert Melendez was indicted on a misdemeanor charge, but prosecutors said the specific charge wouldn't be revealed until his next court date, as is their common practice.

Both were initially charged with assault and robbery as hate crimes in an episode that sounded alarms among Muslim advocates. The men's lawyers, however, said religion played no role in what they described as a straightforward scuffle over an accidental nudge on a train.

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