Charges To Be Dropped Against Female Defendant In Ithaca Commons Arrests


Updated: 1/30/20 – 10:37 A.M.

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Charges will be dropped against one of the two young black people arrested after an altercation on the Ithaca Commons in April.

Edward Kopko, the attorney for Rose de Groat said they accepted an offer from the Tompkins County District Attorney to drop all charges against her.

“I received a letter from the District Attorney offering to have this conference,” he said, “between my client’s, her representatives and the police and their representatives to resolve this. And the District Attorney has agreed to dismiss all of the charges and we agree to that protocol. We just haven’t worked out the final details.”

De Groat and Cadji Ferguson were arrested after an altercation on the Ithaca Commons in April. They allege a white man, unknown to them, sexually groped de Groat, and Ferguson intervened to protect her.

Police body cams and nearby security videos show the police forcing the two to the ground. Ferguson was tazed. De Groat is seen trying to stop an officer from detaining Ferguson. The white man was allowed to leave the scene after speaking with the police.

Celia Clarke/WSKG

Russell Rickford (right) and other demonstrators at the Ithaca Common Council meeting, July 3, 2019. (Celia Clarke/WSKG)

Black Lives Matter Ithaca and other social justice groups have held protests and issued demands.  The organization wanted the charges against both de Groat and Ferguson dropped and the police officers disciplined.

An internal police investigation found no wrongdoing on the part of the officers involved.*

*Headline has been edited to better reflect story