Judge Dismisses Charges Against Woman Involved in Ithaca Commons Incident


ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – Charges have been dropped against the woman involved in an April incident on the Ithaca Commons.

Judge John C. Rowley dismissed all felony charges against Rose de Groat on Friday.

Video released after the incident shows de Groat and Cadji Ferguson, who are both black, being forcefully arrested by Ithaca police. Ferguson was tasered during the arrest.

Celia Clarke/WSKG

Rose de Groat (left) and Cadji Ferguson (right) outside Tompkins County Courthouse on August 26, 2019 (Celia Clarke/WSKG)

The incident lead to an internal police investigation which found no wrongdoing by the officers involved.

Residents and social justice groups have protested several times and called for all charges to be dismissed, the officers to be punished, and a formal apology from the city and police.

In his ruling, Judge Rowley noted that video of the incident contradicted testimony given by at least one of the officers involved.

“Officer Herz was not justified in using a taser on Mr. Ferguson,” he wrote.

Rowley also said that de Groat only acted instinctively to protect Ferguson. The judge blamed police for failing to properly handle the situation.

The request for dismissal was filed by de Groat’s attorneys.