Yonkers man charged in assault demands apology from Westchester DA; says he’s not a gang member

The coalition says Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah lumped Peter Thompson in with gang members during her investigation of an assault, which is hurting his career prospects.

News 12 Staff

Nov 19, 2022, 9:36 PM

Updated 551 days ago

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Yonkers man charged in assault demands apology from Westchester DA; says he’s not a gang member
Local clergy and a civil rights attorney are rallying around a 20-year-old Yonkers man and demanding an apology from the district attorney who prosecuted him in an assault case.
The coalition says Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah lumped Peter Thompson in with gang members during her investigation of an assault, which is hurting his career prospects.
Spokespeople for the Rocah say that's not the case at all and that the coalition is only making things worse for Thompson.
"I'm really hoping I get an apology and set the record straight about the situation," Thompson said, as his attorney, William Wagstaff, his family and friends stood with him outside Westchester County Court.
The situation stems from an assault in July 2021. Twelve men, including Thompson, were charged with the assault of a man on Broadway.
Wagstaff says Thompson tried to kick the man once for fear of retaliation by others in the group.
Last month, Thompson pleaded guilty to lesser charges and says he was told if he stayed out of trouble, his case would be sealed next year.
Thompson was still included in a Nov. 4 press release with his updated charges beneath the 11 others who are facing jail time for the original assault charges.
Wagstaff says Rocah was wrong to keep him on the list and linking him to suspected gang members.
"At no point, even after learning that he was not a gang member and had no gang involvement, did they ever issue a retraction, did they ever issue an apology," Wagstaff said.
Rocah was not available to take questions but emailed a statement to News 12. In it, she says she had an obligation to inform the public about everyone charged in incident, including Thompson.
She also says Wagstaff is publicizing Thompson's name in connection to the case, which will only make it more difficult for Thompson to move on from this.
Wagstaff says he's trying to correct the record to make sure his client, a college student with dreams of starting a business, is able to move on from this.
EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story included Rep. Jamaal Bowman among those who are seeking an apology from District Attorney Mimi Rocah. Bowman is not seeking an apology from DA Rocah.


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