David Elmendorf will pay nine protesters $500 each for violating their civil rights during the June 30, 2020 incident where they peacefully protested outside Bumpy’s Polar Freeze in Schenectady
The former owner of an Upstate New York ice cream shop has been ordered to pay $4,500 after falsely calling police on Black Lives Matter protests and claiming they were threatening him.
David Elmendorf will pay nine protesters $500 each for violating their civil rights in the June 30, 2020 incident where they peacefully protested outside Bumpy’s Polar Freeze in Schenectady after racist text messages he allegedly wrote circulated on social media.
After the incident, he was sued by New York State Attorney General Letitia James under a law, dubbed the so-called ‘Central Park Karen’ law, which aims to stop false, race-based police reports. It’s the first time the law has been used.
The law was enacted after a high-profile case in which a white woman, Amy Cooper, called police and falsely told them a black birdwatcher in New York City‘s Central Park was threatening her.
Cooper was dubbed ‘Central Park Karen’ after video of her calling the cops last May went viral.
‘There is zero tolerance for harassment, intimidation, or violence of any kind against anyone in New York,’ James said in a statement.
Elmendorf also was accused of calling 911 to falsely report that armed protesters were threatening to shoot him, referring to Black protesters as ‘savages’
The suit also accused Elmendorf of targeting the protesters with racist threats while brandishing an air rifle, as seen in the video grab above
BLM protesters peacefully protested outside Bumpy’s Polar Freeze in Schenectady after racist text messages he allegedly wrote circulated on social media
Elmendorf’s ice cream shop became the target of sustained protests last summer after racist text messages allegedly sent by him were circulated on social media, according to the lawsuit.
The unrest came to a head on June 30, when Elmendorf approached a group protesters standing peacefully on the porch of a private house near Bumpy’s’, the suit stated.
The owner allegedly spent 15 minutes spewing racial slurs , including the n-word and ‘monkeys’.
‘If you come over here I’m going to shoot you. I’ll kill all you f**king n****rs,’ Elmendorf is quoted saying in the suit.
New York Attorney General Letitia James (pictured) filed her lawsuit against Elmendorf on Wednesday
He allegedly threatened the demonstrators with a baton and told them he was going to grab his rifle.
The group fled in fear before Elmendorf called 911 and claimed that there were ’20 armed protesters who were threatening to shoot him’ at his store, prosecutors said.
He also allegedly described the protesters as ‘savages hanging out in Section 8 housing’.
Later in the day 50 protesters showed up at the store again, at which point Elmendorf came out with a .22-caliber air rifle pellet gun, prosecutors said.
‘I’ll run you n****rs over with my truck,’ he allegedly told the crowd.
Elmendorf was stopped by police as he drove away from the shop. Officers found a pellet gun, a can of ammunition and a rifle scope in his vehicle.
He was ultimately arrested on two misdemeanor charges for menacing in connection with the protest confrontation. He pleaded not guilty.
The suit alleged that David Elmendorf wielded a baton and air rifle and shouted racial epithets at protesters who came to Bumpy’s Polar Freeze in Schenectady to protest on June 30, 2020 after racist text messages he allegedly wrote circulated on social media
Elmendorf is also facing assault charges for a separate incident in October, in which he allegedly used a pen to stab a private investigator serving court documents at Bumpy’s.
Bumpy’s was shuttered last fall after Elmendorf allegedly failed to correct a health code violation and to enforce coronavirus-related restrictions. It has since been purchased by new owners and given a new name.
Elmendorf’s attorney, James Mermigis, said that the allegations were ‘categorically false’ and that his client’s name was being smeared.
It’s the first time a law stemming from the infamous ‘Central Park Karen’ incident has been used against a New York resident which aims to stop false, race-based police reports, according to Attorney General Letitia James’ office
The ‘Central Park Karen’ incident happened the same day as the arrest and murder of George Floyd in Minnesota in May 2020.
Amy Cooper was also charged with filing a false police report after a video of the calling 911 where she claimed she was being threatened by a black bird watcher.
Christian Cooper, however, said he would not cooperate with the investigation, telling the New York Times that ‘bringing her more misery just seems like piling on.’ The charges were dropped in February after she completed an educational course.
Cooper was fired by her employers at Franklin Templeton and temporarily surrendered her dog for evaluation by veterinarians. She eventually sued for wrongful termination. Franklin Templeton has asked the lawsuit be dismissed.
The so-called ‘Central Park Karen’ bill was originally introduced in 2018 but in the wake of the incident, was re-introduced, quickly passed and signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on June 12, 2020.