Accusations Against Innocent People


Justin Marrero, Staff Writer

Recently our school had a virtual visit with Yusef Salam. He was part of the Central Park 5, a group of five boys who were falsely accused of assaulting a woman in the park in 1989. He spoke with our school about the experience of being falsely accused and spending time in jail for something he did not do.

Have you ever gotten accused of something you didn’t do? Well, think of all the people who have gotten falsely accused. Many people have gotten falsely accused because of racism and for other reasons.

I spoke to Assistant Principal Scott Moore about people being falsely accused to see how he felt about this topic.

“It is horrible when innocent people are accused. There is a long history in this country of innocent people being accused of crimes just because they are in a traditionally marginalized group – so, for example…People of Color, and LGBTQ+ people (especially transgender women). While it is often unfair for innocent people to be accused when it is because of racism, homophobia, or transphobia, it is especially unfair when someone innocent is punished – whether through conviction in court, by the police, or by other citizens (e.g. the disgusting history of lynching),” Mr. Scott said in an email interview.

Mr. Scott said that in Hamilton Grange he has seen cases where students accuse others and those students say they are innocent. But he also says that in Hamilton Grange they solve a problem the right way. They do not accuse anybody when they know how to solve the problem. This is what Hamilton Grange is all about. It is a school with equality and equity.

Jhonary Bridgemohan, who is a 6th-grade Humanities teacher, said that accusations against innocent people make her angry and justice has to be found.

“It highlights the flaws in our justice system. It highlights the need for further checks and accountability. It also makes me question the process and who are these innocent people being accused look like, how much does race, gender, socioeconomics play into innocent people being accused of crimes they have not committed?” she said in an email interview.

Ms. Bridgemohan said that being accused of something you did not do brings you thoughts of: I am being robbed of my freedom for something I have not done.

My brother Ruby Marrero Sime said that the detectives or investigators have to be really sure that they have the right person and to not lock anybody up if they do not have any proof.

Mr. Scott said that you could be falsely accused by people who act like your friends. He thinks that a true friend will not do this to another person.

Ms. Bridgemohan explained her thoughts about the topic of getting revenge after being falsely accused.

“Revenge…it is an interesting idea, but what would that do? I would want them to be held responsible for falsely accusing me, but in terms of revenge, not sure. If anything, I feel like getting revenge would then make me guilty and in a way, they would be right, so nope, I would probably avoid getting revenge,” she said.

Ruby said if the idea of revenge came into his head after being falsely accused, he would just ignore it and let it be okay.

Ruby thinks that if somebody were to tell him they need help because they are in prison for something they did not do and are asking him for help ruby said he will talk to the investigator that is in charge of that case to convince him or her to help that person that is asking for help. He said he would try to convince them not to lock that person up if they do not have proof or because they are the only using suspicion and that does not mean anything.

Thank you very much for reading my article. This is very important for me because I am informing people about what is happening in the world. And as a student, this is very important to me to inform you that people are being falsely accused because of racism or where they come from or their gender or how they look.