Philip Messing, New York Post, April 24, 2006
Five black teen girls, convicted of a notorious Brooklyn hate crime, were spared jail after the mothers of the six white beating victims urged compassion for the culprits — citing the teachings of Nelson Mandela, The Post has learned.
The forgiving moms wrote a touching letter to Family Court Judge Stewart Weinstein, asking him to reduce the sentence for the five convicted of assaulting their daughters in Marine Park.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” the mothers wrote, quoting the African leader Mandela in the letter, dated Feb. 28.
Instead of locking the marauding minors away, the moms suggested Weinstein make them attend classes on racial diversity and require the wayward girls to share their new knowledge with other kids.
Weinstein apparently listened and sentenced the teens, identified only as Kedne L., Sadira M., Akeylah P., Hessica P. and Wann W. in court papers, to probationary sentences, conditional on them attending diversity classes.
The notorious attack happened in March 2005, when six 15-year-old white girls who attend St. Edmund’s Prep, a private Catholic school, were accosted by a group of black and Hispanic pupils enrolled at Marine Park Middle School, a city junior high.
The white girls refused to surrender a basketball court and were forced to run for their lives.
Chanting “White cracker,” “Black power,” and “Martin Luther King,” the minority youths began to pummel and stomp the fleeing victims, witnesses claimed.