Protesters Blast Baltimore’s New City State’s Attorney

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Barely in office a month and there’s already criticism being thrown at Baltimore City’s new state’s attorney.  Controversy is growing over the case of two Jewish men accused of attacking an African-American teenager. 

Kai Jackson explains why dozens protested the city state’s attorney’s office Monday.

The case involving a member of the activist group Shomrim isn’t over, but there are people in the community clearly not satisfied with the way the city state’s attorney is handling it.

Protesters marched outside the office of city state’s attorney Gregg Bernstein, furious over his decision not to charge Eli Werdesheim, 23, and his brother Avi with a felony.

“If he’s going to be a no-comment type of state prosecutor, then I think it’s going to be a rough and rocky road for the next couple of years,” said Hasan Giordano, Black Media Group.

Werdesheim and his brother are accused of breaking the wrist of a 15-year-old African-American teen in the Park Heights section of Baltimore in November 2010.  The brothers are part of a Jewish watchdog group called Shomrim and said the teen was acting suspiciously.

Community activists have argued the brothers should have been charged with a hate crime.

“This attack and how it has been handled is an absolute outrage and shame.  Shomrim must be disbanded,” said Sharon Black.

Bernstein released a statement saying, “No factors behind the facts and the law were considered, nor will any factors outside the facts and the law be considered in making charging decisions in any future cases.”

The defense attorney praised the state prosecutor.

“I think it’s shameful that Mr. Bernstein in the beginning of his job is being attacked for doing his job.  This isn’t a hate crime,” said Andrew Alperstein.

Werdesheim is scheduled to see a judge Feb. 16.

  • Owings Mills

    Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah……

    What about the poor girl on the MTA bus that got her face busted up by a gang of black teenagers?

    Where was your outrage then black folks? Guess that was ok huh?

    • mike

      i agree with u. its raceiest against them but not when they do about racest look at naacp

      • lars

        I have dear black friends. I have been robbed at gunpoint twice in my life here in Bmore, both times by African Americans..don’t blame me. Not racism! Conditioning.

    • RRR

      That is so true.

      • RRR

        That is so true…what Qwings Mills said I mean

    • BOO


      • brenda walsh

        “This is a fifteen year old little boy we are talking about”

        Jaszmine, the “little boys” in my neighborhood throw rocks at cars and lay in the street trying to get people to hit them for fun…the 15 year old boys sell crack, steal cars, break into homes, and rob people.
        Get a f-ing grip, dude. Do you even LIVE in the city?

      • Jaszmine Smith

        Stop being a coward and use your first and last name. Right is right and wrong is wrong, the incident with the girl on the MTA is a crime and the people who committed it should be locked up. Also the two brothers from the Jewish group Shomrim should be charged with a felony since that is what they commited. I don’t care if you are red, blue, purple, yellow or brown if you commit a crime you should be punished accordinly. This is a fifteen year old little boy we are talking about who had is wrist broken because he was, “acting suspiciously” take your white sheet off your head for a mintue to see the truth. Looser!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • troy

    its funny how every single time a black person is harmed by anyone who isnt black its a hate crime, but when a black person harms someone who isnt black, its not a hate crime

    a little consistancy please

  • wayne

    It’s essential to first know how “consistency” is spelled before any further misapprehesion of its correct spelling; then, it’s essential to recognize that an opportunity presented itself to nearly disfigure someone who did not culturally mirror another cutlural-member; and, while it’s true that any time someone is injured, regardless of race at the foolish mercy of another or others, there ought to outrage in alll facets, especially through the NAACP regarding Black on Black crime; if not a hate-crime, last checks recall disfurement being a felony. It’s interesting how this offense was reduced to a misdemeanor.

    • Pete

      Oh Lord, Wayne. Please learn to spell and use words correctly before critiquing others.

    • Frank White

      Please forgive my ignorance, but what does “disfurement” mean?

    • Big Bertha

      We will learn how to spell “consistency,” if you stop creating run-on sentences.

  • william Jones

    Since all these people are coming out about the new states attorney believe me Ms. Jessmy would not have given it a fair investigation. Looks like she still has her little distractors still hanging around city hall. When the people of this city stop looking a the color of the skin of an individual and look at the crime then we will get justice. Stop letting crooked organizations make you carry signs for their incompetence and laziness over the year, when they don’t even know the whole truth of the incident OR THE LAW regarding the incident. By the way where was the justice for the young jewish youth that was beaten before that incident. This is not a tick for tack game of payback.

    • aaaaa

      I completely agree. We as a society must stop looking at life in terms of race. We are all capable of the same crimes and those that commit them are just sick. We need some serious consistency in our courts. The punishment should fit the crime, not the race.

  • wayne

    “disfigurement”–lol…tongue-twister, sometimes…

  • Felix

    It’s only racism if black person gets victimized. When it’s a white person, it’s “suits him or her right, damn white cracker”. I’ve never seen so much racism from black people, as I saw here in Baltimore. Just today on the light rail, young white couple with a little baby and a stroller wanted to get out on Lexington market and asked operator to open front door and let them out on the ramp, he didn’t ever respond. Oh yah, operator was a black guy. I take light rail every day and see it very often. Couple of times, black operators shut the door right in front of me too. So, racism does exist and there are no less black racists in this city, than white ones. It will never go away. Deal with it. Live with it.

    • Truth

      MTA workers are just incompetent period…that’s not racism.

      • whatnow

        Yes some of them are incompetent. Some are very competent. But quite a few of them do show their racism. I have watched a train sit and wait while a black person buys a ticket and gets on then slam the door shut in front of the white person 2 feet behind them. And as for the riders, don’t look up, keep to yourself or you are fair game for a rant about what a cracker you are.

      • Bernard Mc Kernan

        MTA workers are hired from the defect sperm bank….Coons.

      • BOO BOO DUH

        OF COURSE….THEY’RE the only ones who get the jobs making the butts…if not…that would be discrimination also !!!! whatever they do not get…its discrimination…and they still want want and want…….thye have ruined every neighborhood in BALTIMORE CITY AND COUNTY !!!!

  • Sean C

    Yes! I agree. But not all of us blacks are stupid. Sensible ones like me also see the hypocrisy. Why didn’t Black female former City States Attorney, Pat Jessamy charge the several blacks youths on the MTA Baltimore City bus with a hate crime when they viciously beat that white woman and yelled white B–ch at her? I see double standards fellow black people! You mean to tell me that blacks beating on whites just for their race isn’t a hate crime? Why is only a white beeating on a black person only seen as a hate crime. However, it’s someone who is Jewish beating a black in this case.

    • ert

      Well said Sean.

  • Truth

    Wow…there really are some racists judging by these comments.
    Here we are in 2011 and it saddens me deeply for myself, my children and your children, that comments like some of yours are still being posted.

    I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t know what the qualifications are for a felony assault, but I do know that this would fall under the lynching law in the state of SC, which is a felony. The law does not apply to race, but to more than one person assaulting an individual.

    The problem here is that everyone only sees the noise being made by the NAACP. I do think they are jumping the gun on this one. I would’ve liked to see an explanation of why the charges were reduced. And “acting suspiciously”, does that mean being black in a white neighborhood?

    The people of Baltimore need to come together as one community to battle crime in general. Black on black, black on white, white on black, black on hispanic, etc…There is some false sense that is acceptable or normal that this is just a violent city.

    • ghj

      …..Ok truth this is straight from the Annotated Code of MD. As you can see, the only clear cut first degree assault is when an individual is assaulted with a gun, otherwise the term serious physical injury is applied if no firearm is present. That is a very broad description. People have very different ideas what serious physical injury is. From my experience, a 1st Degree Assault charge is only pursued when the injury was so severe that it could cause death. For example, a stabbing. In the Baltimore City Courts, 1st Degree Assault is even harder to obtain, unless of course a gun is used. With that being said, it is not a surprise, nor is it a bad decision to drop the felony 1st Degree Assault charge in this case. If this were any other case not involving race, it would have been downgraded with no questions asked.

      • Owings Mills

        Thank you for looking this up. This makes sense. However, for the illiterate on here, charges were only dropped because of race, and there is nothing that will ever convince them otherwise…..not even the law.

      • Rudy2D

        (a) 1–Would include brass knuckles, baseball-bats, boards w/nails, etc.–but not in self-defense, which this clearly was. Historically–all ethnic groups in this country have “stuck-together” at one time or another. But blacks have been playing the race-card now for 150 years–and with government-assistance. It needs to end–but I suspect that it will not end well..

    • ghj

      Straight from the Annotated Code of MD

      § 3-202. Assault in the first degree.

      (a) Prohibited.-

      (1) A person may not intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to another.

      (2) A person may not commit an assault with a firearm, including:

      (i) a handgun, antique firearm, rifle, shotgun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle, as those terms are defined in § 4-201 of this article;

      (ii) an assault pistol, as defined in § 4-301 of this article;

      (iii) a machine gun, as defined in § 4-401 of this article; and

      (iv) a regulated firearm, as defined in § 5-101 of the Public Safety Article.

      (b) Penalty.- A person who violates this section is guilty of the felony of assault in the first degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 25 years.

      • DEEZUL

        AllAll of them need to be shipped off for being plain stupid.

    • whatnow

      The “acting suspiciously” was the fact that he was seen on people’s porches looking in their windows, someone called the community group and that is why they went out. In Edgewater right now, the latest crime is going into townhouse communities during the day, peeking in a window then doing a smash and grab. Considering this “victim” has an arrest record for theft, I think we can connect the dots. This said, he should have been detained and the cops called but I guess when he swung and the Jewish guy with a board with a nail in it, they decided against detaining and protected themselves.

  • Dixieland Baltimore

    Any Black youth seen in my neighborhood is probably up to no good as over in this secton of Eastern Avenue, blacks and whites live next to each other. But all the crimes are committed by the black teenagers. Shootings, robberies, etc. Mostly backs–99%! Yes, if you are a you’r a young black man–you’re looked at as being a criminal. Statistics speak!!!!!

    • old14spice

      Like Ive said before, You cant dispute facts! When I posted factual statistics of crimes in baltimore,Majority were commited by blacks, I was called a racist. Truthfully, In my area you wouldnt normally see a black person walking down the street.In the rare case that you do, you can believe he is being watched.thats just the way it is.Live and learn.We have all learned that “most” (not all) crimes are commited by blacks. I guess thats declaired “racial profiling”

  • insider

    The mta is a racist work program. You got black panther types and klan sympathizers all under one union. Lots of big mouths,small minds and even less competence.

  • Ging Prestof

    I was shocked to see SO MUCH HATRED coming from blacks over this case.
    It is as if it hate is seething inside them. They won’t be happy until they take over everything. Watch out!

  • blackyblackblak

    well well well.. looks who’s racist now.

    Go back to shooting each other and spreading std’s
    so my property values can go back up in a decade or so

  • William Noble

    CBS needs to stop allowing these ignorant,racist comments to be posted.Period!Stop giving these cowards voices if they can’t say it in person.Some of these people work with you smiling and grinning but too scared to tell you in your face.You’d be surprise!

    • Owings Mills

      How about they don’t stop these posts because that is why we have the 1st Amendment. The 1st Amendment is there so that I can say what I want regardless of your feelings about it.

      • Christopher Cruise

        Owings Mills: You don’t know what you’re talking about. The First Amendment applies to the GOVERNMENT. It prohibits the GOVERNMENT from abridging your freedom of speech. It does NOT apply to CBS or any other non-governmental entity, which CAN abridge your freedom of speech.

    • swen

      If you’re working then you’re not part of the problem.

    • Joe

      Maybe they’re too scared because they’d be charged with a hate crime?

    • TANHOU


    • Boiles

      Exactly! They talk a good one when they can hide behind a computer! How many actually have the sack to say it in front of peoples face!



  • old14spice

    Theres that race card once again! its sad how this all plays out. Racism does its finest work against white people. AND its used when something does not go the way the blacks want it to go. This time it was race and religion! Maybe the next step is to get Jesse Jackson to spout off about how blacks never get a fair shake. Ironically its Jesse Jackson that puts down his own race by telling them they cant get anywhere due to color. Or maybe those black panthers will carry baseball bats and threaten people. Theres always the naacp if all else fails.You can bet this wont be the end of this story. It never rests until they get what they want. If you ask any black person about racism, the response you get would make you think it was still the 1960’s.Nothing is ever good enough.

  • Disenchanted Marylander

    How quickly the African Americans forget about the white woman who was brutally assaulted and nearly beaten to death on the MTA last year by the group of African American teens. African Americans seem to have such a short term memory when it suits their needs. Every time something doesn’t go their way they claim its racism or a hate crime. You got to love it. Simply hilarious.

  • john

    Obviously theres a double standard, however the 2 Jewish men should be charged with felony’s. It seems like the only time people want to bring up the idea of a double standard is when there is a high amount of tension in the air. People need to bring this up when there is less negativity in the air and have an open and honest discussion about the facts of white and black crime. Until we abolish these double standards, tensions and racism will continue during times like these.

  • Nick

    Ok the signs calling Bernstein a racist were INAPPROPRIATE. 2 have been charged and if anymore so be it But let it go thru the legal process. He was elected because EVERYONE was tired of the repeat OFFENDERS being release. His term has started with 2 very difficult cases but if cool heads stick together we will all get the JUSTICE. Perception wise the case was initially not quite right when only 1 was charged and he was allowed to go to Israel. But he is back, and the Maryland legal process is in place.

  • diggity

    it was outrage there as well
    but the jews cant get away with torture and violence this is not Israel

  • Jon

    I find it interesting how many are upset at the outrage towards Bernstein. I say that because many of those same people are alright with the hate and outrage towards our president by the tea party. I think Bernstein is catering to his community because they vote and contribute to his campaign. That being said we in the black community need to do a better job of getting involved. All we do is complain and then we sit back and hope things change. We need to do a better job of expressing our views through organization and voting. I just to you all of you upset. Stop the hate speech and vote. That is how we can make a difference.

    • squaregrouper

      Jon, I agree with your comments with one clarifier… The Tea party is outraged with big government in general. There is no specific hatred towards Obama. The out of control spending and lack of responsibility being shown by the democrats and republicans is why the Tea party exists. Remember how polarized the media is as well- Watch ABC, CBS or NBC (liberal) then watch Fox (conservative) they will have total different reporting on the same story.

  • nik

    the first people to bring race into account are racist themselves. Ignorent people trying to cause an uproar. It is an isolated incedent and you can’t blame others for 2 peoples actions, what ever their intentions were. Lets use this as a learning experience and grow from it.

  • squaregrouper

    I am upset that so many in the black community has such racist double standards. Bernstein (a Jew) not wanting to “throw the book” at other Jew is racist, but Jessamy (black) not prosecuting other blacks is OK. Someone please explain this to me. I don’t want to hear from racists- black or white!!!

    • freedom

      its not OK..the law is the law and should be followed equally by all..unfortunately, it is not and that is what keeps racial tensions boiling..its just like when Rodney King was blatantly abused with video tapped proof and the perps were let go..then comes OJ and in order to keep the peace he was found not guilty..maybe if the Rodney King situation was handled fairly then the OJ case could have been handled fairly..Its unfortunate that the history of the United States and Jim Crow laws have indented itself on the way the US laws are rendered now. Its very shameful that racism and discrimination still exist. Because the truth is it does and until people can really understand that we all bleed the same color blood underneath your skin color, ethnicity, culture, and religion then it will continue to be a problem. Its unfortunate that the ideology of a few Nutjob forefathers has so horrifically tainted the times that we are existing in now. I would love to see a world that exists where all people understand, tolerate, and accept everyone as they are. Just like many generations before me were grateful to see a minority male elected President. This world is making strides to educate and change its views, but boy do we still have a long way to go. not only because of the afore mentioned article, but also because of the girl who was beaten on the MTA, Jenna Six, and the two sisters who were giving life sentences for an $11.00 armed robbery..Its just very sad and disheartening.

    • Nick

      Patty was VOTED out by all races who were tired of repeat offenders being released. It may have save the city money nby not having to keep them in prison but no one felt safe. Agree, there were to many cases not prosecuted

  • Donna Martin

    This is why the world is like it is always racist comment I dont think what happen is right but why is it always racist when it come to white and black let it go make the world a better place to live

  • Boiles

    Clearly because Baltimore has a population of majority Black, all the stats are going to point to mostly Blacks committing crimes and anything else. I’m sure if you go to a city or state with a majority White population, you will get the Whites doing the same thing. The rule of law should apply in all cases, Black, White or otherwise. I believe if this guy was charged with the felony in the first place, there must have been some rule of law that applied and a jury should have been given the chance to see if he was guilty or not. To drop specifically that felony charge just makes it look bad in people’s mind that something is fishy being as Mr. Bernstein is Jewish. On the same token, the former State’s Attorney was Black in a majority Black city. When she reduced charges, was there so much outrage. We can go back and forth on cases like the recent one where two Black people killed the White guy Pitcarn (spelling) from Johns Hopkins. The two were heard bragging about robbing a “white boy”. No hate crime charge but people were in such an uproar about the killing. It made news for weeks. They held a rally and everybody from the Mayor, police chief, and members of the city council came out to protest the killing. Even Mr. Bernstein. He was complaining about the former State’s Attorney’s time in office from mismanagement down to reducing charges the same of which he just did in this case instead of letting the process take it’s course. The rule of law is what should ALWAYS apply!!

    • jack

      Boiles. Most majority white communities are safe. Most majority black communities are full of crime and are not safe. period

  • Jim

    Why I this country so divided? The answer: Groups like the NAACP, Black America contests, United Negro College Fund, Black History Month, Etc. It supposedly being OK for black people to use the N-word to be buddy buddy with each other. Not trying to conform to the rest of society when it comes to dressing like normal human beings. Segregation is being caused by the race of people who are complaining about it! Equality my butt! Black people want their own set of rules! If everybody else would stop giving in to these stupid ways of life and racial biased programs and earn your way on hard work and effort we may have equality one day. Come on everybody lets just get along! Live by the same rules! Enough of these programs based on race! Lets live as one! I don’t really believe this is what our great past & present leaders fought & are fighting for. Stop the divided! God Bless The USA! We need it!
    Thank you

    • freedom

      I understand your sentiment and some of what you say is very valid. But unfortunately if some of those systems were not in play to regulate and make sure that minorities aren’t locked out of the many opportunites that are afforded to White America, then we would be worse off then we already are. I don’t know if I have recieved any of my positions solely based on Affirmative Action, I would like to believe that I have recieved them solely based on my qualifications, but unfortunately its the world we live in. I think that history is repeating its self because it is being brushed under the rug and not being taught. In my opinion, I think that being educated and aware of the past is the only way to make a better future. I understand that slavery, lynching, and the Jim Crow era is a blight on the perception of what the U.S. stands for today but it happened. I believe great strides have been made but there are many more that need to be made from both sides. The laws need to be equally enforced and bias because of race or class. I think a viable solution needs to be giving so that Black Americans can really heal from the pains of slavery and Jim Crow. Although, I was personally persecuted I still have a nagging depression of what happened to my fore-family. Just as any human being would. I think that empathy needs to be shown from those who weren’t victims, I stress empathy and not shame, because no one living today were actually slave masters. I feel that until there is understanding, tolerance, forgiveness, and resolution from both sides that we have reached the peak of intergration, and are now on a path of regression. The N word needs to be abolished from every and anyones vocabulary, but this is a country that allows freedom of speech no matter how hurtful and heinous. Black American PARENTS should teach their children the truth behind this demeaning word. If a slave was resurrected there is no way he/she would ever condone being called the N word by ANYONE. I would love to see a world where people can accept that all people are individuals and being an individual gives each person the right to decide what he/she believes and practices.

      • jack

        Freedom. we need more people like you. God bless.

  • Jimi

    Why I this country so divided? The answer: Groups like the NAACP, Black America contests, United Negro College Fund, Black History Month, Etc. It supposedly being OK for black people to use the N-word to be buddy buddy with each other. Not trying to conform to the rest of society when it comes to dressing like normal human beings. Segregation is being caused by the race of people who are complaining about it! Equality my butt! Black people want their own set of rules! If everybody else would stop giving in to these stupid ways of life and racial biased programs and earn your way on hard work and effort we may have equality one day. Come on everybody lets just get along! Live by the same rules! Enough of these programs based on race! Lets live as one! I don’t really believe this is what our great past & present leaders fought & are fighting for. Stop the divided! God Bless The USA! We need it!
    Thank you

blog comments powered by Disqus
Track Weather On The Go With Our App!

Listen Live