Emeryville hate crime case dismissed due to police racism allegation

  • by John Ferrannini, Assistant Editor
  • Wednesday January 24, 2024
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A hate crime vandalism case was dismissed by an Alameda County judge in an Oakland court Wednesday after allegations of police misconduct were raised by the defendant's attorney. Photo: John Ferrannini
A hate crime vandalism case was dismissed by an Alameda County judge in an Oakland court Wednesday after allegations of police misconduct were raised by the defendant's attorney. Photo: John Ferrannini

The case of the man prosecutors say committed hate crime vandalism at an Emeryville senior housing facility was dismissed Wednesday due to police misconduct.

As the Bay Area Reporter previously reported Ayman Badr, 64, a former resident at the facility, had been charged with one count of vandalism under $400 and another of "violation of civil rights." He was alleged by Beth Rosales, a resident at the Avalon Senior Housing community in Emeryville, to have torn down a Pride display last June after making a homophobic rant. Badr was evicted from the housing complex after the incident, Rosales said.

But it wasn't an open and shut case. Badr's attorney, Alameda County Deputy Public Defender Karl Lindemann, argued Emeryville police violated the California Racial Justice Act of 2020, or RJA, which prohibits bias based on race, ethnicity, or national origin in charges, convictions, and sentencing.

"The language the police used was concerning and connected Mr. Badr with his religious practices and national origin," Lindemann argued before Alameda County Superior Court Judge Sharon L. Djemal in Department 106, at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in downtown Oakland. "This is prohibited by the Racial Justice Act."

(Rosales told the B.A.R. previously that Badr is originally from Egypt.)

Lindemann requested dismissal.

Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Masanao Joseph Morimoto agreed, saying, "I did review the petition and police report submitted and believe the request is reasonable."

So too did Djemal.

"I agree," she said. "The court is going to dismiss Mr. Badr's case. Can we say for successful completion? I can only put one reason."

Responded Lindemann: "I think a successful RJA application, as well as successful completion."

Said Djemal: "I can only put one."

Responded Lindemann: "RJA motion."

Said Djemal: "OK. We'll say based on RJA, and it's also eligible for sealing."

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Pelayo A. Llamas Jr. had said, before the case was assigned to Djemal, that he wasn't going to rule on the RJA matter.

The final terms for dismissal weren't finalized in open court. During a prior hearing, on December 21, it had been agreed Badr should attend some kind of sensitivity training and provide restitution to Rosales and Tim Fisher, who had bought the materials Badr is alleged to have torn down. Lindemann and Fisher disagreed as to whether they'd had a phone call regarding the sensitivity training, with Lindemann claiming in court December 21 the phone call had taken place, and Fisher telling the B.A.R. afterward it had not.

After the initial publication of this report, Fisher stated to the B.A.R. that he did not receive any compensation.

"My understanding is that payment was a condition of his diversion so that would indicate the terms have not been met even though the judge has dismissed the case," Fisher stated in a text message.

Rosales, Emeryville police, the Alameda County Public Defender's office and the Alameda County District Attorney's office did not return requests for comment.

Rosales, who said she was married to a woman for 13 years but is now separated, had previously told the B.A.R. that Badr was evicted from the housing complex after tearing down the Pride banners.

She said that when he saw the Pride banners, "He was just filled with absolute rage. He just went ballistic. ... He said, 'these people are disgusting, exposing their sexual mannerisms in public ... they shouldn't be allowed in our society. They are against my culture and religion.'"

The B.A.R. had the opportunity to speak with Badr in person October 24, at which time he declined to give contact information, saying, "I don't want to talk to you. You published information that's unfair and actually also you published information that's not correct. I will hold you responsible for it. You tarnished my reputation and took one side of the story."

Updated, 1/30/24: This article has been updated with comments from Mr. Fisher.

The State of California offers help for victims or witnesses to a hate crime or hate incident. This resource is supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

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