MANHATTAN (CN) – The teenage daughter of an Indian diplomat says in Federal Court that a New York City school falsely accused her of cyber-bullying her math teacher, and then suspended her after a wrongful arrest.
Krittika Biswas, daughter of the vice-consul in the Consulate General of India, says she was an innocent honors student targeted because of her ethnicity.
Officers allegedly forced the 18-year-old to spend the night in jail in February 2011, before letting her contact an attorney.
As soon as the case was presented, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, “an American hero, reviewed the facts and circumstances,” and “dropped all charges brought by defendants prior to compelling Kattika to face a judge,” according to the complaint.
But the embarrassment continued the next day when John Bowne High School in Queens suspended Biswas, forcing her to attend “Robert Wagner High School, an alternate location without an applicable enriched academic program, and more akin to ‘reform school,'” according to the complaint.
Biswas said she returned to John Bowne High School when the suspension had ended the following month.
“Upon Krittika’s return to John Bowne High School, on March 14, 2011, she was informed that the actual sender of the offensive e-mails was identified as Student 2 – once the defendants’ had Krittika’s computer forensic engineer’s report,” according to the 119-page complaint.
“On or about March 15, 2011, the disciplinary prosecution of Krittika terminated in Krittika’s favor when all disciplinary charges resulting in her unjust and unwarranted suspension were withdrawn by the superintendent and the suspension was expunged from Krittika’s records,” Biswas added.
She seeks $1.5 million in compensatory and punitive damages from the city and New York City Department of Education for conspiracy, negligence, battery, malicious prosecution and other charges. Eight individuals, including the math teacher Jamie Kim-Ross and city police commissioner Ray Kelly, are named as co-defendants.
The trouble erupted when Kim-Ross and another teacher, Mr. Cohill received emails described in the complaint as “foul and sexually ‘threatening.'”
Cohill is not named as a defendant.
Assistant Principal Naomi Eutsey allegedly told Biswas and her father that Biswas was the lead suspect because it had traced the emails to her building’s Internet protocol address; because she had classes with both teachers; and because one of the emails contained French words.
Eutsey said Biswas was, “without any supporting basis, the only person in her residential building who had ‘French as a second language,'” according to the complaint.
Biswas counters that her building has 200 units, and that further investigation showed the emails actually came from a different IP address.
“The actual evidence readily available to all the defendants indicated that the emails send to defendant Kim-Ross originated from a source other than Krittika,” according to the complaint.
Despite this, Biswas says Police Officer Granshaw removed her from class, interrogated her, handcuffed her and “guaranteed that if she persisted in refusing to confess she would ‘not graduate from high school’ and would end up ‘in jail with prostitutes and people with HIV.”
The suit claims that Biswas was subjected to this unconstitutional treatment because defendant Kim-Ross “held racial and ethnic animus towards the plaintiff.”
Biswas says Kim-Ross is of “Oriental Asian decent,” and that the true culprit was “of Oriental Asian race and heritage as well.”
Both Biswas and the true culprit, described only as “Student 2,” allegedly took an accelerated Advanced Placement calculus class with Kim-Ross. Student 2 had to leave the class, however, because poor performance made the student “academically ineligible,” according to the complaint.
Though the true culprit admitted to having sent the emails, Kim-Ross and other officials “insisted upon Student 2 not facing criminal charges for his admitted to misconduct because Student 2 is of Oriental Asian decent.”
“NYC, NYCDOE and the NYPD refused to consider other suspects because of racial animus towards persons of Southeast Asian Indian ancestry and decent generally and Krittika particularly,” the complaint states.
Humiliated and increasingly anxious because of the events, Biswas says she “prematurely left the United States for India,” now studying science and engineering in college.
She is represented by Ravi Batra and Todd B. Sherman of The Law Firm of Ravi Batra.