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Muslim defendants get conditional dismissals

RYE (AP) -- Fifteen Muslims on Tuesday won conditional dismissals of charges stemming from an amusement park disturbance that started when women were told they couldn't wear religious headscarves on some rides.

A Rye Town Court judge told the defendants their cases would be dropped if they stayed out of trouble for two months. Most had been charged only with disorderly conduct, but the charges ranged up to second-degree assault. All the female defendants wore headscarves.

Some of the defendants said they plan to file a civil rights lawsuit against Westchester County, alleging police brutality and racism in the disturbance. The county owns Playland Park in Rye, a national landmark. Defense attorney Lamis Deek said the defendants could have gone to trial and won acquittals, but trials would have been inconvenient because none of them lives in Westchester.

About 3,000 Muslims were at Playland on Aug. 30, celebrating the end of Islam's holy month of fasting, Ramadan. Officials say Playland bans baseball caps, eyeglasses and other headgear on several fast rides.



Police stop showing 'inflammatory' video

NEW YORK (AP) -- Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said Tuesday that New York police used "terrible judgment" in showing officers a film about Muslims that Islamic groups have complained is inflammatory. Bloomberg said commanders have stopped showing the movie, "The Third Jihad," which contends Muslims are bent on establishing an Islamic regime worldwide. The film, which was played during counterterrorism training seminars, was bankrolled by a conservative group called the Clarion Fund, according to the New York Times.

"Somebody exercised terrible judgment," Bloomberg said in Albany. "As soon as they found out about it, they stopped it."

Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said the movie was not among the official training materials and that a sergeant made the decision to play it in the background at training sessions. He said she has been reprimanded.



Police say doctor ignored drug abuse

NEW YORK (AP) -- A doctor facing criminal charges of peddling pain prescriptions to addicts and drug dealers overlooked such warning signs as requests for early refills and state reports that patients were doctor-shopping for multiple prescriptions and didn't move fast enough to cut off patients who appeared to be abusing the drugs, state officials said in suspending his medical license.

Dr. Stan Li also didn't properly explore the causes of the pain some patients claimed or appropriately address the fact that one had been repeatedly hospitalized for drug abuse and another had a drinking problem, according to allegations outlined Monday in a state Board for Professional Medical Conduct document obtained by the Associated Press.

Prosecutors have said at least 10 of Li's patients died of overdoses and another, David Laffer, killed four people in a Long Island pharmacy robbery. Li, 57, is barred from practicing in the state at least until a board committee hearing set for next month.

Li pleaded not guilty in November to criminal charges of reckless endangerment and selling prescriptions.