The charges brought against two peace activists who participated in a demonstration at the Smith Haven Mall in March were dismissed on May 22 in Suffolk County Court in Central Islip.
The Suffolk Assistant District Attorney stated that the charges of disorderly conduct against Susan Steinmann were being dropped 'in the interest of justice'. On March 29 Ms. Steinmann refused a Suffolk Policeman's command to stop reading the names of the Iraq war dead in the Mall. Don Zirkel an 80 year old peace activist was charged with disorderly conduct and resisting arrest after he refused to take off a T-shirt with an anti-war message while eating lunch in the mall's courtyard.
Before the court appearance the activists stated
"With the charges dropped the issue of whether free speech in a public space of a privately owned shopping mall will not be decided. Also the opportunity to put the war on trial rather than the activists was lost. And this must be why the charges were dropped.