Woman involved in 2016 CDTA bus incident has one conviction overturned


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Asha Burwell, one of the three women at the center of the 2016 CDTA incident, had one falsely reporting conviction overturned.

Burwell was convicted in 2017 on two counts of falsely reporting an incident along with her codefendent Ariel Agudio. The women were sentenced to three years probation and 200 hours of community service.

Burwell, Agudio and Alexis Briggs said that they were the victims of a racially motivated attack on a CDTA bus full of UAlbany students in 2016, they claimed racial slurs were used and they were stuck by a group of boys.

The convictions were based on reports told to police and posts made by the women on social media.

The New York Appellate Court determined that one of the convictions was based on posts made by Burwell on Twitter. They decided that those tweets were protected under the First Amendment of Free Speech and did not rise to the level of causing public alarm. Burwell’s sentence for that conviction has been vacated.

Her other falsely reporting an incident conviction was upheld.

The Albany County District Attorney’s Office responded to the reversal in a statement saying, “We respect the decision of the Court to uphold the falsely reporting an incident charge regarding the claims made during the 911 call. ‘A lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts on its boots,’ is the old saw.  A tweet can make it 1,000 times around.  While the Constitution protects your right to lie on Twitter, it certainly doesn’t protect your right to lie to the police. And make no mistake, Asha Burwell lied and remains convicted for her behavior.”


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