Opening statements in the trial of two Jewish brothers – Avi and Eliyahu Werdesheim – accused of beating a black teenager while “patrolling” their Baltimore neighborhood will begin today.

24 year-old Eliyahu was apparently a member of Shomrim,  an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood watch group. He confronted 15 year-old Corey Ausby while patrolling his Park Heights neighborhood, proclaiming “you don’t belong around here.” Allegedly, He and his brother Avi proceeded to assault Ausby, throwing him to the ground and even hitting him in the head with a radio.

The story has drawn comparisons to the Trayvon Martin case. Fearing that a jury would not allow for them to receive a fair trial, the brothers elected to be tried by Judge Pamela White instead. Although they claim Ausby attacked first, a 911 call made by a witness to the incident suggests Ausby was not the aggressor.

From the Bellingham Herald:

“Both men have pleaded not guilty to the charges, and attorneys have claimed Ausby was armed with a nail-studded board and attacked first. Ausby, who appeared in court Tuesday as a witness, has not been charged in the incident. The Werdesheims are charged with second-degree assault, false imprisonment and carrying a deadly weapon with the intent to injure.

One of their lawyers spent the morning arguing for the suppression of a photo identification of Eliyahu Werdesheim by Ausby, claiming the array shown to the young man was unfair and suggestive. Ausby, speaking from the witness stand, said he identified Eliyahu Werdesheim as the man who assaulted him “because it was the truth,” and White denied the motion to suppress.

Defense lawyers also sought to suppress a 911 call by a man who saw the incident and called for police to check it out, describing it as a citizens group of white male members in three to four cars who had stopped a ‘black youth’ and were ‘holding him to the ground.’

‘I’m not sure what it’s about,’ the man told emergency dispatchers, ‘but it doesn’t (appear) right.'”

Read the rest of this story at

Do you think Corey Ausby attacked the Werdesheim brothers first?

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