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Charges were dropped against three African-American teenagers who said they were waiting for a school bus last week when they were arrested by police. “After reviewing the facts associated with these arrests, I have decided to dismiss the charges in the interest of justice,” said District Attorney Sandra Doorley in a statement Tuesday. The basketball players said they were waiting for a bus in Rochester, N.Y., to take them to a scrimmage when police asked them to leave the area. When 17-year-old Deaquon Carelock and 16-year-olds Raliek Redd and Wan’Tauhjs Weathers pushed back against the officer’s request, saying they were following instructions from their coach, police arrested them. The teens were later charged with two counts of disorderly conduct. (. . .)
“We tried to tell them that we were waiting for the bus,” Weathers added. “We weren’t catching a city bus, we were catching a yellow bus. He didn’t care. He arrested us anyways.” Police say the teens were obstructing pedestrian traffic and repeatedly ignored orders to disperse, according to a police report obtained by FOX station WROC. Police had been keeping an eye on the area after receiving complaints of loitering from a nearby store. The students’ coach said he had no reason to think they were causing trouble.“My guys were waiting for the bus like they normally do,” Jacob Scott, the student’s basketball coach, said. “I get to the scene after parking my car and three of my guys are handcuffed.” (. . .)
“One of the police officers actually told me, if he had a big enough caravan, he would take all of us downtown,” Scott said, referring to himself and the other students waiting to attend the scrimmage on a day off from school.
“These young men were doing nothing wrong, nothing wrong,” he said of the arrested players. “They did exactly what they were supposed to do.” (. . .)
The teens posted bail, and the case is scheduled for disp(osition). “They are not bad kids,” Raliek Redd’s mother, Crystal Chapman, said. “They are awesome boys. They all have good grades in school. I don’t want them to be profiled at all.”
A New Mexico teacher asked a 13-year-old girl to stop talking with her friend and move to another seat. The girl refused. The teacher called the police.
The case is among thousands across the United States fueling a long-simmering debate over when educators should bring in the police to deal with disruptive students. A 6-year-old Georgia kindergartner became the latest test case last week when she was hauled off in steel handcuffs after throwing books and toys in a school tantrum.
“Kids are being arrested for being kids,” said Shannon Kennedy, a civil rights attorney who has filed a class-action lawsuit against Albuquerque’s public school district and its police department on behalf of hundreds of kids arrested for minor offenses over the past few years, including having cellphones in class, destroying a history book and inflating a condom.
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