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by Barry Burch Jr.
That sad moment when circumstances change from not being able to walk down the street to not being able to wait at the bus stop has arrived, well, again. But fortunately, the accused can at least sometimes be vindicated.
The charges against the three black teenagers, who were arrested, while waiting for the bus in Rochester, New York, have been dropped.
District Attorney Sandra Doorley said in a statement on Tuesday, “After reviewing the facts associated with these arrests, I have decided to dismiss the charges in the interest of justice.”
According to the Raw Story, police arrested three black students for failing to follow their orders to “disperse.”
Coach Jacob Scott arranged for a bus to pick up Raliek Redd and Wan’Tauhjs Weathers on Nov. 27 to transport them to a scrimmage game.
Redd said of the incident, “We didn’t do nothing. We was just trying to go to our scrimmage.”
Authorities ignored the explanation from the teens with regard to their purpose for waiting and arrested them anyway.
A police report states the teens were in the way of “pedestrian traffic while standing on a public sidewalk . . . preventing free passage of citizens walking by and attempting to enter and exit a store . . . Your complainant gave several lawful clear and concise orders for the group to disperse and leave the area without compliance.”
By the time Scott reached the scene, the teens were already being arrested. He pleaded for their freedom.
“He goes on to say, ‘If you don’t disperse, you’re going to get booked as well,'” Scott explained. I said, ‘Sir, I’m the adult. I’m their varsity basketball coach. How can you book me? What am I doing wrong? Matter of fact, what are these guys doing wrong?’”
According to Scott, it was not long before backup arrived.
“One of the police officers actually told me, if he had a big enough caravan, he would take all of us downtown,” said Scott.
The coach, full of disappointment, added “These young men were doing nothing wrong, nothing wrong. They did exactly what they were supposed to do and still they get arrested,” Scott continued. “I’m speaking to the officers with dignity . . . and still and yet – they see me get treated like nothing.”
Barry is a scholar, who enjoys writing, arithmetic and politics. Reach him @ Barryburchjr@gmail.com