Monday, April 15, 2013

2013-04-15 "More Police In Schools Leads to More Students Under Arrest"

by Kristina Chew by Kristina Chew from "" []:
After the Sandy Hook School tragedy and too many reports of school shootings to count, school districts across the U.S. are clamoring for more police in their schools. The National Rifle Association has wasted no time in calling for police officers in every single school. But while it is not at all clear if the full-time presence of police officers deters crime or the threat of armed intruders, putting more police officers in school has resulted in more student arrests and misdemeanor charges “for essentially nonviolent behavior including scuffles, truancy and cursing at teachers,” the New York Times reports [].
Police (and metal detectors) in the corridors of U.S. school are nothing new. As one my college students noted, at her New York City high school, students had to go through as much security every day to get to their classes as passengers do to get on airplanes, removing belts, shoes and anything with metal. Now, it seems that students can expect to see police officers as routinely as teachers.

“No Evidence” That Police in Schools Improves Safety -
The Obama administration has called for an increase in police officers in the nations’s schools. Indeed, since the 1990s, thousands of federal dollars have been allocated for “police resource officers” in elementary, middle and high schools since the 1990s. School districts including those of Houston, Los Angeles and Philadelphia have their own police forces.
A full-time police presence in school hallways certainly changes a school’s atmosphere, but as University of Maryland criminologist Denise C. Gottfredson says in the New York Times: “There is no evidence that placing officers in the schools improves safety. And it increases the number of minor behavior problems that are referred to the police, pushing kids into the criminal system.”
Rather than providing security, police officers end up dealing with disciplinary issues that schools themselves should address — instead of enhancing students’ safety, school districts hand over discipline to law enforcement. Having students cited for misbehavior teaches them nothing and certainly not positive, pro-active strategies for dealing with anger, impulsivity and other challenging behaviors.

Minority Students More Frequently Arrested -
What’s more, black and Latino/a students, as well as students with disabilities, are arrested or given criminal citations in disproportionate numbers, as civil rights groups including the NAACP report []. Youth advocates have begun to fight back and not only because of the injustice of students having to face criminal courts for infractions such as cursing at teachers or truancy. Not only do they end up missing school for court appearances; students also face fines, community service and criminal charges on their record that can mean rejection from the military and jobs.
The case of 12-year-old De’Angelo Rollins is too typical. Soon after starting to attend Bryan Middle School in Texas (where some 100,000 misdemeanor tickets are written up for students in one year), he and another boy got into a scuffle and were both issued citations. De’Angelo had to go through “repeated court appearances;” he pleaded no contest and was fined $69 and sentenced to 20 hours of community service and four months probation.
Of course students must be safe in school, but simply calling in police officers is a sign that school districts are foregoing educating students and addressing their challenges. As no one less than Wallace B. Jefferson, the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, said in a speech to the Legislature in March [], “We are criminalizing our children for nonviolent offenses.”
Forget about a school-to-prison pipeline []. What’s really going on in public schools in the U.S. is that school is prison, or a place where you’re under constant surveillance by the police.

Monday, April 8, 2013

2013-04-08 "Suisun City police, deputies use guns to remove disabled woman from home during illegal eviction; Occupy will help wheel-chair bound owner move belonging"

Contact: Sandra Williams [530-867-0671] []

Less than two weeks after Sheriff's deputies and local police broke into the home of a 52-year-old disabled woman in a wheelchair, and evicted her and her family at gunpoint, she said Occupy volunteers will help her remove her belongings. She has called a press conference during the removal, starting this Monday (April 8), at about 10:30 a.m. (1215 pheasant drive, Suisun City).
Sandra Williams, a disabled African American mother of an injured Afghanistan War veteran, was told by a bankruptcy judge March 28 that he would give her no more time to resolve questions about foreclosure. Then, just hours later deputies and local police, who didn't identify themselves, pounded on the doors of the Suisun City home (breaking the front door) and -- and at gun point removed everyone in the home, including a Latino caretaker.
Ms Williams suffered an asthma attack and had to be rushed to the hospital after the home invasion. She had just been released from a two week stay in the hospital, Ms.Williams, now homeless, maintains she was illegally foreclosed on, and that she is a victim of identity theft. She said she has three different deeds of trust, and that someone used her personal identity and the notary public's information to record a false deed of trust on her home. She told that to the judge, but he didn't listen. Neither did deputies and police.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

2013-04-07 "Memorials of Officer Jim Capoot defaced in Vallejo"

from "Vallejo Times-Herald" []:
Two memorials to slain Vallejo Officer Jim Capoot were defaced in the last week. The incidents seemed to have occurred between Wednesday and Thursday night, police said Saturday. In the memorial on Rollingwood Drive, an image of Capoot was spray-painted white, while the image of slain Officer Jeff Azuar was left untouched.
Additionally, the Vallejo Police Activities League mural on Wallace Avenue was again defaced. Capoot's image was also spray-painted white in that case, with swear words written around it as well as the slogan "fight the power."
Police vowed to continuously clean the memorials, and said neighbors were also keeping a watchful eye. Capoot was shot and killed in November 2011 as he pursued a robbery suspect in North Vallejo. Azuar was killed in April 2000 as he tried to serve a warrant.