Students arrested while waiting for school-bus ride to game
Three high school basketball players were arrested in Rochester, N.Y., last week after they reportedly refused to clear a sidewalk where they were standing waiting for a school bus to take them to a game.
According to Rochester Homepage, 16-year-olds Raliek Redd and Daequon Carelock and 17-year-old Wan’Tauhjs Weathers were waiting for the bus last Wednesday with their Edison Tech teammates outside of a store near North Clinton Avenue and Main Street in Rochester.
The bus was supposed to be taking the players to a scrimmage game against Aquinas, and their coach, Jacob Scott, had arranged to have the team picked up in a central location away from campus because there was no school that day.
At some point before the bus arrived, a police officer spotted the boys, and a police report obtained by Rochester Homepage stated that the team was blocking a storefront and obstructing the sidewalk.
The report stated that the officer arrested Redd, Carelock and Weathers after he "gave several lawful, clear and concise orders for the group to disperse and leave the area without compliance."
According to the boys, however, that’s not the whole story.
"We tried to tell them that we were waiting for the bus," Weathers told WHEC. "We weren’t catching a city bus, we were catching a yellow bus. He didn’t care. He arrested us anyways."
"We didn’t do nothing," Redd told Rochester Homepage. "We (were) just trying to go to our scrimmage."
Eventually, Scott arrived to meet his players, only to find three of them in handcuffs. But when he tried to argue for their release, Scott says he was threatened with arrest, too.
"(The officer) goes on to say, ‘If you don’t disperse, you’re going to get booked as well,’" Scott told Rochester Homepage. "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?’
"One of the police officers actually told me (that) if he had a big enough caravan, he would take all of us downtown."
Each of the boys’ families had to post $200 bail to get their children out before Thanksgiving, according to Rochester Homepage. WHEC reports that the boys were supposed to be formally charged with disorderly conduct in court Friday, but that hearing was delayed until Dec. 11.
In the meantime, the boys’ coach, their families and even the school board will continue to fight on the players’ behalf.
"I’m very concerned about a pattern of young people, especially young people of color, being abused by police authority," Rochester City School Board member Mary Adams told WHEC. "And to me this seems like a very clear case, a part of (that) pattern."
Edison Tech opens its regular season Tuesday at home against Franklin.
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