Three Black high school basketball players were curiously arrested last Wednesday (Nov. 27) for disorderly conduct. The teen boys were waiting on a public school bus to take them to a scrimmage when police in downtown Rochester, New York claimed the group was being obstructive.
Raliek Redd, 16, Deaquon Carelock, 16, and Wan'Tauhjs Weathers, 17 all star for the Edison Tech High School basketball team. According to various reports, the location the boys stood with other members of their team was the focus of police scrutiny after complaints of teens loitering in the area. Cops ordered the group to move along, but the players say they told officers they were waiting on a bus to deliver them to a practice game.
"We tried to tell them that we were waiting for the bus," says Weathers. "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. We was just trying to go to our scrimmage," added Redd.
When coach Jacob Scott arrived as the boys were being placed in handcuffs, he attempted to plead with the officers to let them go and was allegedly met with a threat.
"One of the police officers actually told me, if he had a big enough caravan, he would take all of us downtown," Scott said. “It's a catastrophe. These young men were doing nothing wrong, nothing wrong.”
The boys, who had their Friday court date to plead their case postponed to December 11, may have been victims of police harassment according to the comments of one school board member.
I'm very concerned about a pattern of young people being abused by police authority," says Rochester City School Board Member Mary Adams. "To me, this seems like a really clear case, part of a pattern."
This wouldn't be the first time cops made a possible error in judgment by arresting of group of well-meaning kids simply for being Black, and sadly it won't be the last instance either.
Hit the jump to see WHEC's video report on the case.