A police officer arrested three teens last week as they were standing outside a store in downtown Rochester, New York. Their crime: Waiting for a school bus.
The three boys — Raliek Redd, 16, Deaquon Carelock, 16, and Wan’Tauhjs Weathers, 17 — are star athletes at Edison Tech high school, and were waiting to be taken to a basketball game when they were spotted by an officer.
It seems the store adjacent to their pick-up spot was being monitored by police due to past complaints from the owner of teens loitering outside.
The officer asked the teens to disperse, but they explained that they were waiting to be picked up by a bus. The officer again asked the teens to disperse.
“We tried to tell them that we were waiting for the bus,” Wan’Tauhjs told WHEC. “We weren’t catching a city bus, we were catching a yellow bus. He didn’t care. He arrested us anyways.”
The three were charged with with disorderly conduct and obstructing the sidewalk.
While they were being handcuffed, their coach, Jacob Scott, arrived at the scene and attempted to reason with the cop.
“He goes on to say, ‘If you don’t disperse, you’re going to get booked as well,” Scott recalled. “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?'”
A school board member has since come out in defense of the arrested teens, saying this is not a new phenomenon.
“I’m very concerned about a pattern of young people being abused by police authority,” Rochester City School Board Member Mary Adams is quoted as saying. “To me, this seems like a really clear case, part of a pattern.”
The boys were scheduled to enter their plea before a judge last Friday, but their hearing has been postponed until December 11.