BY CAROLINA BAYON, JUNIOR EDITOR
In light of the recent conflicts between police and young black men in places like Baltimore and Ferguson, The Beacon decided to interview Wilson students to find out what their experiences were like with the DC police.
“The cops searched my bag and physically assaulted me and my friends on the suspicion that we were smoking. Cops often stop and harass me and my friends in Northwest neighborhoods and ask us if we live in the area or what we are doing.”
-Alaitz Ruiz, 11
“Pretty recently I was stopped by a police officer who tried to get me in trouble for being out past curfew, but I’m 17 so I just told him I don’t have a curfew and he drove off.”
-Henry Shuldiner, 12
“It was around 12:30 and I was leaving from the music room, going home. I remember my friend, who is white, had just passed by where I was going. I was waiting for my mom near the yellow clothes and shoes containers. I had my hat on and it was really cold. The police car went around twice. I remember there were a bunch of police cars around the school. I saw a white light and the police said ‘put your hands up’, so I did. Four white police officers were surrounding me. I got up from sitting on the ground, and I saw a cop with his hand closer on his hip, I thought he was gonna pull out a gun. A black police officer came up to me and talked to me; the rest just hung around. Finally, I was just given a warning. The police came up to me because they thought I was going to steal something from the school. I didn’t think it was fair that they approached me because of the way I looked.”
-Clifton Humphries, 9
“I got sat down by the officer and then when I refused to open my phone for the officer he began to grab my neck in an attempt to force me to do it. He continued to hold my neck and squeeze it pretty tightly until he realized people were beginning to stare and film the interaction and when he noticed that I wouldn’t open my phone or cooperate until he let go of my neck.”
This student said that this experience made him feel really scared when no one was saying anything and felt that the situation could’ve gotten out of hand had people not begun to take notice.
“I was standing outside the Thai embassy waiting for a couple friends, and then a policewoman came over and asked me what I was doing and I was just like ‘I’m waiting for my friends’ and then she proceeded to pat me down and write my name down and uh I guess just like interrogate me for like 10 to 15 minutes.”
-Leander Trotter, 12
PHOTO BY ELVERT BARNES