Over Thanksgiving break, three basketball players from Edison Tech High School in Rochester, N.Y., were arrested for disorderly conduct. But the teens and their basketball coach are saying they did nothing wrong.
According to WROC-TV, the teenagers were waiting downtown with about 16 other teammates for a school bus to take them to a scrimmage against another school. There was no school that day, so their coach had arranged for a bus to pick them up. A Rochester police officer showed up and told them they were loitering. The news station said that the police told the boys to move because they were blocking the entrance to a business and sidewalk traffic.
“The cop just came over there. He told us to move. Then we was walking away and he turned, we turned around and he arrested all of us,” Raliek Redd, 16, told WROC.
Raliek; Deaquon Carelock, also 16; and senior Wan’Tauhjs Weathers, 17, were arrested and booked.
“I feel it’s unfair … we weren’t doing nothing. We’re just regular kids trying to get to our game … we’re not harassing nobody. We’re not causing no trouble, no nothing,” said Wan’Tauhjs.
The teens’ families had to post $200 bail in order to get them home in time for Thanksgiving. “I’m really upset and I don’t plan to let it go. At all. Because these boys wasn’t doing anything,” Raliek’s mom said.
“I think he seen a group of young black men and kind of stereotyped them for loitering, looking for trouble. He didn’t take the time to speak to nobody of authority to see if they were actually telling the truth or … what was going on,” Wan’Tauhjs’ mom said, according to WROC.
The boys have pleaded not guilty to the charges; the official report does not say they were using abusive or obscene language at the time, WROC noted in another report.