Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The committed get forced out: Herbert

"The angry officer, according to Mr. Soguero, barged past him and into the classroom. “I followed him,” said Mr. Soguero, “and he’s pushing desks aside, walking through students to get at her, disrupting everything. She’s sitting in a chair. He grabs her arm, her left arm with his right hand, and he’s reaching back to grab his cuffs. At that point I walked around him and physically stood in between the two of them.”

This sort of thing, the police wildly overreacting to behavior by schoolkids that is not criminal, happens much more often than most New Yorkers realize. Officer Gonzalez behaved as if he were rounding up the James gang. He arrested the girl. He arrested Mr. Soguero. And he arrested a school aide who had tried to come to the principal’s defense.

Mr. Soguero was handcuffed in full view of everyone — students, teachers, staff — and marched out of the school. Later the police paraded him in front of news photographers in a humiliating “perp walk.”

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly supported Officer Gonzalez, telling reporters at the time, “The principal was simply wrong.”

But that was not the case. There was no evidence that a crime had been committed, and the charges were later dropped. Mr. Soguero, who was suspended by school authorities at the time of his arrest, was allowed to resume the post of principal."

I doubt this sort of thing would be permitted if the kids were in an exclusive community. You wonder why these kids grow up mistrusting the police.

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