Kamilah Newton, Yahoo, July 29, 2019
The mom of a 10-year-old boy received the shock of her life recently: a phone call from her local juvenile court, explaining that her son would be charged with aggravated assault, months after a playground game of dodgeball at his elementary school.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Cameishi Lindley, mother of soon-to-be-fifth-grader Bryce Lindley, told 7 Action News about the call, received from the Wayne County Juvenile Court in Canton, Mich., on July 24.
Now, because the boy being punished is black and the boy who was injured is white, some critics are calling the incident racist, while others — including celebrity comedian DL Hughley, who called the charge “ridiculous” — are coming to the boy’s general defense.
“Some 10 year olds were playing dodgeball on the playground at school. A white kid got hit with the ball. Then they charged the 10 year old Black child with assault,” tweeted film producer and self-dubbed “No. 1 race baiter” Tariq Nasheed. “This is why we should not prioritize any of these border issues, while our kids are racially targeted.”
The situation began back on Apr. 29, when Bryce received a one-day suspension from Ruth Eriksson Elementary, in Canton, for allegedly hitting a classmate in the face with a ball during a game of dodgeball. The child reportedly sustained a concussion, but because it was an accident, Lindley didn’t expect punitive measures against her son Bryce to go any further.
The case, Wayne County’s assistant prosecuting attorney Maria Miller tells Yahoo Lifestyle, “was evaluated by our Juvenile Prosecuting Unit, and it was determined that there was enough evidence to for us to charge aggravated assault.”
Some seem to imply that the incident appears to fit into a larger pattern — of what various studies have found to be disproportionate punishments between black and white children in America.
In the meantime, Lindley has created a fundraiser to assist her with Bryce’s legal fees and they are set to appear in juvenile court on Aug. 1st. She says that neither she nor her son knew about the injured child’s medical condition — nor did they know about the other school incidents — and feels the injured child shouldn’t have been playing a risky game in the first place.