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    Raid at High School Leads to Racial Divide, Not Drugs 
    #1
    Bluelight Crew E-llusion's Avatar
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    Raid at High School Leads to Racial Divide, Not Drugs
    By TAMAR LEWIN

    Published: December 9, 2003


    OOSE CREEK, S.C., Dec. 8 It was partly a tip from an informant, partly the activity he saw on the Stratford High School surveillance cameras that led the school's principal to call in the police for an early morning drug sweep here on Nov. 5.

    But it was also tape from the surveillance cameras, showing the police drawing guns on students, handcuffing them, making them kneel facing the wall and finding no drugs at all that has set off protests and created a racial divide.

    For many residents of Goose Creek, a pleasant bedroom community north of Charleston, it was particularly disturbing that though blacks make up less than a quarter of the 2,700 students at the high school, two-thirds of the 107 students caught up in the sweep were black.

    The legal consequences of the raid are still emerging. No charges were filed against the students. Instead, the local prosecutor has asked the state attorney general and the United States attorney's office to decide whether students' rights were violated. A class-action lawsuit on behalf of the students has been filed.

    The timing of the raid, which began at 6:45 a.m., apparently contributed to the racial skew: only the earliest buses, filled mostly with black students, had delivered their passengers; the later buses and students who drive had not yet arrived.

    The principal invited the police to hide in utility closets and stairwells until he gave the signal that the first students had arrived. Then the police burst out, with a drug-sniffing dog.

    Pam Bailey, the spokeswoman for the Berkeley County School District, which includes Stratford High, said black students were not singled out.

    "This was not racial profiling," Ms. Bailey said. "When you have reports that some students are selling drugs at a certain time in a certain place, whether they're black, white or Asian, that's when and where you go."

    But many students saw the raid as an example of racial bias.

    "If they were willing to get anybody, they would have come at a different time and searched the whole school, not just 107 kids out of 2,700," said De'Nea Dykes, a black 11th grader.

    Ms. Dykes said she thought the school's principal, George C. McCrackin, "was right to try to do something about the drug problem, but this wasn't the way."

    Ms. Dykes said she was leaving the restroom when she saw officers coming toward her with guns drawn and yelling at students to get down.

    "I assumed that they were trying to protect us, that it was like Columbine, that somebody got in the school that was crazy or dangerous," she said. "But then a police officer pointed a gun at me. It was really scary."

    Jessica Chinners, a white 10th grader, said that when she saw which students were being searched, her first thought was that the police were racist.

    "I looked down the long hall and saw the police lining up all these black students," Ms. Chinners said.

    Ms. Dykes, Ms. Chinners and most other students interviewed, black and white, said the incident opened a racial chasm in the school.

    While some black teachers and parents say the raid was appropriate, and some white ones say it was excessive, many of the reactions break down along race lines.

    The week after the incident, the school's teachers, most of them white, held a demonstration along with some community members to express support for Mr. McCrackin.

    Some black parents, meanwhile, have called for the firing of Mr. McCrackin. Last Thursday, hundreds of people, almost all black, turned out for a rally at which the Rev. Jesse Jackson denounced the incident along with the fatal shooting of a mentally ill black man in North Charleston last month.

    Mr. McCrackin declined to be interviewed. But in a Nov. 11 letter to parents, he said: "I was surprised and extremely concerned when I observed the guns drawn. However, once police are on campus, they are in charge."

    There has been no formal decision on whether the police acted improperly. On Friday, the local prosecutor, Ralph Hoisington, said he was asking the state attorney general to decide whether charges should be filed in connection with the raid. Mr. Hoisington said he was convinced that the police goals were appropriate but that some officers' methods had been "ill-advised at best." He said he was asking the State Law Enforcement Division to share its report on the incident with the United States attorney's office and the F.B.I. to decide whether there were any federal violations.

    The students' legal claims are getting under way, as well. On Friday, Ronald L. Motley, a prominent local lawyer, filed a class-action lawsuit against Mr. McCrackin; the schools superintendent, Dr. J. Chester Floyd; the Goose Creek police chief, Harvey Becker; and others, accusing them of violating the students' constitutional protection against unlawful search and seizure, as well as assault, battery and false arrest. The American Civil Liberties Union said it would soon file a similar suit, in which the racial issues would be explicitly raised.

    "It is completely illegal for police to go into a school with their guns drawn, dogs and handcuffs to find students who might have drugs," said Graham Boyd of the Drug Policy Litigation Project at the A.C.L.U. "The right way to do this, if they have reason to believe a student has drugs, is to call that student in to the principal's office and search the bag there."

    For many of the students in the sweep, the raid is a humiliating memory. Rodney Goodwin, a 10th grader who came to Stratford this year, said he was in the cafeteria when the principal pointed him out, along with other students at his table, to three police officers, who told him he was under arrest and put plastic handcuffs on his wrists. Mr. Goodwin was taken to the main hallway, where, he said, a police officer pointed a gun at him as the principal patted him down and reached inside his pockets.

    "I really don't know why they did what they did to me," he said. "I didn't do anything wrong, but they arrested me."

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    #2
    Bluelight Crew BA's Avatar
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    I don't think people should point the race finger at the police in this case. If anybody has any explaining to do it's the Principal. He obviously signaled when and who to search, what time, etc.
     

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    #3
    race isnt an issue here, i think the fact that the raid happened at all like it did is the problem. I'm a middle class white kid, so given i dont see things along the same racial lines as those who might have experienced some of it, but just the whole raid in itsself sickens me
     

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    #4
    Bluelighter diegoblunt's Avatar
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    At times like this I can only shake my head, (*Nods Head*).
     

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    #5
    Bluelighter
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    not pull the race card..... I think race was for sure a factor, even if it wasn't the biggest... i mean, I wish I ahd some good math skills right now... but 25% of the scool is black and 66% of the kids searched were black.... I mean that just isnt right.... there is mos def some race issues here...

    and McCracking... that gut needs to go...especially if he went out pointing fingers at whihc kids and none of them had shit on them....

    thats fucked up....


    and by the way.... anyone else think the principal's name is funny... I'd be like whats crackin mcCrakin all the time... but thats beside the point
     

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    #6
    Bluelight Crew rm-rf's Avatar
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    Unhappy
    the local prosecutor has asked the state attorney general and the United States attorney's office to decide whether students' rights were violated
    paging Captain Obvious...paging Captain Obvious...

    The principal invited the police to hide in utility closets and stairwells until he gave the signal that the first students had arrived. Then the police burst out, with a drug-sniffing dog.
    Does this sound just a bit too cartoony to anyone else?

    "I assumed that they were trying to protect us, that it was like Columbine, that somebody got in the school that was crazy or dangerous," she said. "But then a police officer pointed a gun at me. It was really scary."
    the only thing more dangerous than students with rifles and homemade grenades...students with drugs!

    once police are on campus, they are in charge
    boy do i feel safe now...

    accusing them of violating the students' constitutional protection against unlawful search and seizure, as well as assault, battery and false arrest
    the article is written in a way that makes this sound very true

    The right way to do this, if they have reason to believe a student has drugs, is to call that student in to the principal's office and search the bag there.
    Ahhh yes, i remember those good ol days before everyone became neurotic...back when things were done the "right" way...
     

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    #7
    Bluelight Crew E-llusion's Avatar
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    Well here's a follow up to this little story...

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Principal at drug-raid high school resigns
    Last Update: 1/5/2004 4:42:13 PM

    (Moncks Corner, South Carolina-AP) -- A South Carolina high school principal has resigned in the aftermath of a controversial drug raid.

    Police in November raided Stratford High School with guns drawn and ordered students to the floor. School officials had asked police to come to the school after hearing of marijuana sales on campus.

    Police say drug dogs sniffed out drug residue on 12 book bags -- but recovered no drugs.

    The raid led to allegations of excessive force and racism. Many of the students are black.

    The principal says in a statement that it's "in the best interest" of the school and his students for him to step aside.

    A school district official says the principal will be reassigned.

    Source
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
     

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    #8
    Bluelighter AfterGlow's Avatar
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    My opinion is that the police are more at fault than the principal for the way this raid was conducted.

    The principal was responsible for determining if the informant was reliable, following up on the tip, and making sure what he saw on school camera surveillance was actually widespread drug dealing. If it was something that couldnt be handled by simply disciplining a few students, then contacting the police about the matter is the right course of action for the principal.

    The police should have conducted an investigation, gathered evidence, and then peacefully arrested any students involved if they had enough evidence. Raiding the school with guns drawn was irresponsible, dangerous, and an overreaction. The leadership in the police department that organized and authorized that raid should also be fired.
     

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    #9
    Bluelighter SilverFeniks's Avatar
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    everyone knows the kids with drugs aren't going to get to school early (or show up at all ).

    If the Admin had any brains they would have known this .. but then again, they ARE school admin, so they have to be clueless.
     

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    #10
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    Fuck americans are dumb!
    Imagine pulling guns on girls in the tenth grade because they are suspected of carrying drugs. Then they sit and wonder why it is that kids carry weapins to school and blast one and others brains out!
     

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    #11
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    i hope some of you had the opportunity to see the video footage of this. it was absolutely disgusting. what the fuck were the officers doing with weapons drawn?? if im not mistaken an officer's weapon is only to be drawn / brandished/ pointed when they are willing to use deadly force. every single one of those officers should have their badge stripped and be demoted to guarding pay less fucking shoe stores. if thats how these fucking red necks behave in a highschool hallway in broad daylight with cameras rolling what is standard operating procedure at 3 am in an alley with a suspect??? shoot first ask questions later??

    im watched this on nightline last night and was absolutely horrified. thankfully the principal resigned and it looks like everyone and their mom is gonna get a piece of the department / the school district in court

    RE: The Race Card


    ok when a school is 25 percent black and latino and of the 100 or so kids laying on the floor like 10 are white how can you NOT say race is involved??? look im not in the business of getting offended for other people. nothing's worse than the suburban white kid soapboxing about racism but fuck you if you say this wasnt an issue, at least make like "toolazy2think" and admit that you dont have the same perspective or experiences as minorities in this country....


    this whole thing is just sad man
    where's michael moore's lying ass when you need him
     

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    #12
    Ex-Bluelighter Harry@Piekarnia's Avatar
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    http://stream.realimpact.net/rihurl....U_DrugBust.rm.
    is a film of the raid with comments by the retarded ex-principle.

    ------------
    *edit*
    I posted this link in the Video Clips Sticky on top of the DITM Thread.
    Last edited by E-llusion; 15-01-2004 at 16:12.
     

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    #13
    Exclamation
    I think they were totally mistaken... either that or the students knew it was going to happen... I mean come on, they didnt have one single case of drugs on any student in the entire school, white or black. Its highly possible that there was racism involved but I think the raid was just bullshit. They need to know their shit before they start pointing guns at innocent kids.


     

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    #14
    yeah, word must have gotten out or something, i'd be amazed if you could go to any public high school in the country at any time and there be NO drugs in the school at all. either the cops wernt too thorough or the kids knew something was gonna go down
     

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