Archive for December, 2015

Armando’s Story – Policing at School

Monday, December 28th, 2015

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Armando’s Story – Policing at School

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“I was 13 years old and in the 8th grade when I came to school with a knife.  I was crossing multiple neighborhood borders to get to school.  I’m from the county of Los Angeles where everyone knows that the wrong answer to “Where you from?” could get you beat up or even killed.  Every day on the way to school, I was tested by people who were bigger and older, pocket checked (asked to empty my pockets for any money or valuables), and sometimes chased.  I started to carry a knife, because I was afraid for my life.

When school security found the knife on me, I was taken to the Dean’s Office where the school called the police.  The police arrived holding tasers.  They cuffed me, threw me on the ground and put me in the cop car.  The cuffs were on tight.  When I arrived at the police station, my wrists were bruised, swollen and slightly bleeding.  The cops were joking around about charging me with murder, so I was really panicked. I had seen my mom get …

Ademir’s Story – Policing on the Metro

Monday, December 28th, 2015

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“Ademir’s Story – Policing on the Metro”

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My name is Ademir Aguilar. I am a student at the Youth Justice Coalition’s FREE LA High School.

Last month, I was on the train – on the Green Line. The Sherriffs are always just hanging out at the station – deep. I passed by, and they asked to check my tap card. I had my tap card on me, but it had run out. They said that I was just using it as an excuse not to pay my fare. I was like – “It literally just ran out. I had it for a month.” But they didn’t believe me no matter what I said.

Every day, the sheriffs on the Metro line us up – mostly Black and Brown youth – and check our tap cards. A lot of the treatment is rough. We get treated like criminals, even though we are just students struggling to get enough money together to pay for transportation to and from school. Sometimes they stop buses and pull youth off. We get tickets. We are late to school. Sometimes, we are patted …

“Edilberto’s Story – Policing on the Inside & Out” Give a Gift To The YJC

Sunday, December 20th, 2015
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“Edilberto’s Story – Policing on the Inside & Out”

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My school never asked what was going on with me when I started getting into fights. My father was incarcerated and my mom depended on me to help raise my younger brothers and sisters. But instead of counseling, I got suspended, expelled and arrested from school.

I was first detained at Eastlake Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles at the age of 16. The unit I was in was on lock-down most of the time. The only time we had outside our cell was for two hours of recreation. We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner in our cell. We had some packets thrown at us for school, but most of the time, we didn’t have paper or pencil to write our families. They would take the pencils away from us if we had one. We had no books to read – nothing to distract my mind. I had no one to talk to almost all day long – just a 5’ by 7’ room and a tiny little window to look out of.
When I was released from juvenile hall, I