Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stop Police Brutality Against High School Students

By Caleb T. Maupin
Published May 28, 2010 5:40 PM

Anger exists in Cleveland against the routine brutal practices of the police department. Over 11,500 people have watched the YouTube video of cops attacking DeAsia Bronaugh and Destiny Bronaugh, two African-American high school students and sisters, as they participated in a peaceful student walkout at Collinwood High School against mass school closings and cutbacks.

The Bail Out the People Movement was able to mobilize thousands of people to send e-mails and make phone calls to local elected officials, Cleveland School District officials and the Cleveland Police Department to express outrage at the police attack and demand the charges brought against the Bronaugh sisters be dropped and that they not face school disciplinary action.

With e-mails and phone calls coming in from all across the country as well as internationally, Collinwood High School has halted the process of expelling Seth Barlekamp, leader of the student walkout. He and his mother were informed that no further disciplinary action would be taken by the school against him or any of the dozen students who walked out of school on May 13.

While this victory is important, the two young women still face criminal charges of assault on a police officer, aggravated disorderly conduct, truancy and resisting arrest.

Tina Bronaugh, mother of the two brutalized sisters, spoke with Cleveland’s News Channel 5, while her daughters sat on either side of her, their faces bruised and scarred from the brutal police attack. She said how horrified she was by what had happened to her daughters, and how if she had treated her daughters in that way she would quickly have lost custody of them and would have been charged with child abuse.

Outcry throughout the community over this police attack on students of color continues. A community meeting was held at the Collinwood Branch Library, and it drew a number of college students, community activists and other victims of police terror.

The protest campaign to fight the unjust charges against the young women needs your help. Please call the Cleveland Prosecutor’s Office at 216-664-4850 and demand that charges against DeAsia Bronaugh and Destiny Bronaugh be dropped and that the truancy fines against the 12 students who walked out of school in a peaceful protest be waived as well.

More actions on behalf of the Bronaugh sisters and the other youth wrongfully arrested are currently being planned.

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