Two opinions this morning. Both involving juveniles. Both from San Diego. Both involving kids for whom, sadly, I feel this opinion may not be their only lifetime involvement with the criminal justice system.
"On April 7, 2016, police officers detained R.S. at Crawford High School in
response to a report that a nonstudent juvenile male was trespassing on campus. The
officers took R.S. to the school's main office and questioned him. R.S. denied being on school grounds. He also repeatedly refused to identify himself and was "very loud and
Because R.S. did not cooperate with the officers, the officers attempted to place
him under arrest. As they did, R.S. "tensed up and clenched his fists and attempted to
pull away." He yelled, "Don't fucking touch me Blood, get your hands off me!" R.S.
struggled with the officers as they tried to subdue him. Eventually, the officers
handcuffed R.S. One of the officers suffered a hairline fracture to his thumb during the
struggle. School administrators reported that, before the officers arrived, R.S. had
identified himself by a fake name and falsely claimed that he was a student at the school.
About two months later, R.S. and a juvenile associate were inside a Starbucks at
67th Street and El Cajon Boulevard, watching a 70-year-old man as he left the coffee
shop. The man was carrying an iPhone 6. R.S. and his associate nodded their heads in
the man's direction and then followed him outside "as if they were stalking him." R.S.
and his associate then struck the man from behind in the back of his head. R.S. hit the
man, using a "modified 'superman' punch" whereby R.S. jumped up and brought his fist
down onto the man's head. The punch knocked the man to the ground, rendering him
unconscious. . . . Police caught R.S. later that day. At the police station, R.S. at first denied
punching the victim in the head, but later admitted to striking him. He conceded that he
attacked the victim to steal his iPhone."
Less violent, but also troubling, is I.V.:
"In May 2016, 15-year-old I.V. became angry with his mother when she would not
give him shopping money. He went into his bedroom in his grandfather's home, punched
and kicked the walls, and threatened his grandfather when his grandfather tried to
intervene. I.V.'s mother called the police, who arrived to find a broken lock on I.V.'s
bedroom door, a damaged bed frame, holes in the wall, and damaged furniture. . . .
In late June, the probation department submitted a social study evaluating I.V. for
the disposition hearing. The social study noted I.V.'s history of damaging property when
upset and his mother's tendency to downplay his volatile behavior. . . . I.V. received failing grades in all of his classes in his first
semester of high school, and he had a history of truancy. He was suspended for
possessing marijuana and was subsequently expelled from his high school."
How depressing to have a fairly clear vision of where these children will likely end up. Despite a wide variety of social efforts to make things turn out a different way.