You’d think the outrage sparked at Spring Valley High after a cop was caught on camera putting a student in a chokehold and then violently slamming her to the ground would solely result in disciplinary action for the officer, but the teen who was assaulted and the other student who filmed the incident are also facing criminal charges. According to The Huffington Post: “Both girls face a misdemeanor charge of disturbing schools and, if found guilty, could be fined up to $1,000 or face 90 days in jail.”
Rashad Robinson, Executive Director of ColorOfChange, said in a statement.
“These two young women have suffered enough without the justice system dragging out the process of eliminating these ridiculous charges. Solicitor Dan Johnson has the ability and opportunity to do the right thing.
“By failing to take action, he has aligned himself with far too many prosecutors around the country who criminalize black youth while failing to hold police accountable.”
On Thursday, ColorOfChange, the Alliance for Educational Justice, and the Justice for the Spring Valley Two Coalition reportedly delivered a petition to Johnson demanding officer Ben Fields, who’s since been fired, be prosecuted for his actions and that the charges against the two teens be dropped. Johnson responded to the petition, saying he won’t move forward with the charges until the FBI has finished investigating Fields.
Efia Nwangaze of the Justice for the Spring Valley Two Coalition, on the other hand, said in a statement that the underlying issues of this case are bigger than 16-year-old Shakira and her classmate Niya. “There is a racially biased system of school discipline across the country,” she said. “Black girls are six times more likely to be punished — and more severely so than their white counterparts — and three times their black male counterparts in Richland.” Let’s not forget this is all over a student refusing to leave the classroom after being labeled “verbally disruptive.”