Three students waiting for a bus to go to a basketball scrimmage in Rochester, N.Y. the day before Thanksgiving were arrested for disorderly conduct.
Raliek Redd, 16, Deaquon Carelock, 16, and Wan'tauhjs Weathers, 17, all students at Edison Tech High School, were waiting for a school bus in downtown Rochester Wednesday morning with 13 other students, the Rochester Home Page reported. Their coach had scheduled the bus to take them to the scrimmage.
A Rochester police officer arrived at the scene and told them to disperse. Storeowners on Main Street had allegedly recently complained to officers about teenagers loitering and fighting. The teens tried to explain that they were not loitering, but waiting for a bus. Three of the teens were then arrested and booked.
"We didn't do nothing," said Redd. "We was just trying to go to our scrimmage."
The report mentions no obscene language or other disorderly conduct.
"We was just waiting for our bus and he started arresting us," said Wan'Tauhjs Weathers.
Their coach, Jacob Scott, arrived just as the students were being handcuffed. He asked the officer to let them go, and was in turn threatened himself.
"He goes on to say, 'If you don't disperse, you're going to get booked as well,'" said Scott, who is also a district guidance counselor. "I said, 'Sir, I'm the adult. I'm their varsity basketball coach. How can you book me? What am I doing wrong? Matter of fact, what are these guys doing wrong?'"
Scott said the incident was traumatic for the players who got arrested and the others who witnessed it.
"It's a catastrophe," said Scott. "These young men were doing nothing wrong, nothing wrong. They did exactly what they were supposed to do and still they get arrested. I'm speaking to the officers with dignity ... and still and yet — they see me get treated like nothing."
The boys' families had to pay $200 in bail money to get their sons out of jail for Thanksgiving. They are now fighting the charges.
"They are not bad kids," said one of the moms, Crystal Chapman. "They are awesome boys. They all have good grades in school. I don't want them to be profiled at all."
The boys are awaiting a court date in two weeks, WHEC reported.