Arrested for Not Carrying an ID on Way to High School, Young New Yorker Opts to Fight

Print More

Clarissa Sosin

Editor's note: Our publisher Leonard Witt is doing an Ask Me Anything today at 11 a.m. ET. Tune in on Reddit

NEW YORK — Mariah Charles woke up on Tuesday faced with a difficult decision. Does she take a plea to a crime she didn’t commit or go to trial — face the two officers who slammed her to the ground, arresting her on her way to school — and risk losing.

For more information on Racial-Ethnic Fairness, go to JJIE Resource Hub | Racial-Ethnic Fairness

On the morning of April 28, 2017, Charles, 19 at the time, was on her way to her high school. Instead, she was thrown head first into the back of a New York Police Department squad car. Now, more than a year later, her case has wended its way through the courts.

ny bureauAbout half an hour before appearing in front of a judge, she was still debating what to do. She sat by herself in the hallway of Brooklyn Criminal Court amid the clamor of lawyers and clients. She looked younger than 20 with her hair in a frizzy bun, wearing black baggy knee-length shorts and an oversized white T-shirt with “The Good Weekend” emblazoned across the front.

After checking her phone for a while, she was joined by her Legal Aid attorney, Robert Heilbrun, and Dennis Flores, cop watcher and co-founder of community organization El Grito de Sunset Park. She stared down at the ground while the two men debated the pros and cons of taking what is commonly called an ACD.

Civil rights: Young woman in navy blue hoodie, shorts, black sneakers and blue ball cap worn backwards sits on steps of building.

Clarissa Sosin

Mariah Charles still doesn’t understand why she was arrested, but said, “I want to teach others and open up my generation’s eyes to what we’re going through.”

It is hard to know how many young people in New York City are faced with the decision to accept an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, commonly referred to by its initials, ACD. Often, it is offered by the district attorney’s office to grease the wheels of justice and not clog the system with minor offenses. The law stipulates that if you are not arrested again within six months of taking the plea, the charges will be dismissed.

Critics of ACDs say it incentivizes defendants to take a plea, even if they feel they are innocent. Going to trial opens the possibility of a conviction and a stiff sentence, so it is common for defense attorneys to recommend taking an ACD.

“It’s the DA’s go to sweep it under the rug move,” said Jason Del Aguila, a community justice organizer with VOCAL-NY who came to support Charles in court.

The decision

Taking an ACD can adversely affect a civil case someone like Charles might bring, charging abuse at the hands of the NYPD. And the charges remain on your record. New York does not expunge records. The records can be sealed, but that only prevents them from being seen by the public. Any number of local, state and federal governmental agencies can see what’s in the sealed records.

[Related: Trauma of Her Violent Arrest Lingers, Even As Young New Yorker Beats the System]

“I’m not telling you to take it or not to take it,” Heilbrun told Charles. “My job is to make sure you don’t get a criminal record.”

Flores explained that taking the plea could have negative legal consequences.

Charles listened silently, chewing her gum.

About a half hour later, she made her intentions clear. When a court officer called her name, she and her attorney stood before the judge. Her hands behind her back, she nervously scratched her chin with her shoulder, her jaw still working over the gum. Her lawyer announced she would not be taking the plea and that they would go to trial. The judge set a trial date of July 9.

The charges, resisting arrest and obstructing governmental administration, stem from her encounter with the NYPD while walking to school last year. That was captured on a surveillance camera.

Surveillance video from local business

Captured on camera

Charles was walking to school down Wolcott Street in Red Hook, a waterfront neighborhood in Brooklyn, with her friend Danielle Ward, 17. They were debating whether it was better to be a police officer or in the Coast Guard. Charles was arguing the merits of being a police officer, a career she was considering after high school.

“I was like, Coast Guard going to have way more respect," Ward said. "That's the last thing I remember talking about."

Then an NYPD squad car pulled over. An officer and a sergeant approached them and asked where they were going.

Charles said she was on her way to her school, the South Brooklyn Community School, where she was a junior at the time. The sergeant asked for identification. She said she didn’t have any, but that he could walk her to her school. It’s just around the corner on Conover Street and less than a block away.

"If someone don't have ID they literally walk with you to school so that's what's I thought they were going to do. And I thought wrong,” Charles said.

She tried to continue on her way when the officer grabbed her arm and blocked her way. She stopped walking and he dropped her arm. They spoke for a second longer, then Charles took a few more steps toward school.

That’s when the officers elevated the level of force.

As Charles went to go around him, the officer grabbed her arms and pulled them behind her back. The other officer, who was talking to Ward a couple of feet away, came over to help restrain Charles. With one cop on each arm, Charles began to struggle. She is thin, 5 foot 2 and  weighs about 120 pounds. They pulled her this way and that.

"I'm going to school and I'm a female,” she screamed. “You're touching me and I'm a female. What are you doing? What are you doing?"

Finally, the officers forced her to the ground.

All the while a stunned Ward, unsure whether or not she was going to be arrested too, stood there watching and filming.

"Yo! What are you all doing?" she said.

"Somebody go to my school!” Charles yelled. “Somebody go to my school. Danny, please go to my school. Danny, please."

Ward walked away quickly to find someone at the school to help, leaving her friend cuffed on the ground with the two officers pinning her down.

Once Ward was gone, the officers stood up. One held onto Charles while the other opened the squad car door. Realizing they were going to put her in the car, she began to struggle again. They pushed her onto the ground, lifted her up sideways and threw her into the backseat head first.

Then they stood at the open door as bystanders began to gather. Charles stood up and got out of the car, her backpack dangling around her cuffed wrists. As she began to shuffle slowly toward the sidewalk, the closest officer pulled on her shirt, making her fall toward him, and pushed her back inside the open car door. With the second officer’s help, the two violently shoved Charles back in and slammed the door. Seconds later, they got into the car and drove away.

It lasted less than five minutes.

The aftermath

Several days later, Ward and Charles went back to where it happened with Flores of El Grito. They watched the footage Ward took of the arrest, dissecting that day.

Dennis Flores

Sources familiar with the case said that the two police said they stopped the pair and asked for ID as part of a truancy stop.

But Charles, who was 19 at the time, is older than the legal dropout age of 17.

And in New York City you are not legally required to have an ID, and you don’t need to show one to a police officer unless the officer has reasonable suspicion that you have committed, are committing or about to commit a crime.

"I feel confused,” Charles said. “I don't understand why them cops did it."

It remains unclear why the sergeant and officer from the 76th Precinct stopped her. Police didn’t respond to a request to comment. A spokesperson from the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office declined to comment because the case is pending.

As she left the courthouse after the brief hearing Tuesday, Charles explained why she made the decision.

“I didn’t feel I should go with the easiest decision,” she said. “Me taking an ACD is saying that it’s OK — it’s OK what they did.”

She leaned against the front of the Brooklyn Criminal Court building and waited for her mother to meet her. She feels a sense of obligation to take her case to trial and tell other people her age about the civil rights abuses they face.

“I feel like I want to teach others and open up my generation’s eyes to what we’re going through,” Charles said.

But that doesn’t mean she isn’t still anxious.

Her mother, Maria Feliz, came over to her and said, “You comfortable? You OK?”

Charles shrugged. “I’m a little nervous,” she said.

“You’re going to feel nervous but don’t be because you didn’t do nothing wrong,” Feliz replied.

Charles said she’s ready for trial. When it’s all done she still plans on finishing school. But she’s not so sure about joining the police department anymore.


Please help us continue reporting this story. As a nonprofit news organization, we could use your help. Thanks.

Contribute Now

133 thoughts on “Arrested for Not Carrying an ID on Way to High School, Young New Yorker Opts to Fight

  1. Pingback: Mariah Charles’ Arrest Is Yet More Proof of Injustices Against Youth of Color - Youth Today

  2. Pingback: Arrested for Not Carrying an ID on Way to High School, Young New Yorker Opts to Fight - Popular Featured World News And International Politics

  3. I am a late middle aged white guy. I am stunned Black and Brown people don’t just shoot Cops like varmints and frankly wish they would start.

    • Black people are already identified as “Black Identity Extremists” and targeted and imprisoned for merely SPEAKING OUT against the atrocities they face at the hands of the State. They can imagine what would become of them if they actually fought back with force… Cops will destroy lives to intimidate the vulnerable wherever it suits them, and it works. Point being: if you think more aggresive tactics will be more effective and should be undertaken, why don’t you use your privilege to ((metaphorically!)) shoot first?

  4. Italians a problem across Southern Europe and Latin America, got their asses kicked by the Greeks and Ethiopians

    If every other race hates your problem….every other race isn’t the problem

    • Until quite recently, in America, Ialians were thought of as criminal scum, and the Irish were not viewed much better. That has changed, but Jews are still generally hated as a people.

      It all stems from racist ignorance. It’s so weak, hating someone that is different, just because you have little understanding of who they are culturally as a people or individually as a person.

      It’s not all the racists fault, as their parents are most often also close minded idiots. Racism is a state of mind, a learned behavior. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I say continue on being a vocal stupid douche. You’re good at it.

      • Rascism isn’t a learned behavior, it’s the instinctual mistrust of the different that’s in our genes. Mistrust is a natural state for all living things.

  5. Good grief, the kid’s story has more holes than Swiss Cheese.

    “Gee whiz, we were just walking, chatting about whether to help babies or old people, when these cops just attacked us.”

    Give me a break!

    • The video shows that the girl’s story is 100% accurate. The two cops had nothing better to do than pick on two teenagers walking to school? The cops should be the ones facing charges of assault and kidnapping, not the other way around.

      • The video won’t help her story. The officers will point to her and simply state that they had probable cause to assign belief to any range of crimes from truancy to intention to trespass, and judges and juries are prejudiced to believe cops, especially if they are white. While America may talk about the presumption of innocence, that really only applies if you are white.

      • She looks like a goddamn gangster. If you get rid of the stupid hoody and stupid baseball cap and dress properly police will leave you alone.
        I took one look at her & yipes what a fool.

    • Does she need a story? I’m confused. She was pulled over for a “truancy inspection”, was not required to show her ID, and was then arrested for not showing her ID which she did not have to do in the first place. Please confirm who has the holes in their logic.

      • In the article it said that you don’t have to produce an ID while walking unless committing or being suspected of committing a crime, like truancy. This creates an issue because the police could not verify her age, due to a lack of ID. That being said, they could have escorted her, she could have not resisted arrest, or could have gone to school on time (assuming she was late if stopped for truancy). Good luck to her, she deserves to win in court, but honestly she, or the police, could have prevented this encounter from ever happening.

          • I sincerely pray that you exercise good judgement when in a police encounter and don’t get the shit beaten out of you for no reason. I’m not condoning the behavior of the police, and the police shouldn’t be enforcing truancy laws, it should be a matter between parents and educators. But that’s the reality, harsh as it is.

    • Frank,

      That kind of automatic disbelief of this young lady – in the face of video evidence – is exactly what is wrong with the thinking in our country these days. If you don’t have the bravery to approach this from an impartial point of view, you really should refrain from commenting, because you’re not looking to learn anything. You’re merely here to argue as an exercise.

    • Frank, I can tell you are a white dude who has never faced discrimination, you are just profiling her just like the cops did based on her skin, whatever happened to innocent until proven guitlky? Also if the officers did what was right, which they clearly didn’t , why would they refuse to give comment? Oh because there are some power hungry assholes who unfortunately we let become cops and do this to minorities. You sir represent everything that’s wrong with America.

      • How do you know she was profiled by her skin? I didn’t read anything in the article stating as much. It’s more likely they profiled her because of her apparent age, even the article stated that she looked younger than 20. The article is not entirely clear, but I assume they were very late for school if they were stopped for truancy. My guess is the police officers don’t want to comment because they don’t want to become the next story in police brutality in a vicious 24 hour news cycle, and were likely advised by their attorneys not to speak on the matter, since there is a court hearing pending. Just my guess though.

    • Frank, please explain what the holes are in the story. Is there another side? Maybe you know that the officers involved were looking for someone, only forgot to mention that to the young woman? Maybe she spit on them? They forgot to say ‘don’t move’ while they were going to call for backup to protect themselves from these obviously bad hombres with school backpacks. Wake up Frank. This isn’t a fascist country where everyone but the police are a danger to society.

    • Frank, what do you think happens if you live in an area with a short supply of minorities? The cops wouldn’t just sip coffee and eat donuts.

      No matter where who or what the situation is, people who get paid for being professional cocks are going to find someone, and then ruin their day. Justified or not, it’s simply what they do for a living, and nobody is perfect.

  6. Pingback: Arrested for Not Carrying an ID on Way to High School, Young New Yorker Opts to Fight - Deluxe World

  7. The video surveillance is all the evidence I need to understand what happened. Video doesn’t lie. I see two teens, one of which tries to escape two police officers. During the escape and subsequent cuffing, they resist (not panic, not comply) and it takes two officers to subdue them. If I were a juror, I would base my guilty decision on the FACTS. Resisting arrest can be a stand alone offense. If a police officer decides to arrest you it is irrelevant if the arrest leads to charges or even if the officer had reasonable grounds to initiate the arrest. Once initiated, resisting arrest is its own offense. Comply and sue the officer/department for (your choice here) after.

    • You got a that from a video with no audio? You can read their lips? Body language? Or are you ASSuming? Assuming guilt before innocence? That is not the American way, but it seems to you it is.

      • I bet you believe they were chatting about becoming cops or joining the Coast Guard. Just before that, they were chatting about whether to help old ladies or babies.

        • Doesn’t matter what they were talking.

          The question is what was the cause for the stop.

          People v DeBour is law in New York, and it governs what happened here.

          Either the cop had P.C. when he first touched her or he did not.

          If he did not, then the cops violated the 4th Amendment to the constitution.

          The NYPD has a pattern of making arrest without P.C. then manufacturing it after the fact.

        • You’ve used the babies or old ladies line multiple times, and it’s not good enough to bear repeating.
          Please, if you won’t have any sympathy for the kid, at least have some for me and everyone else who has been subjected to your wit.

        • Oh Frank…how naive of you! Of course they weren’t talking about old ladies and babies! They were talking about the ton of money they stole from the neighbor who collects cans to make ends meet. Do me a favor and go volunteer at an inner city school or after school club. Put up or shut up. Something tells me you are a middle aged white male that watches Fox news propaganda from the comfort of your home in a predominately white neighborhood.

        • I might believe that you’ve never had an intelligent thought in your entire life. But that opinion is worthless and a waste of thumb movements.

          I don’t have your dedication, the will to hammer away, posting a string of simple minded idiocy. It is, in a way, admirable.

          You are probably too old to change at this point. Everyone should take a moment to admire your outdated ways, or maybe even put you in a museum.

          The last of you are slowly dying off, and your tired ignorant blathering is going with you. Sleep well, grandpa.

    • Resisting arrest is not a stand alone offense. The office had to have a reason to stop you. If none is present then they should be sued. Until these bullies with badges are held personally responsible nothing will change.

        • This is not even a coherent sentence. We’ll all be better off if people like you just stay out of the conversation. Read up on the Dunning-Kruger effect if you need a reason why.

          • It makes perfect sense if you know what you are talking about. Debour is a court case, there are four levels of suspicion an officer can have, each level has a corresponding amount of force legally available for the PO. This didn’t hit the first level of suspicion, and no force should have been used.

            Dunning-Kruger indeed lol.

          • Sir, with respect, his comment makes perfect sense. In the People vs. DeBour, four levels of street encounters are established. He said this “wasn’t even at level one”. If you read on DeBour level one, you see that the reason for the level one encounter is “objective credible reason”, which the appropriate response for is “approach to request information”. The encounter is supposed to be brief and non-threatening. Staying STOP is allowed if it is not forceful.

            What he was saying is that this encounter lacked even objective credible reason and should not have happened in the first place.

          • It looks like someone learned a new term or fact from the internet. Yay, you sound so smart!

            Also… blood is not really blue, baader-meinhof, confirmation bias, and cats are as smart as dogs, but just don’t care.

            Oh yeah, also don’t forget schroedinger’s cat. How could I, even for a moment? Am I dumb, or just developing early Alzheimer’s? These things are chanted over and over like we are a huge mass of electronically connected Benedictine monks.

            Thanks for sharing again, internets. We promise to keep repeating this expanding pool of valuable information, until the end of time 😉

    • As a juror I see a girl being arrested for simply walking. I also see a bully attitude in at least one of the officers involved.

      • You should read those links…

        Plummer v. State, along with Bad Elk v. United States,[19] is cited in Internet blogs and discussion groups but often misquoted.[20] The misquote is that “citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary”[21] although the Plummer quotation is a fabrication because the quoted text does not appear in the text of the Plummer opinion.[22] Several other sources note that Bad Elk is no longer good law,[23][original research?] what one legal commenter stated was a “bizarre, irrational or merely grossly wrong understanding of law….”[24]

        Modern sources describe Plummer and Bad Elk as applying when there is an unlawful use of force rather than when there is an unlawful arrest; under contemporary law in the majority of U.S. jurisdictions, a person may not use force to resist an unlawful arrest.[25]

        • if you can tell me how to execute an unwilling arrest without force I would love to know how you can do that.

          if the arrest is obviously unlawful then the use of force to execute the unlawful arrest “IS” unlawful force.

    • It’s is your duty as a citizen to resist unfair and unjust laws, and those who enforce them.

      You are a bad citizen and a horrible American for giving up your right, your duty, to resist.

    • And you are the reason why America is so fucked and why we have cops pulling this kind of stuff, you are dumb as bricks or have never faced any discrimination if you seriously think that by complying and staying silent you’ll go off easily.

    • Here are some more facts since that’s all you care about (I don’t believe that to be honest) laws are meant to keep order and keep people safe. She didn’t break a law and she didn’t hurt anybody nor was she on her way to commit a crime. You believe she should have been arrested anyway and tax payer money should be spent on this. Some more facts, the officers could have chosen to speak to her or de escalate the situation but they did not, the second she tried to leave they chose to arrest her. They could have listened to her and talked to her but they chose not to. This is a waste of time and money but yes it has absolutely nothing to do with your feelings, I call bs.

  8. Man I hope she gets out of all that trouble, hope the cops lose their jobs and honestly wouldn’t be bothered if they were lynched.

  9. Good for Mariah Charles – she’s a very brave young woman to do the more difficult thing and stand up for her rights. The police were 100% wrong here. She gave them an easy, quick solution to the truancy question. They didn’t need to restrain her or arrest her. They needed to accompany her to her school or let her go. Good grief. Truancy should not be punishable with jail time, except in egregious cases and even then, it should be parents going to jail, not the young person trying to get their education.

  10. So, to play devils advocate for the cops here.

    1. New York has a stop and frisk law. The cops are allowed to stop and search someone they think looks suspicious, they will certainly be able to argue that a 19 year old carrying a schoolbag looked out of place near a school.

    2. They will say it had nothing to do with her not having ID. They stopped someone who looked suspicious, and when questioned that person tried to leave the scene forcing them to detain her at which point they now have probable cause, she has gone from looking suspicious to acting suspicious.

    3. When trying to detain her she became aggressive and tried to resist arrest. This is what she is charged with. While it might seem unfair to charge an innocent person with resisting arrest these laws are there to protect the police. Just because you are innocent doesn’t mean you get to fight with the police.

    This leaves her in a pretty precarious position. While it is certainly very reasonable to think she just reacted badly in a stressful situation she did herself no favours. If she hadn’t tried to leave they wouldn’t have tried to detain her, if they hadn’t tried to detain her she wouldn’t have resisted arrest etc. From the police perspective however it is nothing to do with ID. She looked suspicious so they approached her (as they are entitled to do in New York), she tried to leave the scene, then resisted arrest.

    It really sucks for her since she was doing nothing illegal and just walking along on her way to school. The fact remains though that you don’t get to fight with the cops just because you are innocent. That’s not how it works.

    • I’ll add a quick addendum. She seems like a decent person and the charge does seem slightly malicious. It doesn’t sound like she was trying to hurt the police more like she was panicing and just wanted to get away. I certainly hope that the charges are dismissed. I am just trying to explain how the police weren’t necessarily the villains they are portrayed as.

    • They had no idea she was 19 so you cant claim that as a defense. If she stated she was going to school and they could walk with her, that eliminates any excuse they have about truancy or doing something suspicious like walking on a sidewalk.

      As for #3, actually you do have the legal right to defend yourself against aggression when you are innocent. When cops act unlawfully, you can defend yourself. This has been held up in court many times.

    • Why do you assume the cops could tell she was 19? The girl even looks young for her age. There’s nothing out of place with a teenager around a highschool..

    • Well stop and frisk are completely against the 4th Amendment. While it is the law in New York, it was also the law to put Japanese in internment camps and it was the law in Germany for jews to be rounded up. The law isn’t always right.

      And how can you be arrested for resisting arrest without another charge. It would stand to reason that you would have to be under arrest before you could resist it.

      She is nervous because she fought back but the police shouldn’t have this much power to begin with. It is reminiscent of the Gestapo.

      • My question is at what point did they Mirandize her?

        My understanding is that it’s not a lawful arrest if the officers neglect to inform the perpetrator of their rights, and if they physically detained her prior to any altercation without informing her of that she was being arrested and the rights associated therewith then the arrest itself was unlawful.

        While I agree they had no apparent reason for stopping and questioning her, that is their prerogative and they are within the boundaries of the law to do so. The continued detention and subsequent arrest on the other hand were completely unwarranted.

        • Miranda is not as simple as many think, but that’s not an important detail in explaining this…

          You can be detained for questioning. Even cuffed and put in the car, before being arrested. Neutralizing any possible threat, subduing the suspect, and then questioning in an effort to investigate, is what almost always happens. Then a decision is made to arrest or not.

          You seem to think they need to say the speech before any type of quesioning or detention. Someday, we may develop a method of questioning where police grill the suspect while still actively running after them. It’s a ways off, but you might be the one with all the answers we’ve been waiting for.

    • You’re wrong. Here’s why:

      1. This wasn’t a “stop and frisk” (which is being used less and less – approximately 12k stops were made in 2016, whereas over 685k were made in 2011). It was a truancy stop. These are very different, even though both disproportionately target people of color: so much so that the young woman in question was familiar with the procedure. She expected to be followed around the corner to her school in order for the police officer to confirm her identity and that she was going where she said she was. There was no reason to disbelieve her, as any cop would be familiar with the neighborhood and know that they were literally around the corner from the school the woman referred to.

      2. You can’t possibly be serious in stating she looked “out of place” as a 19-year old. You think you can distinguish between a 19 year old and 17 year old by watching them walk down the street carrying a bookbag? You can’t possibly argue that a teenage woman carrying a backpack, walking with a friend toward a school is “suspicious.” That’s ludicrous. The only thing that makes her “suspicious” to officers in this situation is the color of her skin.

      3. A short woman trying to defend herself from being tackled by two large men is not “aggressive,” the police are the ones exhibiting aggression and violence. Every citizen has a Constitutional right to defend themselves from bodily harm, even from Police. “Resisting arrest” is a bogus charge used by cops when they can’t charge someone with anything else, and didn’t manage to slip (or “flake” in cop parlance) drugs into their pocket. Did you even watch the video? She is attempting to walk away – inviting them to come with her. Their response was to literally throw her to the ground and tackle her like she’s violent criminal on PCP. This is a clear-cut disproportionate use of force. There is nothing “aggressive” about her behavior in any sense of the word. These cops didn’t need “protecting” from a woman slowly walking away. If they are scared of that, they’re in the wrong line of work. Cops scared of a small woman walking slowly away should retire and become gardeners — but watch out because those butterflies will sneak up on you!

      “It really sucks for her because she was doing nothing illegal.” Yeah. And it’s racist, unconstitutional, and abusive. Sucks, huh? That’s why she’s in court defending her rights. You know what else “sucks”? Racist cop apologists just “playing devil’s advocate” while cops physically abuse teens of color for literally walking to school. Is this how you want your kids to be treated on their way to school? I guess you don’t have to worry about that, since you’re probably white, and white kids don’t. get. stopped.

    • Two NYC cops recently arrested a young girl and then raped her. Maybe she panicked b/c she didn’t want to get assaulted.

    • Well there is one problem with that, how would the cops know she was 19? She didn’t have an ID so you can throw that argument out the window. She was just a young woman with a book bag, who wasn’t white and that makes her suspicious. It has nothing to do with her being a 19 year old. The article even mentions she looks young.

    • “they will certainly be able to argue that a 19 year old carrying a schoolbag looked out of place near a school.”

      How is carrying a bag anywhere “out of place”? Are there defined area where you’re not allowed to carry bags in New York? Is that thing?

      “They stopped someone who looked suspicious” & “She looked suspicious so they approached her”

      What looked suspicious about her? Explain this part, I’m rather interested on why anyone thinks she looks suspicious.

    • She had a right to walk away. They were under no lawful obligation to answer questions or to show ID. The cop violated the law. He had no probable cause to physically stop her, if he did he would have charged her with it. The video show a crime, and the cops are the guilty party.

    • If some asshole police officer tried to detain me on the way to school, I think I would get a bit uncooperative. Luckily for me, I’m white and I have that option. This is really fucked and America is a fucked up place.

    • Carrying a school bag near a school

      How on Earth is a teen walking towards a *school* with a *school* bag even kind of suspicious, are you insane?

      No probable cause = 4th amendment violation

      I suppose carrying a briefcase toward an office is also suspicious? What about carrying a picnic basket to the park? Get real

    • Person looks suspicious. She doesn’t (young person with a backpack walking toward a school, that’seasy math; even if not, any person at all can legally walk with a backpack in public anywhere in this country), but whatever. Let’s say thst IS suspicious to us because, hypothetically, we are idiots and cops.

      We stop and ask them a question to allay our already unreasonable suspicion: you, young person walking with backpack, why are you doing this thing?

      Answer: I am walking to school.

      At this point, all dots are connected for any reasonable person who is not a dumbass or bully with a badge. At this point, then, the cops should have said “thanks that makes perfect sense we’ll be f-ing off now.”

      Instead they escalated a bad stop to make an improper arrest of an innocent person. These people should not be in any position of authority.

    • For any stop to be lawful the police must have reasonable suspicion based on specific a and articulable facts that the person stopped has, is, or is about to commit a crime. For a frisk to be lawful the police must have reasonable suspicion that the person stopped is armed and dangerous.

      • But what if they wrote the facts down in their report, instead of speaking out loud? Can that get around the required articulable part? 😉

  11. Thank you for your interest in this important story.

    We welcome your civil comments, informed opinions and constructive criticism. Threats are forbidden.

    We apologize if we had to delete your comment.

    The Editor

  12. How the actual fuck can police arrest someone for “resisting arrest” without a legitimate underlying cause for the arrest in the first place. Complete bullshit.

    • It’s colloquially referred to as resisting arrest but generally it is in fact resisting/obstructing/delaying an investigation.

    • A better question goes to the integrity of the DA’s Office. That place is packed with incompetent cowards.

    • If it happened to be called resisting questioning and/or potential arrest, that would better explain how things usually go down.

  13. Assuming intent and arresting based on intent isn’t logical. You can assume all you want however they had no substantial evidence that school was being skipped. If someone is going to skip, that is recorded as an unexcused absence and the school district can deal with it from there. If they do end up skipping school and committing a crime, then there is cause to detain. I don’t see the purpose or the usefulness of this policy as it will continue to lead to instances where suspicion is all the authorities have to go on. We as Americans do not need the authorities telling us what to do or how to behave. We need practical laws enforced that focus on actions and consequences. This was a person walking to school, not someone committing a crime. What a waste of police and court time and effort. The system works only in it’s own self preserving interest.

  14. If the cop is wrong, you take it up with the judge. Had she cooperated with the cops, she wouldn’t be in this situation now.

      • How was she not cooperating with the cops? She stated that she did not have an ID, and that they could walk her to her school which was less than half a block away. What was left to do? These cops were in an aggressive mood and felt like abusing their authority.

      • Your replies aren’t adding to the discussion. Maybe you could give your reasoning why it was ok to struggle with the cops and try to get out of the squad car.

          • JonB is correct, pull your head out of your ass and don’t be disrespectful…right or wrong, this could have played out better.

        • Instead of an innocent citizen, illegally detained and stripped of her civil rights, needing to have her actions defended, maybe you should explain why the police were correct in their actions? You too, are part of the problem.

          • Based on what is written here the police were in the wrong to stop her and in the wrong to demand ID.

            There are some issues with that, firstly, New York has a stop and frisk law which means the police can stop and frisk anyone they believe to look suspicious. Secondly, when she tried to walk away from the police she became even more suspicious, when she tried to resist being arrested and when she tried to escape from the police car she dipped over into commiting a crime.

            Now if she had been very compliant and the police still arrested her she has a slam dunk case, she behaved well, did what was asked of her and the police are left having arrested someone who they had no right to arrest.

            On the other hand, since she tried to leave when the police were talking to her they will be able to say they approached her because she looked suspicious and when questioned she tried to leave the scene. That looks bad for her. The police then get to say that, since she acted suspiciously and tried to flee they attempted to detain her at which point she became uncooperative and tried to resist arrest.

            The police will say in this situation they approached someone they thought looked suspicious, perfectly legal in New York which has a stop and frisk law, that the suspect, when approached tried to leave the scene, refused to comply with instruction and then resisted arrest and tried to escape from the cop car. A judge could well deci

          • I do not think this should have escalated to the point of using physical force at that level, if the witness and victim accounts are accurate. Reasonable people seem to agree, racial profiling and police brutality, these are serious real issues, and race is a proven factor.

            However, I’m a white guy that was raised in an affluent area, Boca Raton, FL. I was a good kid, I did no dirt. I was spotted with a shady dude one day, just giving him a ride home from school.

            After that, I was pulled over and searched without cause and questioned, sometimes for over an hour or two. This was regular, at least once a week, sometimes three times a week for over a year, until I moved away.

            I don’t support questioning without probable cause in any way. But did I ever try to leave, no matter how little they were justified?

            Do normal people think that if the police want to talk, but you feel they are in the wrong, you then have a reasonable and easy option to not comply?

            Does anyone here feel that brushing the cops off will be productive and end well?

            You have the right to resist unlawful detention, sure. But you must know that in the end you matched a description, tried to grab an officer’s gun, had some surprise drugs in your pocket that you’ve never seen, whatever. Coming away from the experience alive would be a nice bonus.

            I don’t like it at all, but a totally innocent person resisting some simple questioning is unusual. It’s pretty reasonable cause for suspicion, despite the lack of actual probable cause and questionable legality. Things often escalate quicker than good our judgement.

            Not defending the cops actions, but I never tried to peace out mid convo. I can’t see how anyone would think that shit is going to end well.

        • The drop out age in NY is 17, at the time Charles was 19. There was no plausible cause for what the police officers practiced there. Did you not read the article?

        • Maybe it wasn’t the most articulate response but it is the correct one. People side with the mistreatment of citizens by LEO’s because they don’t have to deal with it in their community and think people should just accept their fate if a cop decides to put you into the justice system. I just saw video evidence of a dumb ass with a gun and a badge arrest (essentially kidnap) someone for walking down the street. I would try to get out of that situation too. Over a year later and she’s still trying to clear her name. Where is the justice in that? Why cant the police dept just admit their mistake and let her get on with her life?

    • When you get detained and imprisoned without committing a crime you didn’t resist arrest you resisted a kidnapper. She was “arrested” for not showing an ID, something she is not legally required to do.

      • Tony, I don’t believe you are correct. That would give citizens too much freedom to resist, as anyone could claim they didn’t commit whatever crime they’re being arrested for. It’s later in the process, unfortunately, that it’s time to sue and/or complain about false arrests.

        • She’s a kid, bro. Even if you were correct, you think she’s instantly thinking through the smartest way to legally deal with this shit while her head’s being bashed against a cop car? For no damn reason? She was nineteen.

          The cops didn’t arrest her for any crime. They have to arrest you for something specific. They didn’t arrest her for anything.

          • I’m with you in everything except that she was a kid. She was 19, that’s an adult. Her friends she was with was 17, in most places also cknsidered adult. Again not arguing the main point but we cant think of her as an irrational 14 yr old being stopped.

          • Cops aren’t supposed to arrest for crime, otherwise there wouldn’t be a court. The cops arrest people they suspect of committing a crime, then the judge and jury will decide if he/she actually committed a crime.

            Obviously this isn’t the case here, I think any innocent highschooler would act as she did. (Answer the cop’s question and continue walking) This actually happened to me too, a cop came up to me and asked if I’d seen a fight, I just said no and continued walking.

        • The problem isn’t that she struggled and resisted arrest. The problem is that the cops disregarded her rights and arrested her for literally nothing, other than likely hurting their pride, or they’re racist fucks, whatever. Another problem is that, even though they trampled her rights, they get to tack on another charge for resisting arrest, even though they had no right to arrest her. The biggest problem is this unchecked power of police.

        • Citizens may resist unlawful arrest to the point of taking an arresting officer’s life if necessary.” Plummer v. State, 136 Ind. 306 [sic]. This premise was upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States in the case: John Bad Elk v. U.S., 177 U.S. 529.

        • The officer attempted to improperly detain her and then used force when she attempted to leave. The cops know they are wrong and are trying to slink away by offering her a deal.

          I doubt the DA is going to bring this to trial. My guess the DA will drop it so the idiot cops don’t have to testify. The girl will probably file a complaint but lack the resources to sue the department for their illegal act.

        • She wasn’t accused of a crime. The officers didn’t say they were arresting her when she walked away. The officers didn’t say they were detaining her when she walked away. This seems like another case where she’s charged for resisting arrest without actually being under arrest.

      • She was suspected of truancy. Like it or not, you cannot simply walk away from police because you’ve decided the interaction is over.

        • That suspicions didn’t justify their excessive use of force. The officers chose to escalate instead of letting her go to school. It’s clearly on the officers.

        • She was 19 at the time which is older than truancy age. When did it become ok to lock people up first and then ask questions later? If you’re taking someone’s freedom (even for a short period of time) it should be for much more than assuming they’re in school and not having the ID to prove it.

        • “Like it or not, you cannot simply walk away from police because you’ve decided the interaction is over.”
          Being that this was for something so goddam minor as truancy and if you read the article you would have seen that she asked them to walk with her around the corner to her school for verification, this whole thing could have been avoided if the prick considered deescalation instead of a show of power over her.

          • I did read the article. It’s great that the person under suspicion tried to set the rules of engagement–“hey follow me to school”, but it doesn’t work like that. The cops don’t take orders from you once you’re stopped. IF you watch the video, she did not stop when the police first engaged her. She then stopped for LITERALLY 7 seconds (count ’em), then tried to leave. She stopped again for 4 seconds and tried to leave again. She was stopped for suspicion of truancy and did not prove otherwise (i.e. if you are young-looking and carrying alcohol you better be able to prove your age). She was ARRESTED for evading police and later resisting. It’s very simple.

            Had she given the cops at least 5 minutes (instead of 15 seconds), this may have been resolved peacefully.

        • How can you be suspected of truancy while walking TO a school half-a-block away? A school not yet in session?

    • Frank, it’s easy to say this as a grown man, probably over 160lbs. This was a 19 year-old, 5’2″ female student on her way to school being randomly stopped by cops for “not having ID”. Grab any college-aged student or God-forbid people in their 30s and ask them if they know their rights when being stopped by law enforcement. According to NY law, she was not legally obligated to have ID, and the only explanation for the arrest was not having the ID. The public should be educated on their rights when stopped by law enforcement; unfortunately, our tax-paying dollars aren’t used for this. Instead, we have to rely on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to have such basic rights be taught to our people.

      • The public should be educated, but more importantly the police MUST be educated. When I screw up at my job because I didn’t know something, it may cost my company some money. When police fuck up because they don’t know something, someone usually gets arrested, and may get shot and killed. What’s worse, because they’re police, them being wrong may mean the girl doesn’t get charged, but that’s all. It won’t lead to any punishment for the cops. Best case scenario, she doesn’t get charged because two cops fucked up.

        • It’s ironic cause you will get fired instantly from my job for much smaller mistakes than what cops routinely get away without consequences

    • Had they not made a wrongful, unsubstantiated arrest, the cops wouldn’t be in this situation either. But I guess when someone punches you in the face for no reason or gropes you it’s totally okay and you shouldn’t do anything just because they’re in a position of power, eh? They’re just racist cops that wanted to abuse their power to harass a person of color and feel superior because “I am the law!”. Why do you think we should treat KKK members any other just because they’re not wearing their classic costume but a police outfit?

    • She IS taking it up with the judge. But here’s the thing, the cop intentionally did his job incorrectly and he still fucking has it. Why are we protecting cops that clog our courts with false claims?

    • You clearly don’t understand how freedom works. Remember everything the Nazis did was legal. Stop letting faux news tell you what to think and feel.

    • You remind me of a woman I met many years ago who said the protesters at Tienanmen Square deserved what they got because they were breaking the law.

      1) Cops shouldn’t demand on ID that’s not legally required. It’s one thing to ask but another to demand.

      2) It’s hard to imagine how they could have handled it worse. It was a naked abuse of power. The school was around the corner. She told them that. What’s the point of hassling a person

      BTW, I don’t know where you’re from but I grew up in the NYC area. NYPD is notorious. Viscous, racist, and corrupt as hell.

    • Cooperation doesn’t mean blind obedience. Instead of criticizing an innocent 19 year old who is on her way to school, the criticism should be directed towards a pair of paid professionals for requesting id unnecessarily, escalating the situation, and using unnecessary force. Being a police officer is a job with responsibilities. Some police officers need to stop thinking of it as an earned position of privilege that grants them unquestioning obedience.

    • She wouldn’t be as nervous has she not fought back, however, why are we okay with police harassing youth during the hours in which kids are going to school?! If it were 12 in the afternoon, I can understand a truancy stop.

      Police should not have this much power. Look at how UK cops deal with people. We are living in a police state.

  15. Pingback: Arrested for Not Carrying an ID on Way to High School, Young New Yorker Opts to Fight – akbet

  16. Thanks to Errol Loius who tweeted out story today -“Fortunately, a surveillance camera caught cops from 76th precinct making a garbage arrest of a teen, on her way to school, for not having ID. Kudos to @JJIEnews for reporting this pointless harassment. This kind of story needs sharing and Errol
    @errollouis – Host of @InsideCityHall on @NY1 News, columnist at @NYDailyNews, Adjunct Prof at @CUNYJSchool tweet helps JJIE get this story out there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *