Another in the Series:
This is What A Police State Looks Like.
This is beyond the beyond. As in far beyond Pluto. Except that I'm quoting directly from a report by the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. True, It's happening in Mississippi, which some may consider a world away. But dammit, it's still our country.
The system established by the City of Meridian, Lauderdale County, and DYS to incarcerate children for school suspensions 'shocks the conscience,' resulting in the incarceration of children for alleged 'offenses' such as dress code violations, flatulence, profanity, and disrespect.But at least, you know, the children must be actually farting? Nope.
The Justice Department has been investigating the agencies since December 2011 and found that the police department arrests children without probable cause, violating the children's Fourth Amendment protections of unlawful search and seizure.How do these kids end up in jail?
"By policy and practice, the Meridian Police Department automatically arrests all students referred to MPD by the District. The children arrested by MPD are then sent to the County juvenile justice system, where existing due process protections are illusory and inadequate. The Youth Court places children on probation, and the terms of the probation set by the Youth Court and DYS require children on probation to serve any suspensions from school incarcerated in the juvenile detention center."You may be thinking "Hurrah!" for the Justice Department, "They're nailing these bastards and some of them are going to be sent to jail!" Alas no. You would be very wrong, at least according to Thomas Perez, Assistant Attorney General, who should know.
"We hope to resolve the concerns outlined in our findings in a collaborative fashion, but we will not hesitate to take appropriate legal action if necessary."Ah, a "collaborative fashion." Like
"You just sign this nice form here promising you won't do this anymore, and
we'll go away for ten years (nudge, nudge, wink wink, say no more)."
And what if they won't sign? Is this appropriate legal action being considered akin to being sent to Guantanamo? Hardly.
...The Civil Rights Division is seeking to negotiate with Meridian officials on the findings and if an agreement is not reached, the Justice Department can sue them.Yes, they will sue the organizations responsible which will, even if successful, only result in the taxpayers of Meridian (62% African American) ultimately picking up the tab.
The fact is that if anyone responsible for these obscene violations of both human and civil rights is ultimately given even so much as a tap on the wrist it will be a shock to anyone who understands how we have historically treated police who murder, kidnap and beat people, District Attorneys who refuse to prosecute, people in the criminal justice system who look the other way, and those in political power who enable and encourage these behaviors -- that is, with raises and praise, not jail time.
You and I may not live in a police state. But the children of Meridian, Mississippi? They would likely tell a different tale -- if they weren't afraid to speak.