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Group mulls federal complaint after Enloe High prank arrests

Posted May 30, 2013
Updated May 31, 2013

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— Seven students and a parent who were arrested at Enloe High School earlier this month after a water balloon prank spoke publicly Thursday as a community group considers filing a federal complaint on their behalf.

The Coalition of Concerned Citizens for African American Children hosted a community meeting Thursday evening to clear up confusion about what was inside balloons tossed at the high school on May 15. The prank caused a commotion, and rumors began circulating on social media that the balloons contained bleach, urine and other bodily fluids.

"By no uncertain terms, this has been determined as nothing more than water balloons," said parent Kevin Hines, who was charged with second-degree trespassing at the school after, he says, he went inside to speak with the principal about Raleigh police officers' treatment of the students they arrested.

Charges against Hines have been dropped, and he wants the same outcome for the students.

The coalition is also considering taking the issue to the Justice Department's Office for Civil Rights and plans to speak out at the school board meeting on June 4.

Roderick Hodge, 16, said the punishment was excessive.

Kevin Hines Enloe High students speak out about arrests

"I got locked up for water balloons," he said. "I'm sitting here in this cell with all these other guys, and I really didn't do anything."

A sophomore who wasn't arrested told WRAL News that he had to be treated at WakeMed after a police officer grabbed him, knocked him down and drove his head into the ground at least twice.

Kelton Hines said sitting in jail was a frightening experience.

"I was kind of scared," he said. "I didn't want to say much because I didn't know how people in there would take it, so I was kind of nervous."

In addition to jail time, each of the students involved was suspended for one to five days. The school stands by its handling of the situation, but at least two families have hired attorneys.

"This is stuff that shouldn't have happened," said parent Cathy Brown. "I'm in support of these kids."

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  • Diane May 31, 2013

    Again, it doesn't matter what was in those balloons. I don't care if it was rainbows. The entire student body was told not to throw ANY balloons & that anyone shooting a water gun could receive a long term suspension. They were given a rule. They knowingly decided that particular rule wasn't worth following, and they broke it. There shouldn't be consequences? My son doesn't have the right to go to school without worrying he's going to be hit in the face with a possibly bleach-filled balloon?

    As someone said below, I also can't tell what was truly happening in that video. I do know in the second article about this, the boy in the video said the officer spoke to him, he spoke back and then he and the officer "got into an argument", and from having seen true arrests on television, I know that the resisting person is told to put their head down. Without having been there, I can't say that the officer was doing more than putting his head down and I certainly can't judge the force used.

  • Jack Flash May 31, 2013

    "How overly dramatic."

    Yeah, unlike 'police haters.'

    "He could have bad mouthed, been uncontrollable, spit in his face, etc. Don't judge the cop for what you don't know... Judge the kid..."

    ...for what you don't know. Mmm-hmm. The particular kid in question wasn't involved in throwing the water balloons and wasn't arrested. He was frantic, trying to avoid the water balloons, and then was physically restrained by a police officer to the point he was injured. Now, if he was arrested, perhaps it was serious enough that the officer needed to apply a lot of force, and his injuries were less than what might have occurred otherwise. But he wasn't arrested. So whatever he did wasn't too serious, but he ended up injured anyway.

  • com_mon_sents May 31, 2013

    Here's the SIMPLE thing...as I was taught by my parents...when you are in that situation with an officer. YOU DO AS YOU ARE TOLD, and you never mouth back to the officer and simply reply "yes sir!". KIds this day and time are not taught that...it's simple respect for the law. PLAIN and SIMPLE folks! We have all seen videos and I've seen it in person, how MOUTHY some people are to an office and you just bring it on yourself!

  • Hans May 31, 2013

    "He could have bad mouthed, been uncontrollable, spit in his face, etc." - rsmith6120
    May 31, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    Oh, well if he bad mouthed him, that's certainly grounds for bashing his face off the concrete.

    **rolls eyes**

  • rsgolo May 31, 2013

    "Yeah, we should just bow down and say "thank you, sir, may I have another?" after they smash our face off the concrete for doing nothing, right? Hans"

    In the video linked to this article, I don't see 'smashing of faces' as you describe. What appears to be happening in the video is that the officer is attempting to arrest the teenager, and the teenager is resisting and struggling. I've watched it multiple times and this is what I've gathered. Anyone who has ever attempted to resist an arresting officer knows what comes from that.

  • thepeopleschamp May 31, 2013

    "Yeah, we should just bow down and say "thank you, sir, may I have another?" after they smash our face off the concrete for doing nothing, right?" Hans

    How overly dramatic.

  • rsmith6120 May 31, 2013

    Yeah, we should just bow down and say "thank you, sir, may I have another?" after they smash our face off the concrete for doing nothing, right? Hans

    LOL! None of us really know what when on to cause that. He could have bad mouthed, been uncontrollable, spit in his face, etc. Don't judge the cop for what you don't know as they were working to establish control in what could have been an even larger mess. Judge the kid(s) and their lack of respect for authority. With all that has happened in the schools around the country, school officials and law enforcement are taking things seriously.

  • jscott13 May 31, 2013

    gobbledy...you cannot punish someone because you "think" that something besides water was in those balloons. As you say yourself...there is no evidence either way. Case closed. Then there was the kid who wasn't involved, but was thrown to the ground by the police. RPD obviously overreacted. I fault the administration at Enloe for even calling the police. If they can't handle a water balloon fight then we don't need them in charge when there is a true crisis. They have historically been very quick to punish kids who are not involved in whatever issue confronts them. As for kids who were hit and didn't want to be...this is life and short of locking yourself in the house forever, there will come a time when someone says or does something that you don't like. Deal with it.

  • Hans May 31, 2013

    "Can't believe all the police haters in this area." -
    disgusted2010
    May 31, 2013 4:04 p.m.

    Yeah, we should just bow down and say "thank you, sir, may I have another?" after they smash our face off the concrete for doing nothing, right?

  • rsmith6120 May 31, 2013

    If this was just a water balloon fight and there is nothing more to the story, then yes these kids were wronged. oldschoolrules

    Explained to me how they were wronged. In that day's morning announcements, the principal stated they knew what was planned, and that it was unacceptable and anyone throwing anything or shooting a water gun would be punished. They were warned and they didn't care. The kids took responsibility into their own hands and now we have this mess..

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