50 signatures reached
To: Attorney General Merrick Garland
Stop arresting and prosecuting Black Kindergarteners!
It’s heartbreaking -- a 6-year-old Black boy in North Carolina was waiting for the school bus when he bent down and picked a single tulip from a neighbor’s yard. For this “crime” he was arrested and sent to juvenile court, charged with “injury to real property!” 😠 He couldn’t understand the court proceedings, so he was give a coloring book. This obscene criminalization of little kids -- especially kids of color -- happens all over. We must raise the minimum age for prosecution to 14!
Why is this important?
- A Delaware State trooper arrested a third-grader over the theft of $1
- A 5-year-old with ADHD was charged with “battery on a police officer” in California
- A Florida officer arrested a 6-year-old girl and zip-tied her hands
The National Juvenile Justice Network recommends 14 as the minimum age for prosecution. But in most states -- 30 total -- there is no minimum age for at all prosecution. That means little kids who can’t read, write, or understand the concept of a crime can be prosecuted. And these ridiculous prosecutions disproportionately impact Black kids. In North Carolina, for example, nearly half of complaints are against Black children despite them being 22% of the population. This creates a school-to-prison pipeline that starts before kids even know what a “prison” is.
We must end the school-to-prison pipeline and stop arresting and prosecuting little kids!