Jesse Williams questions school cop on the high rate of Black students’ arrests for the forthcoming series “America Divided”
Racial discrimination and profiling have been thorns in our skins for as long as one can remember. And the injustice is hurting our Black kids at school, as they aren’t treated equally with other white students by school resource officers. The obvious racial disparity in the treatment of Black students in schools by police officers has caught the attention of some Black celebrities.
Jesse Williams, for an EPIX upcoming series called “America Divide,” investigated a school system in Florida, as he asked a school resource officer about the alarming rate at which Black students are arrested compared to white students.
Williams is known as a talented actor and a civil rights activist, who has taken it upon himself to strive for racial justice in our country. He has been doing a great deal in making sure racism is kicked out of the society.
— jesseWilliams. (@iJesseWilliams) September 24, 2016
The actor spoke to one of two Black school cops on the force, Mike Hawkins. Hawkins confirmed that officers in schools carry the same set of weapons usually carried by officers on the street (a taser, a gun and mace).
“How do you determine what warrants handcuffs, arrests?” Williams asked Hawkins. The police officer answered, saying that only criminal violations can bring about such actions from officers.
— America Divided (@America_Divided) September 29, 2016
“Nine times out of ten, it’s not a criminal violation,” Hawkins said. “It’s very seldom, very seldom you see a child in elementary school getting a criminal charge.”
Williams was puzzled because he didn’t understand why there are so many arrests of children yearly. “Pinellas is third in the state in disproportionately arresting black children. Three times as many students are arrested for disorderly conduct in Pinellas, than in Miami. And Miami has three times the amount of students. That’s pretty alarming,” he said.
Black celebrities have got that platform that enables their messages to get across to a huge number of people; they are the voices of Black people. We appreciate what Jesse Williams is doing for the Black community. The fight against racial injustice is an ongoing battle, and any help to support the cause is well valued. We just want to live in a peaceful and racism-free society, is that too much to ask for?