Anaheim Focus on the Children: Walking Home from School While Brown

In our communities, we are aware of police violence and brutality, but we don’t expect it to happen to our children as they walk home from school.

On Tuesday, there was an after school altercation between a white off duty Los Angeles Police Department officer and a group of Chicano teens in Anaheim. It is being reported that the off duty officer, who grabbed 13 year old Christian Dorscht, was upset that the teen had stood up for a female classmate who the officer called ‘c&*t’ for stepping on his grass.

The OC Weekly has a report of the events (including footage).

While Christian Dorscht and his friends didn’t harm anyone and didn’t shoot at anyone, the Anaheim Police Department arrested boys, and some of them, including Christian, were taken to Orange County Juvenile Hall. The teens have since been released. The officer wasn’t arrested, but according to the LAPD, he has been placed on administrative leave.

Johnny Dorscht, Christian’s father, said that his son has never had trouble with the law before. Christian has neck bruises and wrist bruises from the altercation with the off duty LAPD cop. Johnny Dorscht has said that his family plans to take legal action, and he has started a crowdfunding page to help raise funds for lawyer fees.

Altercations like the one that Christian Dorscht had with the off duty cop contribute to the demonization of brown boys and brown men. This is exactly how the state sows the seeds of distrust between Chicano and Latino communities and law enforcement.

In these turbulent times when our communities are being targeted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement and white supremacists feel empowered by their man in the White House, we have to be extra vigilant in protecting and advocating for our children.

There was no reason for this LAPD officer to conduct himself as he did in front of these children regardless of whether one of them had stepped on his grass or not. We need to ask the Anaheim Police Department why the students were arrested but not the officer who fired the gun. The officer’s obligation, even off duty, is to protect public safety, not to endanger students walking home.

This incident in Anaheim reminds us about what happened last week with teachers in the Jurupa Unified School District rejoicing about a day without immigrants on social media. While what transpired in Jurupa did not involve a physical altercation or a gun being fired, the hate and disrespect for our children is the same.

We call for more accountability for police officers, just as we do for more teacher accountability, both for what they do inside and outside the classroom, so that our young people can be safe on campus and on their way home from school. We are shedding a light today and call on the police unions, just to do what is right by children instead of protecting adults who are trigger happy and out of control.

What do you think?

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