Picture of students being searched by Houston police sparks some controversy

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by Lisa Chavarria / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on March 29, 2012 at 5:38 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 29 at 5:40 PM

HOUSTON—The saying "a picture speaks a thousand words," doesn’t begin to explain what one local photo sparked on Thursday.

A picture began circulating on Facebook of Pershing Middle School students, mostly African-American, being searched by Houston police officers.

The picture, which was sent to KHOU 11 News and shared on its Facebook page, drew more than 200 comments speculating about the picture.

KHOU 11 News went to Houston police for answers. According to authorities, around 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, they were called out to a reported fight among students in Karl Young Park.

When officers arrived, the fight was over. Police grabbed the two groups of students and searched them for weapons. When they found none, all of the students were let go.

Most of the people around Pershing Middle School were upset that the students had to be patted down.

"Kids are gonna be fighting, but talk to the school. I don’t think you should put them against the wall like they’re criminals. We’ve got real criminals in the world and you’re coming after little kids," former student Amari Van said.

Another parent understood why some people may bring up concerns of racial tension because of the picture.

"I think with the Trayvon Martin case there’s going to be...a lot of things like this will be sensitive. So I mean, you just have to know the story first, before you make a judgment," Avonda Braham added.

The Braeswood neighborhood, where the park is located, has a designated constable patrolling the area. They told us they haven’t had any issues with student fights before.

A number of people around the school were still upset by the student pat-down.

According to Houston police, pat-downs are standard procedure when responding to a call where it is unknown if weapons might be involved.

 

 

 

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