Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

News & Politics News & Politics

How a Miami School Crime Cover-Up Policy Led to Trayvon Martin's Death

Posted by on Jul. 28, 2013 at 8:35 PM
  • 82 Replies
1 mom liked this

How a Miami School Crime Cover-Up Policy Led to Trayvon Martin's Death

By on 7.15.13 @ 1:05AM

The February 2012 shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martion might never have happened if school officials in Miami-Dade County had not instituted an unofficial policy of treating crimes as school disciplinary infractions. Revelations that emerged from an internal affairs investigation explain why Martin was not arrested when caught at school with stolen jewelry in October 2011 or with marijuana in February 2012. Instead, the teenager was suspended from school, the last time just days before he was shot dead by George Zimmerman.

Trayvon Martin was not from Sanford, the town north of Orlando where he was shot in 2012 and where a jury acquitted Zimmerman of murder charges Saturday. Martin was from Miami Gardens, more than 200 miles away, and had come to Sanford to stay with his father's girlfriend Brandy Green at her home in the townhouse community where Zimmerman was in charge of the neighborhood watch. Trayvon was staying with Green after he had been suspended for the second time in six months from Krop High School in Miami-Dade County, where both his father, Tracy Martin, and mother, Sybrina Fulton, lived.

Both of Trayvon's suspensions during his junior year at Krop High involved crimes that could have led to his prosecution as a juvenile offender. However, Chief Charles Hurley of the Miami-Dade School Police Department (MDSPD) in 2010 had implemented a policy that reduced the number of criiminal reports, manipulating statistics to create the appearance of a reduction in crime within the school system. Less than two weeks before Martin's death, the school system commended Chief Hurley for "decreasing school-related juvenile delinquency by an impressive 60 percent for the last six months of 2011." What was actually happening was that crimes were not being reported as crimes, but instead treated as disciplinary infractions.

In October 2011, after a video surveillance camera caught Martin writing graffiti on a door, MDSPD Office Darryl Dunn searched Martin's backpack, looking for the marker he had used. Officer Dunn found 12 pieces of women's jewelry and a man's watch, along with a flathead screwdriver the officer described as a "burglary tool." The jewelry and watch, which Martin claimed he had gotten from a friend he refused to name, matched a description of items stolen during the October 2011 burglary of a house on 204th Terrace, about a half-mile from the school. However, because of Chief Hurley's policy "to lower the arrest rates," as one MDSPD sergeant said in an internal investigation, the stolen jewerly was instead listed as "found property" and was never reported to Miami-Dade Police who were investigating the burglary. Similarly, in February 2012 when an MDSPD officer caught Martin with a small plastic bag containing marijuana residue, as well as a marijuana pipe, this was not treated as a crime, and instead Martin was suspended from school.

Either of those incidents could have put Trayvon Martin into the custody of the juvenile justice system. However, because of Chief Hurley's attempt to reduce the school crime statistics - according to sworn testimony, officers were "basically told to lie and falsify" reports - Martin was never arrested. And if he had been arrested, he might never have been in Sanford the night of his fatal encounter with Zimmerman.

In fact, the reason Zimmerman was patrolling the townhouse community the night of the February 2012 shooting was that there had been a rash of burglaries in the neighborhood, although there was no indication that Trayvon Martin was involved in any of those crimes.

As for Chief Hurley's policy, it was the controversy over Martin's death that accidentally exposed it. In March 2012, the Miami Herald reported on Martin's troubled history of disciplinary incidents at Krop High. Chief Hurley then launched the internal affairs investigation in an attempt to find out who had provided information to the reporter. During the course of that investigation, MDSPD officers and supervisors described Chief Hurley's policy of not reporting crimes by students. Chief Hurley was subsequently accused of sexually harassing two female subordinates. He resigned in February, about a year after Trayvon Martin's death.

http://spectator.org/blog/2013/07/15/trayvon-crime-school-miami

by on Jul. 28, 2013 at 8:35 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
pvtjokerus
by Gold Member on Jul. 28, 2013 at 8:36 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't agree with the title of this post but it is interesting how the media led many to believe that TM was a kid with no history.

erika9009
by Silver Member on Jul. 28, 2013 at 8:57 PM
1 mom liked this

Tough call here.  Maybe these cover ups kept him out of jail and kept him in school. 

On the other hand, it appears he just got a finger shaken at him (metaphor) for real crimes. 

I can see both sides to this type of policy having merit.

JanuaryBaby06
by on Jul. 28, 2013 at 9:41 PM
1 mom liked this
idk. i just dont know. as a parent, i feel bad for the parents though.... zimmerman was acquitted and their dead sons reputation is still taking a beating. i think its time to drop it and move on.
JanuaryBaby06
by on Jul. 28, 2013 at 9:44 PM

Quoting erika9009:

Tough call here.  Maybe these cover ups kept him out of jail and kept him in school. 

On the other hand, it appears he just got a finger shaken at him (metaphor) for real crimes. 

I can see both sides to this type of policy having merit.


wow, i am really enjoying your responces today. i agree.
Naturewoman4
by Silver Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 12:12 AM
1 mom liked this

I've been trying to say this for awhile now, but it seems some people just don't want to listen.  I put up a thread that talked about this and how the school district covered-up the crimes TM has committed, just to make they're schools look better.  If this is true, I blame what happen partly on the school district for not properly reporting the activities of TM. 

 It's NOT to bring out all of TM's bad choices he has made, but to not sweep it under the rug.  But, if this is continuing then other kids won't get the help/direction they need to turn their lives around.   Parents need to know what the activities of their children are, so they can properly supervise and do something about it.  I feel NOTHING really was done about the things TM was doing.  It's a shame, because had the school district of reported TM's activites TM would of been sent to Juvi. and he would be alive today. 

 I don't know what the parents knew about TM's activities, I suspect they didn't.  Which is a shame.  But, that jewelry and screwdriver he had, I believe he did break into a home to steal that.  That's why I always wondered WHY TM's parents didn't know about this.  A screwdriver in a teen's packback?  The school should of informed his parents about that, what student has a screwdriver in his backpack.  Plus, TM taking a swing at a bus driver.  Everyone should be asking these questions, because IF it happen to TM then that means it is happening to other students in that school district.  Which left unreported, parents knowing nothing about this, then that teen is just going to continue getting into trouble and could end up like TM.  People better open their eyes.

Naturewoman4
by Silver Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 2:05 AM
1 mom liked this
I'm sorry perhaps I'm not getting what you are saying here, but how is it OK for a school not to report criminal acts committed by one of their students? If TM had been arrested and sent to juvi., he would be alive today. He broke into a home and stole that jewelry, how is that ok? He took a swing at a bus driver, how is that ok and not be reported to his parents? There is not another side to this, other than he should of been arrested, not get a slap on the hand. Not get to have 10 days off from school, and do whatever he wanted to do that night. I would like to think that any parent would want to know what the school knew about TM criminal actions. If TM's parents would of known just how serious it was with TM, perhaps the parents would of done more about his behaviors. What school NOT tell a parent that their son took a swing at a bus driver? What school doesn't tell a parent that their son had a bag full of women's jewelry and a screwdriver?
Quoting erika9009:

Tough call here.  Maybe these cover ups kept him out of jail and kept him in school. 

On the other hand, it appears he just got a finger shaken at him (metaphor) for real crimes. 

I can see both sides to this type of policy having merit.


spotsmom
by Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 2:07 AM
3 moms liked this

This articleis false. The jewelry was handed over to the police, they investigated,and could find no link to the jewelry and any reports of stolen jewelry.

Naturewoman4
by Silver Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 2:11 AM
Yes, I agree the title is blaming it all on the school district for TM's death. TM's bad choice is what led to his death unfortunately. But, it is true, that had the school of not cover-up TM's criminal acts in school, he should of been arrested and taken to juvi. If he was, he would be alive today. I hope this school district is exposed for what they did. I wondered too why the media has choosen not to of mentioned any of this. I wonder how much TM's parents knew?
Quoting pvtjokerus:

I don't agree with the title of this post but it is interesting how the media led many to believe that TM was a kid with no history.


143myboys9496
by Gold Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 5:48 AM
2 moms liked this

 Where do you see merit in this policy? TM was suspended, and his mother kicked him out of the house and he went to stay with whomever she was..aunt, girlfriend..doesn't matter really, because he wasn't in school!

So HOW did this policy keep him in school? Maybe it kept him out of jail..but when an officer of the law, is knowing holding stolen goods and can't report it and those people that were robbed can't get their belongings back..how is that a good thing?

Quoting erika9009:

Tough call here.  Maybe these cover ups kept him out of jail and kept him in school. 

On the other hand, it appears he just got a finger shaken at him (metaphor) for real crimes. 

I can see both sides to this type of policy having merit.

 

D-Town
by Silver Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 8:37 AM


Quoting Naturewoman4:

I've been trying to say this for awhile now, but it seems some people just don't want to listen.  I put up a thread that talked about this and how the school district covered-up the crimes TM has committed, just to make they're schools look better.  If this is true, I blame what happen partly on the school district for not properly reporting the activities of TM. 

 It's NOT to bring out all of TM's bad choices he has made, but to not sweep it under the rug.  But, if this is continuing then other kids won't get the help/direction they need to turn their lives around.   Parents need to know what the activities of their children are, so they can properly supervise and do something about it.  I feel NOTHING really was done about the things TM was doing.  It's a shame, because had the school district of reported TM's activites TM would of been sent to Juvi. and he would be alive today. 

 I don't know what the parents knew about TM's activities, I suspect they didn't.  Which is a shame.  But, that jewelry and screwdriver he had, I believe he did break into a home to steal that.  That's why I always wondered WHY TM's parents didn't know about this.  A screwdriver in a teen's packback?  The school should of informed his parents about that, what student has a screwdriver in his backpack.  Plus, TM taking a swing at a bus driver.  Everyone should be asking these questions, because IF it happen to TM then that means it is happening to other students in that school district.  Which left unreported, parents knowing nothing about this, then that teen is just going to continue getting into trouble and could end up like TM.  People better open their eyes.

Martin wouldn't have gone to juvie. At worst he would have been sentenced to community service but a stint in juvie is highly doubtful. 

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN