Friday, February 29, 2008

Students Protest and Police Riot- Edison Sr. High School


Miami and Miami-Dade School police are rioting against students of Edison Senior High School on the morning of Friday, February 29th. The story is all over local and national news, but is being skewed against the students. Here is the real deal:

On Thursday, February 28th, a teacher apparently put a student in a choke-hold during school, according to eye witnesses and CBS 4 News ( "One student told reporters that the fight started after students staged a protest Friday morning against a teacher at the high school who allegedly placed a student in a choke-hold Thursday.") Then, police enter the classroom and brutalize the student before arresting him in front of classmates and a teacher, according to eye witnesses and the Miami Herald ( "The student, she [an unnamed teacher] said, was handcuffed in front of his classmates and teacher."''They felt as though the way the young man was handled wasn't proper; they felt it was too brutal,'' said the teacher, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she did not have permission to talk with the press.")

The mostly black and largely Haitian-American Miami Edison students organized a protest this morning at the school courtyard. According to all accounts, the protest was peaceful, possibly including civil disobedience (Miami Herald: "The incident apparently began as a peaceful protest, according to a teacher inside the school, but got out of hand." CBS4: "The student said police were called to the school to respond to the protest, and when students objected a scuffle broke out, escalating quickly into an all out fight between students and officers.").

Police were called in to break up the protest and when the students refused- exercising their right to protest- school and city of Miami police attacked them and the students defended themselves against attacks by police.

While the media is trying very hard to connect this police riot to instances of violence at Miami-Dade schools over the past two days, it is clear that in this case the schools themselves started the fights and inflicted the majority of the violence. is calling this a "school fight."

There are currently over 70 police cars at Miami Edison and police are arresting large numbers of students. No police or administrators have been arrested for assaulting students.

CopWatch and the Power U Center for Social Change are calling on people to support students' right to protest and condemn school police for mistreating students.

Please call the Miami-Dade County school board to complain about this police abuse: 305-995-1000.

Also, please go to the school tonight, Friday, February 29 at 6:00pm to protest police abuse and support student rights to free speech.


Max Rameau
a project of the Center for Pan-African Development


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