Parents, Chief Robey discuss detaining of youths

March 09, 1994|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Sun Staff Writer

...BTC The parents of seven Patuxent Valley Middle School students detained by Howard County police more than a month ago met with Chief James N. Robey on Monday, but came to no resolution.

Parents have alleged that there was a racial element to the way police handled the incident, which took place Feb. 4, when the students, ages 11 to 13, were stopped, searched, questioned and detained for about two hours in the Savage-Guilford area.

Both sides said they still have more investigating to do and declined comment after the 75-minute meeting. They have agreed to meet again within a week.

According to parents, the boys, all of them black, had been walking from an after-school basketball program when a white girl they knew offered and gave $3 to one of the boys.

The girl later called 911 and reported a robbery, according to the boys' parents.

At about 4:50 p.m. that day, police detained all seven boys, charging two with theft and releasing the others.

Parents say that they were not notified at the time of the incident.

Police, however, say that several parents were notified that night and others notified on Feb. 11. Police have defended the way the matter was handled.

The parents and The Rev. Bowyer G. Freeman, president of the county NAACP, held a news conference Feb. 21 outside police headquarters to protest police handing of the incident.

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