‘The last thing we want is kids to be viewing police officers as a social injustice that they can’t trust…’
(Dan E. Way, Liberty Headlines) Parents in North Carolina‘s Charlotte–Mecklenburg Schools are angry students were directed to read a book with anti-police overtones, and whose authors peddle the false narrative that Michael Brown was wrongly killed by Ferguson, Mo., police.
The Charlotte–Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police want the book banned from schools.
“The last thing we want is kids to be viewing police officers as a social injustice that they can’t trust,” police union spokesman Chris Kopp told WSOC-TV in Charlotte. “We want them to be able to go towards these officers.”
Eighth graders at Bailey Middle School in Cornelius were given “All American Boys” as a reading assignment.
NBC-TV previously examined the book with an uncritical eye despite co-authors Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely’s skewed view of the Brown shooting in 2014 that stirred violent riots and the “Hands up, don’t shoot” slogan.
“The Mike Brown case, that was the final straw” that inspired them to write the fictional book, Reynolds told “NBCBLK.”
They hoped it would encourage school children to talk in a safe space about their feelings regarding police brutality against minorities.
The Obama Justice Department initially appeared to side with black rioters over law-enforcement, but a subsequent investagation cleared Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson of any wrongdoing in the 2014 shooting, ruling it was justified self-defense.
Brown, who had robbed a convenience store and assaulted the clerk earlier that day, according to surveillance video, appeared to be under the influence and was confrontational when police stopped him, seemingly attempting to wrestle Wilson’s gun away. He then rushed toward the officer aggressively before he was shot.
The false narrative that Brown was an innocent victim persists, however—not just in the authors’ minds, but in recent statements by Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif., both presidential candidates, who claimed on the five-year anniversary that Brown was murdered by police.
That’s the sort of mendacity parents of the middle schoolers protested in the reading assignment, even though the school district told WSOC-TV no complaints were lodged.
“I was heartbroken, first of all,” said Mandy Giannini, a 19-year law-enforcement veteran and school parent. She called the book one-sided and anti-police. “My children worry about me enough as it is.”
Police say the book reading unnecessarily reopens a community wound. A state of emergency was declared in Charlotte in 2016 after violent unrest over the police fatal shooting of an armed black man. Officers were cleared of any wrongdoing.
“The book remains on our assigned reading list pending the outcome of the challenge process,” Bailey Middle School Principal Chad Thomas told WSOC. He said the school’s role is “to build critical thinking skills and present alternative points of view.”
But the TV station said Superintendent Matthew Hayes canceled the book reading.