Adding to the growing lists of things that one apparently cannot do while Black in America, a 10-year-old Black boy has been charged with assault after he was accused of hitting another student (yes, a white student) during an innocent game of dodgeball.
Cameishi Lindley told Detroit’s WXYZ she was shocked to receive a phone call from Wayne County Juvenile Court last Wednesday (Jul. 24) about her 10-year-old son Bryce.
Lindley said she was told her son had been charged with aggravated assault as a result of an April 29th incident at his school in which another boy had been hit in the face with a ball.
Lindley described the game her son and the other children were playing at Ruth Eriksson Elementary School in Canton, Michigan as a modified version of dodgeball where players throw balls in the air.
“These kids are basically playing a game we all have played,” she said.
According to WXYZ, the mother of the child who was hit filed a police report and said Lindley’s son threw the ball at her son’s face on purpose.
She told the news station son has a medical condition that makes head injuries particularly dangerous.
“He sustained facial tissue damage to his face. He had a black eye and a bruised nose,” the mother of the struck boy said. Medical records also showed the boy suffered a concussion.
She said her son has been targeted before, and she reported it to the school in mid-April, prior to the April 29th incident.
“My son was hit twice in the face with a ball previously due to this,” the White kid’s mom told WXYZ. “The child apologized to my son and my son said ‘mom it’s okay we’re still going to be friends’.”
She said the April 29th incident was the last straw, and at that point, she feared for her child’s safety. “I tried not to let it get to this point,” she said.
Lindley told 7 Action News that neither she nor her son were aware of the other child’s medical condition, and she’s sorry he was hurt, but she feels as though he shouldn’t have been allowed to play a game like that in the first place if he has a serious medical condition.
“I am unaware of any of those situations,” Lindley said. “I’m sorry that her child got hurt. I’d be sorry for any child that got hurt.”
Lindley said her son was suspended from school for a day and she feels as though his punishment should have ended there.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she said of Bryce’s assault charge. “This is a kid that was playing on the playground with his friends.”
The case will go before a judge in Juvenile Court on Thursday (Aug. 1) for a pre-trial conference, WXYZ reports.
Meanwhile, Lindley has created a fundraiser to assist with Bryce’s legal fees. So far, it has raised more than $15,000.