As the result of a fight at Lincoln High School in San Diego, the 16-year-old son of local rap artist Brandon “Tiny Doo” Duncan faces four felony juvenile charges: assault on a police officer, assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury, violent resisting of a police officer and assault on a school officer. Another student faces a felony assault charge against a police officer. A third one faces an additional misdemeanor theft charge for allegedly taking the officer’s police radio and keys during the scuffle. The fight was started when the boys started play fighting during lunch period. That led to a real fight.
Bashir Abdi of El Cerrito, the cop on campus was reported to be ‘seriously injured.‘ He tased and pepper sprayed the students, and is now suing the students for over $25,000 in damages in medical expenses, property damage, and other losses.
None of the students will be expelled, and the judge allowed all the students to go home instead of staying in ‘juvie.’ They will have electronic monitoring for the time being. While some have called the punishment against the students fair because it was not as strict as it could have been, some in the community, including the NAACP, have called for the District Attorney’s Office to drop all charges and stop over-policing Lincoln High.
Juvenile delinquency court is a court dedicated to adjudicating felony and misdemeanor crimes allegedly committed by minors, and it ranges from small charges like truancy to more serious ones like felony charges. The goal is to rehabilitate children and not to imprison them.
Under certain circumstances however, minors alleged to have committed one of 30 crimes listed in California Code § 707(b) also can be tried in adult court. These include: murder, arson causing great bodily injury, assault with great bodily injury, rape, robbery, kidnapping for ransom, etc.
Prosecutors have the sole discretion as to how to prosecute 707(b) offenses. They can either file directly in adult court, file in juvenile court, or they can initiate a “fitness hearing” and have a judge decide the issue.
In these situations, prosecutors tend to file charges as adults if the minor has both allegedly committed a 707(b) crime and previously committed another felony or used a firearm during the crime. Continue reading