Prosecutors in Michigan have decided to drop charges against a 10-year-old boy who was accused during a match on a college playground of throwing a ball at another child’s face.
The 10-year-old child, Bryce, was planned to appear in the youth court on Thursday to face a charge of aggravated assault on the April incident.
Cameishi Lindley, the boy’s mother, had accused officials of charging her son because of his race, saying in Tuesday’s statement, “The only thing my son is guilty of is being a Black boy.”
In a statement announcing the dismissal of the charge against Bryce, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy denied charges that race had played a factor.
“The mother of the alleged victim had every right to go to the authorities and the authorities had an obligation to investigate,” Worthy said Wednesday. “When this case was reviewed by my office, no one paid attention to the race of either party.”
“It is categorically wrong to suggest that this was charged based on race or geography,” she said.
The incident occurred at a school close to Detroit involving Lindley’s son, Bryce, and an unknown classmate. According to family lawyer Maurice Davis, Bryce was charged with aggravated assault on June 20.
According to his mother, he was also suspended for one day.
The student’s mom supposedly wounded by the ball told Detroit’s ABC station WXYZ-TV that her son has a medical condition that makes head injuries particularly hazardous.
“He sustained facial tissue damage to his face. He had a black eye and a bruised nose,” said WXYZ-TV to the mother who requested not to be recognized.
According to the station, medical records showed that the then fourth-grader also had a concussion.
“I tried not to let it get to this point,” the boy’s mom told WXYZ-TV. “My son was hit twice in the face with a ball previously due to this. The child apologized to my son and my son said, ‘Mom it’s OK we’re still going to be friends.'”
Worthy said Wednesday that before it was taken to the prosecutor’s office for review, “efforts were made to resolve this matter.” She also said her office took into account facts that were not reported openly because of ethical guidelines.
“While the charge in this case is certainly sustainable, I have instructed my staff to dismiss this case today,” Worthy said. “It is my earnest hope that both sides will come back to the table to work out a solution that benefits both of these children.”
“Again, I am confident that both of them are highly valued,” she said. “I want to make sure that both children are served as we move forward and hopefully these charges will not have to be revisited.”
Lindley’s attorney had earlier threatened to lodge a civil case against the prosecution and a civil lawsuit against the college if Bryce’s charge was not dropped.
After raising more than $15,000 in an attempt to cover their legal costs, the fundraising was closed.