Teen facing trial for grabbing carton of milk from lunch line
Ryan Turk had just gone through the lunch line at Graham Park Middle School when he realized that he had forgotten to get a milk carton with his meal, and he went back to the line to get it.
Because Turk receives free lunches at the school, he thought he could just jump into the line and quickly grab the milk and leave, but an officer at the school saw him cut in the line and accused him of stealing the milk. When the security officer tried to get him to go to the principal's officer, Turk refused on the grounds that he had done nothing wrong, an the officer then arrested him on charges of "disorderly conduct and petit larceny."
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This week, a Prince William County judge set a trial date for November for the teenager, after Turk refused non-judicial punishment, still insisting that he had done nothing wrong.
"No one needs to be punished for stealing a 65-cent carton of milk," said Emmett Robinson, the lawyer representing the family. "This officer treats kids like they're criminals, and guess what happens — they're going to become criminals."
While Turk's family and others have insinuated that the incident was racially motivated because Turk is black, Phil Kavits, a Prince William County schools spokesman, said that it was not race-based because the officer, principal and Turk are all black.
"All the key parties involved, including the principal and the police officer, are African American," Kavits said in a statement. "The staff members are well known in our highly diverse community for their dedication and caring approach to all students."