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Friday, January 25, 2008

Police couldn't convict an Akron gang member, but the schools have

Posted By on Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 3:35 PM

It appears that no one wants anything to do with Earl Davis, one of six V-Not gang members who were charged with the murder of Shawrica Lester ["No Snitching," January 23]. Last November, the charges against Davis were dropped after witnesses refused to testify against him, thanks to death threats they received from the gange. Since then, Davis’s mother has struggled to enroll Davis in high school. When she tried to register him at East High School earlier this month, Akron school officials told her that he would have to be placed in alternative school first. “We have a lot of concerned parents," Superintendent Sylvester Small told Scene. "For his safety and the safety of other students, we'll wait for this thing to cool off before we integrate him back into the system…" Miffed, Misty Davis then tried to get her son into the Copley-Fairlawn school system. Davis attended classes at Copley School this past Tuesday and Wednesday, before school officials called his mother and told her that they could no longer accommodate her son. “The Copley people have told my client's mother that they've been on the phone with Akron Public Schools and the Akron gang unit, and they're kicking Earl out for his own safety,” Scott Rilley, Davis’s lawyer, told The Akron Beacon Journal. Rilley called the school’s actions “ridiculous.” He says he’s unaware of any threats that have been made against Davis and claims that he is seeking legal action against both school districts. “'To me, this smacks of retribution by those folks who have judged Earl based on public opinion, not on the evidence that was presented in court,” he said. (Copley school officials didn’t return Scene’s phone calls.) What Rilley fails to mention that is that the “evidence” in court was supposed to come from solid witnesses, who backed out from testifying thanks to death threats from Davis’s friends. (Rilley didn’t return repeated phone calls from Scene.) – Denise Grollmus
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