Just days after police in Canton made the announcement that a black kid would be facing aggravated assault charges for injuries to a white kid during a game of dodge ball, Wayne County prosecutor Kym Worthy dismissed charges against 10-year old Bryce Lindley.
“This case came to us as a not-in-custody case — that means that there was never an arrest. Efforts were made to resolve this matter before it was sent to us for a charge consideration. The mother of the alleged victim had every right to go to the authorities and the authorities had an obligation to investigate,” Worthy said in a statement, announcing the charges would be dropped.
“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 in an interview.
Bryce, whose mother says his only crime was “being a black boy,” was formally charged with aggravated assault after a schoolyard game on April 29.
Students at his school were playing a game they call “Tips,” which is similar to dodge ball but doesn’t involve throwing the ball at other players.
Police say that when the game was over, Bryce took the ball and threw it at a 9-year-old with so much force it caused cuts to his face and a concussion.
The injured kid’s mother reported the incident to local police, who ended up charging Lindley.
The case’s dismissal came just hours before defense attorney Maurice Davis, who is representing Bryce Lindley, planned to hold a press conference discussing the charges.
Davis said the timing of the prosecutors’ decision was “no coincidence.”
“They knew they were completely wrong,” Davis told Yahoo News.
“But had [Bryce] not received the media attention that he did, he would be in court tomorrow at 9AM as scheduled.”
Davis is calling for Worthy’s office to “reevaluate” their how they determine to file criminal charges.
“It is an abuse of power to charge a 10-year-old with aggravated assault over an accident at a playground,” he said.
Prosecutors say if families cannot reach some sort of solution or agreement outside of court, but added they have not ruling out revisiting possible criminal charges if an agreement cannot be reached.