This morning the Seattle Times has a very good article today on the criminal history of Quincy Coleman, the 15 year old kid who was killed last Friday night on the east side of the Garfield campus. I recommend reading the whole thing.
Back during the summer burglary spree we talked about the issues with the county juvenile justice system that was returning repeat offenders back to the streets. Quincy Coleman was one of those kids, and just two months ago prosecutors had recommended that he be locked up due to his participation in one of those burglaries. But the judge disagreed and he was released on probation, only to end up dead a couple of months later:
According to King County court documents, prosecutors in September had recommended the 16-year-old be sentenced to a 52- to 65-week stint in a juvenile-detention home.
But Superior Court Judge Carol A. Schapira instead chose to give the boy — who had a history of residential burglaries, car prowls and drug violations — another chance and suspended the sentence, allowing Coleman to go free.
Said one law-enforcement official familiar with the case who did not want to be named, “He’d be locked up, but he’d be alive.”
And yesterday we mentioned that we had heard his name on the scanner. Unfortunately my handwritten notes are difficult to match up to events we put into the system, so I couldn’t get a complete list of the scanner entries he was connected to. I was fairly sure he was connected to some of the burglaries, and based on information in the Seattle Times story, we can now say that he was. In fact, it appears that he was the kid involved in a particular event we reported on back in July.
And again, nothing these kids are involved in should be a death sentence. No one deserves that. But it is just one more indication that something is deeply broken in the city’s and county’s juvenile justice system. Ignoring the problem and keeping the status quo is killing our neighborhood kids.