Magazine article The Crisis

Baltimore City Branch Launches Investigation of Teen Death

Magazine article The Crisis

Baltimore City Branch Launches Investigation of Teen Death

Article excerpt

The Baltimore branch of the NAACP has been aiding the family of Isaiah Simmons III, a 17-year-old who died after being restrained by counselors at Bowling Brook Preparatory School.

According to witnesses, on Jan. 23, 2007, counselors at the privately run residential program for juvenile offenders sat on Simmons for three hours before he lost consciousness. Simmons went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead a few hours later by medical personnel at Carroll Hospital Center in Carroll County, Md. He had only been in the juvenile facility for two weeks. The school is now closed.

The state medical examiner ruled Simmons' death a homicide. But when the state's attorney presented the evidence to the grand jury in April 2007, six counselors were indicted on reckless endangerment charges (for failing to call 911 until 41 minutes after Simmons had lost consciousness) rather than manslaughter. The FBI began conducting an independent investigation of the incident in March 2007.

The Simmons family was devastated at the state's attorney's actions. They believed the state's attorney had the authority to file charges directly against the counselors instead of presenting the case to a grand jury. The family thought the way the case was handled by the state was racially motivated and, as a result, contacted the NAACP.

"We had hired our own private investigator and the evidence was overwhelming in support, at minimum, of a manslaughter charge. Bowling Brook brought a lot of money into the county. It brought lots of jobs," said Danielle Carter, Simmons' sister. "It was clear to us that achieving justice in Carroll County on behalf of a Black inner-city juvenile offender would be very difficult. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.