Tuesday, December 15, 2009

How Skaters Without Skateparks are Criminalized

It's not unusual for skateboarders without access to a skatepark, or to a safe and legal place to skate, to become involved with the criminal justice system for trespassing on private property. That's what happened to 15 year-old honors student Cameron Kennon from Bloomfield New Jersey, who was arrested and handcuffed, and had his skateboard confiscated:
Cameron Kennon, a 15-year-old honors student at Montclair High, was arrested last Wednesday for criminal trespass for skateboarding in a bank parking lot on Valley Road. Kennon was handcuffed and taken to the Montclair Police station, where his mug shot was taken and he was put in a cell for about an hour before his mother arrived. His skateboard was confiscated. A friend of Cameron's, 15, was also arrested.

Cameron's arrest has inflamed his mother, Sabine, whose Watercooler post (registration required) shortly after the event has spawned dozens of replies. She's now renewing a campaign to get a skateboard park in town, which died a NIMBY death two years ago.

"Police I understand are between a rock and a hard place," said Sabine. "But there's so much more going on for them to be harassing these kids for doing something harmless."

"It's like really unfair. It's the only thing we really do," said Cameron, a tall skinny boy with a shy manner. "I'm not like a troublemaker."
» Skateboarder Arrest Fuels New Bid for Skate Park

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