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Racist arrest sparks struggle

By Chance Zombor |
July 17, 2010
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Shorewood, WI - Students and community members will rally July 20 in support of a Black high school student who was arrested for allegedly stealing chicken nuggets valued at $2.60 from the school cafeteria. The chicken nuggets were given to Adam Hernandez by another student who did not want them, but school administrators called in police to handcuff and arrest Adam.

Hernandez, who has no prior criminal record or school disciplinary history, was targeted because he is Black in a predominantly white suburb of Milwaukee. Black students make up only 13% of the Shorewood school district and are five times more likely to be suspended than white students.

“The school system and the police department think Adam is expendable and they’re using him to send a message to students of color: ‘Know your place,’” said Hernandez’s sister, Ava Hernandez, in an interview with Fight Back!. She said that she was surprised when it happened, but in a sad way, she wasn’t surprised.

Authorities refused to drop Hernandez’s case even after being presented with a signed affidavit from the student who gave the chicken nuggets to Adam. “I knew it was time to mobilize the community,” Ms. Hernadez said. “I hope the school system and the police will see this and think twice next time.”

Adam Hernandez’s trial begins at 5:30 July 20 at the Shorewood Village Hall, 3930 N. Murray Avenue, in Shorewood, Wisconsin. Supporters will rally there at 4:30.