Grace is only 15-years-old, but she’s already a habitual offender. She regularly argues with and commits violence against her mother, who’s called the police on her teenage daughter several times. In November, the police were called by neighbors when they heard Grace’s mother call, “Help me!” from her vehicle, as her 15-year-old daughter bit her finger and pulled her hair.
According to police records, the 15-year-old has been caught stealing on several occasions, most recently from a fellow student at Groves High School in Beverly Hills, MI where 24% of the students are black.
As expected in the left’s new world of everything is a race issue, leftist civil rights attorney Sam Bagenstos tweeted about a recent event involving 15-year-old Grace who has been placed in a juvenile detention center by Oakland County Judge Mary Ellen Brennan for violating the terms of their agreement. In Bagenstos’ attempt to remain relevant on Twitter, he dangled a carrot for his leftist followers, telling them there would be a “Surprise twist” in his next tweet. His next tweet was of course, not a surprise, but instead was the expected and overused race card.
The surprise twist is that the kid is Black. Okay, that probably didn't surprise you. (Groves, one of the top schools in the state, is largely well off and white.)
— Sam Bagenstos (@sbagen) July 14, 2020
Bagenstos received pushback from those who can see through the leftist attorney’s attempt at relevance. “Why do you care if the kid is Black?” one Twitter user asked, adding, “That should not affect your opinion,” turning the tables on him, saying that it “sounds like racism to me.”
Another Twitter user blasted Bagenstos for his “Surprise twist,” reminding him, “She violated the terms of her probation,” asking, “Why are you wrongly interjecting race into the issue?”
Pro Publica reports on the case of 15-year-old Grace- Judge Mary Ellen Brennan, the presiding judge of the Oakland County Family Court Division, declined through a court administrator to comment on Grace’s case. In her ruling, she found Grace “guilty on failure to submit to any schoolwork and getting up for school” and called Grace a “threat to (the) community,” citing the assault and theft charges that led to her probation.
“She hasn’t fulfilled the expectation with regard to school performance,” Brennan said as she sentenced Grace. “I told her she was on thin ice, and I told her that I was going to hold her to the letter, to the order, of the probation.”
The April 21 juvenile court hearing on the larceny and assault charges against Grace was conducted via Zoom since the courts had shut down, with everyone calling in from their homes. Grace connected from her bedroom, her mother from their living room.
Ashley Bishop, a youth and family caseworker for the court, told the judge she thought Grace would be best served by getting mental health and anger management treatment in a residential facility. The prosecutor, Justin Chmielewski, said he agreed. Grace’s court-appointed attorney, Elliot Parnes, said little but asked that she be given probation because she had committed no new offenses and because of the risk of COVID-19 in congregate facilities.
Brennan admonished Grace for the fights with her mother, her thefts at school, and behaving in a way that required police to come to their home. “Police,” she said. “Most people go through their entire youth without having the cops have to come to their house because they can’t get themselves together.”
But, citing the pandemic, Brennan decided not to remove Grace from her home and instead sentenced her to “intensive probation.” The terms of the probation included a GPS tether, regular check-ins with a court caseworker, counseling, no phone, and the use of the school laptop for educational purposes only. Grace also was required to do her schoolwork.
“I hope that she upholds her end of the bargain,” Brennan said at the end of the hearing.
Because of the confidentiality of juvenile court cases, it’s impossible to determine how unusual Grace’s situation is. But attorneys and advocates in Michigan and elsewhere say they are unaware of any other case involving the detention of a child for failing to meet academic requirements after schools closed to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The decision, they say, flies in the face of recommendations from the legal and education communities that have urged leniency and a prioritization of children’s health and safety amid the crisis. The case may also reflect, some experts and Grace’s mother believe, systemic racial bias. Grace is Black in a predominantly white community and in a county where a disproportionate percentage of Black youth are involved with the juvenile justice system.
This story should be about the plight of a single black mom to raise her violent daughter, who despite having the privilege of attending one of the top public schools in the state of Michigan, continues to squander all of the opportunities her mother has provided for her. But alas, the left can’t help themselves…as Civil Rights Attorney Sam Bagenstos, has turned the case into a race issue.
By the time Grace turned 13, the arguments had escalated to the point that Charisse turned to the police for help several times when Grace yelled at or pushed her. She said she didn’t know about other social services to call instead. In one incident, they argued over Grace taking her mother’s iPhone charger; when police arrived, they discovered she had taken an iPad from her middle school without permission. At her mother’s request, Grace entered a court diversion program in 2018 for “incorrigibility” and agreed to participate in counseling and not use electronic devices. She was released from the program early, her mother said.
While there was periodic family conflict, Grace has always had strong friendships and is active in her school and community, her mother said. She has helped run programs at church, played saxophone in the school band and composed music, and regularly participated in service projects.
The incident that led to her current situation happened Nov. 6, when someone called the police after hearing Charisse crying, “Help me!” and honking her car’s horn. Grace, upset she couldn’t go to a friend’s house, had reached inside the car to try to get her mother’s phone and had bitten her mother’s finger and pulled her hair, according to the police report.
Police released Grace to a family friend to let the two cool down and referred the case to Oakland County court, where an assault charge was filed against her.
Weeks later, she picked up another charge for larceny after she was caught on surveillance video stealing another student’s cellphone from a school locker room.
“After I was caught, I felt instant remorse and guilt. I wanted to take back everything I had done,” Grace wrote in a statement to police. She said she had questioned herself even as she took the phone but wanted one after her mother took hers away.
The other student’s mother, who declined to comment for this story, told police she wanted to press charges, although the phone had been returned to her son soon after Grace took it. “My sincere hope is that any punitive action taken in this case be grounded in the goal of providing this student with opportunities for growth, change, and future success,” she wrote in a statement to police.
Leftist Twitter users asked their comrades to call the judge and demand she change her ruling.
Y'all, PLEASE call the Oakland County DA: 248-858-0656. Press ZERO and ask why the (dis)Honorable Mary Ellen Brennan decided that it was appropriate to lock up Little Sis.
I just called and was told that I was the first person to have called– and I know that isn't true. https://t.co/kCwbOmvthM
— Tiffany E. Brockington (@MissBrockington) July 14, 2020
Travis Bell did his best to dox the judge involved in the case. This, is what the left does—they apply pressure, they threaten to destroy a person over unfounded charges of racism, and then they wait—until the other side caves.
“Defund the Police” attempted to dox the judge by sharing her information.
Was the judge wrong to place Grace in a juvenile detention center for violating the terms upon which they agreed?