Mother of Canton Township boy charged with assault hires lawyer after case dropped

'System has really failed us,' Cameishi Lindley says

CANTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The case against a Canton Township boy who was charged with assault has been dropped, but his mother isn't satisfied, so she has hired a lawyer.

MORE: Case dropped against Canton Township boy charged for throwing ball at classmate

Cameishi Lindley's 10-year-old son, Bryce, faced charges after throwing a ball at a classmate during a game at his Canton elementary school in April. The boy who was hit by the ball suffered a concussion.

"It turns out the victim had some type of disorder that made him especially susceptible to a facial or head injury," said Maurice Davis, the Lindley's attorney.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office charged Bryce as a juvenile before dropping the charges Wednesday morning.

"I'm shocked and I'm disappointed. I feel like the system has really failed us," Lindley said. "Until the day that God calls him home, this will be the little 10-year old-black child in Canton, Michigan that was charged with playing a game."

Lindley wants to take her son's case further, but she's not sure what she plans to do yet.

Local 4 reached out to the victim's family, but has not gotten a response.

The school district released a statement regarding the incident:

Eriksson Elementary School handles all situations and conflicts according to the Student Code of Conduct. The school district was aware a situation occurred between two students in April, 2019. The situation was handled by the school district in accordance with the applicable district policies and the Student Code of Conduct. We are not able to discuss the details of this particular student situation further due to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”). The school district did not involve any criminal authorities in the situation, and the district is unable to comment on how or when any criminal authority involvement occurred or when any further hearings may take place.

While the district has not been involved in the legal proceedings, we do share with the larger community the responsibility of helping all students be successful, and to respect and value all voices, experiences, opinions, and cultures. As an educational community, we are committed to working restoratively to support all students and families.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy released this statement:

This case came to us as a not-In-custody case - that means that there was never an arrest. Efforts were made to resolve this matter before it was sent to us for a charge consideration. The mother of the alleged victim had every right to go to the authorities and the authorities had an obligation to investigate.

When this case was reviewed by my office, no one paid attention the race of either party. It is categorically wrong to suggest that this was charged based on race or geography.

There has been quite a bit of inaccurate reporting in this case. There are also facts that played into our decision that have not, due to ethical rules, been reported. 

I will never try our cases in the court of public opinion or outcry. Petition drives, protests, and other public so called pressure certainly have their place in a democracy. But they should never impact what is done in a case and should not affect outcomes. Justice always should.  

The Juvenile Justice System, while by no means perfect, is markedly different from the adult systems in many ways for many reasons. There are certainly more options available and there should be. As I stated yesterday, often times in the appropriate matter, the result is dismissal, getting services provided, diversionary programs, and other options. Many times, cases should not be in the systems if other solutions can be implemented. Many times we will “go back to the table” and craft results and can do that if all parties cooperate. I have always been willing to keep an open mind when warranted, especially in juvenile cases. Admirably, that was tried here but we were not the table.

I have no doubt that both families involved love their children and want the best for them. But I do think that there is a better way to go forward at this time. And the cooperation of all parties is needed.

While the charge in this case is certainly sustainable, I have instructed my staff to dismiss this case today. It is my earnest hope that both sides will come back to the table to work out a solution that benefits both of these children.  

Again, I am confident that both of them are highly valued. I want to make sure that both children are served as we move forward and hopefully these charges will not have to be revisited.

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