Oregon High School Students Publish Book To Improve Police-Youth Relations In Response to Thai Gurule Arrest

To throw in their two cents in the national conversation on police brutality, students at Oregon's Roosevelt High School wrote a book to help improve interactions between youth and police. The book, titled Youth & The Law, was published by the school’s writing and publishing center, and was written by about 60 students. Talk about a super-cool project.

According to The Oregonian, the book project was started in September by students of Roosevelt’s Mock Trial team in direct response to the violent arrest of Roosevelt student Thai Gurule back in September of 2014. Video showed Gurule being punched, kicked, having his hair pulled, and eventually being tasered by cops trying to arrest him. Charged with resisting arrest and assaulting an officer (specifically trying to strangle one of the four officers arresting him), Gurule was cleared of all charges in March, after a judge ruled that he was not resisting arresting arrest and called the event "senseless and aggressive."

To research the book, students met with various community representative and Portland officers, including Portland Sgt. Tim Sessions who said, “Community policing can at times appear brickwall-ish, there's a lot more to it than the average person may see. But we have to do more to stretch and show our bellies.”

The book is being offered to all incoming freshmen and their families and was specifically published to be available during the summer when, according to Roosevelt teacher Jacque Dixon, tensions between cops and youth are at their worst. The book features a Q&A format with a wide range of questions that youth want to know about the law and law enforcement, including questions ranging from “Am I allowed to record the police?” (yep!) to “Can I get a ticket for letting dogs hang out of a car window while I'm driving?” (apparently it's not technically illegal, but you still might wanna disappoint Fido and keep him inside just to be safe).

A short excerpt including other questions and answers appeared in The Oregonian.