Profile of Carl Alexander

Document Date: December 15, 2003

Carl Alexander, age 15 and a 9th grader at Stratford High School, and his mother Sharon Stafford, are upset by the raid carried out at Stratford High School on November 5, 2003. They feel that the Goose Creek Police and Principal McCrackin employed unnecessary and terrifying tactics on innocent children. Carl was held at gunpoint by police, detained, and thoroughly searched while a drug dog roamed the hallway near him.

""When I saw that man with a gun in my face, I wasn't even sure he was a police officer because he did not have a full uniform on. I thought there was a terrorist attack or something. But when I tried to run, another police officer put a gun in my face,"" recalled Carl.

When Carl heard police officers shouting at students, demanding that they ""get down on the ground,"" he was scared and started to run. As he turned to do so, he found himself facing a police officer with a gun pointed at him who ordered him to drop to the ground. He did so, fearing that he would be shot. After detaining him in the hallway, a police officer searched Carl without his consent, patting him down and then inserting his hand into Carl's pockets, pulling out his wallet, and inspecting its contents. Carl felt violated by the search, since he never consented to it and did not understand why he was being searched. Carl was also extremely afraid of the police dogs because he had been bitten by a dog twice before.

Sharon said the November 5 incident went too far. ""I know Stratford High has searched for drugs in the past, but what happened this time was out of control. They were holding guns in my child's face! Carl wakes up in the morning thinking about it. He doesn't want to go to school anymore - he's afraid they will draw guns on him again.""

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