Palm Beach County's Cops-in-Schools Program Leads to a Love Story on This American Life

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Last year, Palm Beach County school district police sent rookie officers into schools to pose as students, eventually busting 30 kids, mostly for selling small amounts of drugs. The kids faced expulsion, and most were over 18 and would be charged as adults. There go the hopes and dreams. Thanks, drug war and questionable policing ethics!

The cops' deceptions had some real human fallout -- 25-year-olds posing as high school kids is a dangerous proposition.

Atlanta-based reporter Robbie Brown, working for the public radio show This American Life, found a love story in the chaos. 


Yesterday's show featured the theme of "What I did for love," and one of them told the story of a Park Vista Community High School student named Justin, who was a senior on the honor roll with no criminal record. 

"And Justin could hardly believe his luck when a very pretty new girl -- everyone had noticed her -- showed up in not just one but two of his classes."

Her fake name was Naomi Rodriguez, says Justin. She said she was from New York. So was he.

"She was Puerto Rican and Dominican, and that caught me even more," says Justin, who began speaking and flirting with her in Spanish.

Eventually, after passively rejecting Justin's invitation to the prom, Naomi begged and pleaded with him to get her some marijuana. When he finally slipped some into her purse, she insisted on giving him cash. Then the crime was complete.

"She would sleep in class, she wouldn't do her homework," he recalls. "I would have to wake her up all the time." He let her copy his homework too.

She spoke with the program as well and said that she didn't remember leading him on about the prom and that she stands behind the police work because kids need to learn a lesson.



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9 comments
sandrasmith
sandrasmith

Wow this is so messed up.  Not even just her but this whole entire operation.  Why would the police just set something up like this in a high school??? A waste of time and money.  And I bet you it's at a particular school type of school, i.e. poor, black latino neighborhood. 

BurroBurough
BurroBurough

This comes across as pretty obvious entrapment, but its her complete lack of compassion after the fact that's really damning.

KennyPowersII
KennyPowersII

Once again the power of the pussy raises its ugly head (tail). I am so sick of these stings and entrapment events. Short cut cop work. Don't count on this Supreme Court to act on this activity.

Grumbler
Grumbler

That officer is scum.

She emotionally manipulated a teenager with the express intention of ruining his life by nailing him with drug charges.  bye-bye college, bye-bye military, bye-bye future. 

Had any other 25 year old posed as a high school tuent in order to pursue a relationship with a teen, and get them to buy drugs, there would be MULTIPLE felony charges. Thus is the exreme moral dissonance, yet the cop is alllowed, and hardy pressed on this outrageous and immoral behavior.  How is this tolerated?

FQS9000
FQS9000

Jes' goes ta' show, pussy will always wreck a dumb ass man.  He shoulda' tol' her he had some righteous stuff back at da' crib and she could have it if she gave it up.

He'd be a free man today.  What a dumb ass. 

Pete Pepper
Pete Pepper

Wow.  From the sound of this, the kid has a great case for entrapment.  Unfortunately by the time he gets off on this charge, he will already be expelled and unable to complete his education therefor have few choices left to survive in this world.  So thanks to these cops, we will end up having a new dealer.And over weed?  Come on.

Stefan Kamph
Stefan Kamph

He had been planning on joining the Air Force.

Chaz Stevens, Genius
Chaz Stevens, Genius

After this, he'd be lucky to snag that part of the Navy Dood in a Village People Summer Stock Revival band.

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