14-Year-Old Child on Free Lunch Program Arrested, Charged, Standing Trial for $.65 Milk

milkBy Claire Bernish

Now that a police state is all-but officially upon us, a 65-cent carton of milk can be cause enough for arrest and criminal prosecution — even at 14 years of age, and even when that milk should have been free in the first place.

Virginia teen, Ryan Turk, forgot to grab the carton of milk, included in the free lunch program he receives, the first time he made his way through the Graham Middle School cafeteria line on May 10 — so he doubled back to grab it.

Ryan’s forgetful moment turned into an unforgettable lesson in government gone awry.

A school resource officer saw the teen cutting in line and assumed he’d stolen the milk — and accused him of concealing the carton. In defiance, the teen threw the carton back. When Ryan refused the officer’s orders to see the principal, and remained uncooperative, he was arrested, cuffed, and charged with disorderly conduct and petit larceny.

Over a 65-cent carton of — free lunch program — milk. In a middle school cafeteria. In 2016. Have we really come to this?

Ryan, who insists he did nothing wrong, refused an offer of punishment not involving the court system, and, defying all rationality, now has a court date for November set by a Prince William County judge last week, the Washington Post reported — just days after he turns 15.

Shamise Turk, the teen’s mother, also asserts her son did nothing wrong by grabbing the milk carton since it should have been included with the free lunch.

Emmett Robinson, an attorney representing the family, says this is a case of targeting and racial discrimination — and that Ryan, who is black, refused to obey the school resource officer because he’d done nothing wrong.

“No one needs to be punished for stealing a 65-cent carton of milk,” Robinson told the Post. “This officer treats kids like they’re criminals, and guess what happens — they’re going to become criminals.”

Ryan had not been in trouble prior to this arrest.

As the Post points out, a legitimate case for targeting students by race can certainly be made, because, for one, “Studies show that black students are subject to more frequent — and harsher — discipline than their peers and that there are biases against them that begin as early as prekindergarten classes.”

But the school vehemently disputes the allegations Ryan was targeted because he is black — or that the 65-cent milk carton incident had anything to do with race. Prince William County schools noted both the officer who arrested the teen and the principal of the school are black.

“All the key parties involved, including the principal and the police officer, are African American,” Prince William County schools spokesman Phil Kavits said in a statement quoted by the Post. “The staff members are well known in our highly diverse community for their dedication and caring approach to all students.”

Kavits did not elaborate on how, exactly, that caring approach applied in the case of not only arresting, but prosecuting a 14-year-old over a 65-cent carton of milk — even if Ryan had actually stolen it.

Robinson argues racial discrimination isn’t necessarily guided by the source — and the race of those involved isn’t exclusive of racial profiling. Police forces, such as school resource officers, often have histories of or have faced allegations of racial profiling and discrimination.

“It’s not the players, it’s not the people who discriminate; it’s the whole system,” the attorney told the Post. “The system is set up now so that school resource officers get to determine the impact on a person’s life.”

Case-in-point, the disorderly conduct portion of charges Ryan faces were derived from behavior one would expect from a young teenager accused of something he did not do. However, on paper, particularly should he be convicted, disorderly conduct could be interpreted quite negatively in possible future interactions with police.

Prince William Police spokesperson Sgt. Jonathan Perok told the Post that as the officer escorted Ryan to the principal’s office, he “leaned back and pushed against the officer,” and when they neared the principal, he attempted to “push past the officer to get away.”

Worse, the family’s account of events contradicts that of the school and police.



Shamise Turk works for the school district and has seen surveillance footage of the incident — and says her son absolutely did not conceal the carton of milk. Ryan explained, according to the Post, he had returned to his seat in the cafeteria when the officer confronted him and went to put it back — but the cop told him to take it with him to see the principal, and then grabbed his neck.

“It’s just unfair,” Ryan told the outlet. “Other people did that. One boy, I told him to get one for me before. But when I do, I get in trouble.”

The family reiterated they declined to resolve the incident through a nonjudicial diversion program because the middle-schooler is innocent of any wrongdoing.

“My son is not going to admit to something he did not do,” Shamise asserted.

Innocent or not, the absurdity of prosecuting a 14-year-old for stealing a carton of milk likely not even worth its 65-cent price tag cannot be emphasized sufficiently. Not only are the Turks in a financial situation deeming Ryan worthy of receiving the county’s free lunch program, now taxpayers will foot the bill for his criminal prosecution.

Minors charged with misdemeanor crimes aren’t ordinarily named by the Washington Post, but Ryan and his family wanted to call attention to this case.

In short, no one wins — but at least the world can witness in a direct example the authoritarian shift taking place before our eyes.

Claire Bernish writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.


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25 Comments on "14-Year-Old Child on Free Lunch Program Arrested, Charged, Standing Trial for $.65 Milk"

  1. Once again, schools, like law enforcement, hire all the wrong people all the time. When you are working with young people you need real skills. Power tripping, blaming and harming are not going to work and impart only one message—FASCISM is here. These schools need new leadership from the top down. You don’t hire pigs to work in the lunch room, pigs with chips on their shoulders, willing to lie to harm, willing to make mountains out of molehills. Come on parents. Get rid of the bad leadership starting with the Board of Education and the various worthless, useless Trustees who ran for office because they wanted the status. Start hiring innovative and skillful principals for a change. Yes, I went to graduate school of Education, and most of the teaching staff were there to find willing co-eds to molest. No valuable skills being taught at graduate schools of Education.

    • You got it so right, my good man. Poor kids and parents of course.
      Like you said, the parents have to take the initiative to stop this nonsense.
      Kids are kids, when somethinjg occurs and such a tyran doesn’t like it, because mostly they haven’t a clou how to handle young people, a kid like Ryan is theoretically branded for the rest of his live. Can you imagine, a human being of 15 years old will be marked for the rest of his live for 0.65 cents, I hope not of course and hope that officier clown will be sent home and not return on the workplace mentioned ever again.
      Come on, you parents, See Janus gave you fantastic ideas to protect your children. Because that is what they still are and need: Protection and Help.

  2. If anyone thinks this is “ok” then we are truly in a sad state. This is the most insane response, to what happened, and why are there police in a school cafeteria?
    I hope his parents sue the crap out of the school and the police!
    I will sign that petition.

    • 1SKTrynoskySr1 | October 3, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Reply

      Why are there police in a school cafeteria? What planet do you live on?

      • Apparently not the same one I was born on. The idea of a police officer patroling my school cafeteria is appalling beyond words. School was a place of learning and freinds, not some gulag.

        • Well, a soft gulag, anyway.

        • A police officer patrolling in a school restaurant?
          IMO it is getting really out of hands in the land of the free!
          This is very provocative and intimidating towards the students and so young.
          Very scary I have the impression this officer is acting as if all the occupants present in that restaurant are on the forehand thieves and terrorists except him naturally.

  3. Vee vill do everything possible to keep you in line.Vatch vat happens even you are ordered into a concentration,oops I mean F.E.M.A. camp.Vee promise you vont feel a thing.

  4. Apply the smell test.
    This doesn’t smell right.
    I think there is a lot more to this than is reflected in the bias of this article
    I’m not for police in the schools either, and I’m certainly against criminalizing misbehavior of this sort, but this doesn’t sound like an abuse of power.
    This situation could have been defused immediately if the kid had told the officer he had forgotten his milk the first time through the line. It probably would have gotten no further than that.
    It’s probable that the kid did something wrong. In the attempt by the school to discipline the kid, the kid chose to go the judicial route. Why? Probably because he saw himself as a BLM crusader or some shit.
    Don’t fall victim to swallowing the anti-establishment propaganda any more than the establishment story.

    • True, there could have been a trigger (e.g. throwing the carton as a projectile – which is not OK) but the response of handcuffing is over the top unless the kid became physical or threatening which wasn’t mentioned. Our entire society is becoming a police state and kids are being conditioned. Plans are in the works in Congress to expand TSA presence to ground transportation.

      • I agree 100% with the premise that we are being slowly, yet inexorably turned into a police state.
        I did write my senators and rep (lotta good it will do) and told them in explicit terms that I was against any expansion of the TSA.
        Those parents, like myself, who teach my kids to respectfully resist unlawful police actions, will be targeted. As more and more people become compliant, those who resist will be more obvious, and subject to more abuse.
        But we can’t just shut up and give up.

        • You’re absolutely correct, we can’t just roll over. I wish the alt media would galvanize readers to follow through on large scale activism. At the very least, get the public behind the fairly new bipartisan congressional Fourth Amendment Caucus to start drawing lines in the sand to protect our civil liberties. Regain internet sovereignty, resist smart meters, etc. Target the tactics of control descending upon us while we still can.

          • It’s sad that only 25 (and half of them D) would join the 4th Amendment Caucus.
            I fear that Republicans in general think NSA surveillance and police state tactics are just fine. After all, they all jumped on the post-9/11 bandwagon when W called for an end to the Constitution.

            The Tea Party started out as an ‘activist’ grass roots movement. It was quickly hijacked and swallowed by the GOP because it couldn’t distinguish it’s self from a Republican movement.
            TPTB have become masters at appropriating political movements and perverting them from their original purpose.

          • I know, it’s frustrating. We can’t rely on politic shifts anymore to provide the necessary friction, we need to start walking away from their control systems en masse, including civil disobedience, and simple acts of reaching out on a daily basis ignoring the PC culture.

          • I thought it were The Democrats who are creating the police state.
            When I look back at what is happening and being created these last eight/nine years in your country, it is not nice may I say.
            And everything setup and created AGAINST the America and its own people.

            Police State, FEMA, involuntary vaccinations, what I read marketing of unsave medicines, poisoning drinking water, fracking, poisoning the air we breath, GMO Food, fertilizers poisoning the soil, poisoning the food chain, and so on and so on.
            You are a dying species the way I see it. Your Federal Government do not like you.

            Slowly but steady some hidden hand is stealing more and more of your country America and slowly but steadily is destroying your lives.
            And be sure, it is not only me, millions and millions of people see what is happening to your country and wonder if eighty percent is sleepwalking or something?

            The event happened in that school to this young human being of fifteen years old is ridiculous and that officier should be brought before the courts for alleging destroying the future of a young life.

    • I wonder how many people with think “there was more to this” before they realize there IS a police state closing around them? Maybe the reason IS there is a police state closing around you? The US is in BIG trouble, it’s the little things and how they are handled that show this… WHY are there police in the school on a regular basis to begin with? The principal, teachers and staff should be able to handle these situations without police… parents do EVERYDAY. Parents don’t call police when they think their kids/ teens have stolen from each other, they talk to and punish them (if necessary), they deal with it themselves! In this instance, this teen DIDN’T steal so there would be no punishment! No handcuffs, no court, no nothing… it would be a NON-ISSUE in the house! Or the school! Schools never used to call police for most things, they used in school punishments or guidance, the police are causing more problems and making these caregivers unable to think of how to handle situations in a healthy manner. Police are not supposed to be used for babysitting or everyday child/ teen interactions with caregivers, they are to deal with the public in general, on the streets! Teachers, principals and staff have NEVER had to rely on police to deal with teens or children. This is a BAD sign, that they are patrolling schools. They shouldn’t be there in the first place! Now they won’t know how to deal with or guide the kids under their guidance/ care (they are responsible for the kids while the kids are in their school) and they will default to the police to deal with these situations. The police cannot handle children/ teens like a parent/ caregiver, they handle with brute almost military force. If you are taught that to live this way is acceptable, you WILL end up under a tyranny!

      Also, what if he DID see himself as a BLM crusader? How is he to know any better? It’s the result of propaganda and social engineering.. most kids and teenagers have NO knowledge of it’s existence or any ways to recognize or resist it… people aren’t taught that stuff in school, you know. but school is where they spend most of their time these days… and the social engineering stuff affecting them is IN the schools! You guys are headed for a police state, where are the adults to back these children/ teens up against BOTH a growing police state AND social engineers that are misleading them? I’ve read up on mind control, this stuff is not simple and covertly used is very effective… these young people have no idea what they are being manipulated into. It’s us adults that should be doing our damnedest to STOP it, because WE are supposed to be protecting the kids while they’re too young to understand it. And what if he WASN’T a BLM supporter and was just mad that they insisted on calling him a thief when he wasn’t? They WERE being unreasonable and that can make a person mad, as can continued false accusations. He STILL had a reason to be angry, whether he supports the BLM or not… they called him a thief when he wasn’t and wouldn’t listen and they need to be accountable for that. If they can’t treat the kids/ teens right, then they shouldn’t be working with them. Now they have made things worse for everyone.

      • Debra O'Bryant Haworth | October 3, 2016 at 7:58 pm | Reply

        You couldn’t of nailed that better!!

      • I hear your frustration and anger Tabbytha and agree with a lot you said.

        We are in a growing police state. The police should NOT be in schools, period. The police should certainly NOT be used as nannies and enforcers in the schools. The police should not be allowed to arrest a person on school grounds unless that person has clearly committed a crime and/or is a danger to other people.

        My comment about the kid thinking he was a BLM crusader is due to the mention in the article that he chose to go the judicial route rather than the inter-disciplinary method.

        I have a strong feeling that there is a lot more to the incident than being reported. There’s a reason for this as well. Like you mentioned, mind control is “covert” and almost undetectable. It is used against us every day from the governmental propaganda to advertising for your favorite grocery store.

        The article is a form of mind control. It states enough of the facts to stir anger and debate. It causes divisiveness and quarreling. We (myself for sure) often react like Pavlov’s dogs, slavering and drooling at the sound of a bell.

        I think the systemic problems, such as LEOs in schools, needs to be addressed. Parents should speak out against it because it is a form of indoctrination to inure our kids to the constant presence of the police state in their lives. They are being conditioned to accept it without question.

        Sadly many parents, if not most, accept it because they live in fear. They want their kids protected from all harm at any cost.

        I would rather my kids live free and risk the nominal dangers associated with freedom than to have them grow up in a totalitarian state.

        Resist.

        • Dear Sir, this response compared to your first one puzzles me somewhat, in which I admit your last response/reaction is the more realistic one.
          Well done.

    • That officier acted in the wrong way. Whatever you may say, my good man.
      The kid is innocent and the lunch was under a “free” program. That is the bottomline.

  5. Is this guy a,i want to be a real police guy,or is he a real officer.There should not be police on staff. There should absolutely not be a want to be on staff. If this is the kind of judgement he has, no matter what he is, he should be gone.

  6. wisdom of the knowing | October 3, 2016 at 5:58 pm | Reply

    Mmmm… here we are in a police state.
    a 65 cent container of milk and how much is being spent to persecute and prosecute this 14 yr. old child?
    it is probably at the minimum $1,000.00. the reality is probably more like thousands of dollars. The trauma to the child could cost many more dollars and has already caused unnecessary distress.

    The so called resource officer committed abuse of the child. this individual should be breaking rocks for his abuse of this child.

  7. Very right. You know what, also IMO the kid is innocent.
    The parents shall sue this officer and the school management into oblivion.
    that is what they deserve. They are not adequate delegating the responsibility to a bully officer who hasn’t the clou how to handle that kind of situations.
    C’mon Ryan, head up.

  8. At least the cop didn’t shoot the kid then taser and handcuff his corpse before calling back up.

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