To many, it appeared school police officers were overzealous when they filed felony counterfeiting charges against a 15-year-old Texas student who tried to buy lunch in school with a $10 bill he found.
Texas’ Fort Bend County District Attorney John F. Healy Jr. dismissed the case against Alec Hunter on Friday, concluding that the evidence did not merit the charges, KTRK-TV reports.
The DA’s decision vindicated Alec and his family. According to the station, he and his parents refused to accept a guilty plea in exchange for dropping the case.
“You’ve got a kid, by who all accounts is a good kid. He’s got letters from all his teachers, all his classes. He’s never been in trouble,” Louis Hunter, Alec’s father, told KTRK-TV.
The news station said the Fort Bend Independent School District did not respond to the DA’s decision, but issued this statement:
“…Most of the district’s counterfeit or forgery cases have been solicited for investigation by a victim and not through a school-related transaction. FBISD police officers are committed to perform their duties for all students, regardless of the issue or concern.”
KTRK-TV conducted an investigation of the school police’s “countless hours” probing students suspected of using counterfeit money to buy school lunch. In some cases, the bills were genuine. There were a total of 40 cases that also included the Cy-Fair and Houston school districts.
NewsOne Now reported that every suspect in the Houston area school district was a student of color, where race was identified, over a three-year period.