Considering the proliferation of the coronavirus in police departments and jails alike, many cops around the country have been ordered to use more discretion when making arrests so as to reduce the chances of the contagious COVID-19 disease from spreading even further. However, police in one Georgia town have apparently turned a blind eye toward one of its officers assigned to a school whose interaction with students was definitely unprofessional and probably criminal.
Now-former Cartersville Police Department Lt. Ryan Prescott was allowed to resign from the force after it was confirmed he had been exchanging “inappropriate” text messages on social media with some of the female students he was charged with protecting while working as a school resource officer at Cartersville Middle School, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ironically, “Prescott stated that he taught several classes at the school, to include ‘Sexting and Social Media,’” according to the police report.
The Cartersville Police Department opened an investigation into after parents suspected the cop was “hooking up at school” with the students with whom he exchanged text messages, but the investigation has not yielded any results after nearly two months.
It was an indication that Cartersville Police Department had erected its own so-called blue wall of silence where cops protect themselves from any criminal charges regardless of guilt. The fact that Prescott is white certainly can’t hurt, either, in the rural town where just 20 percent of its 21,000 residents are Black, according to Census estimates.
Typically police are eager to arrest and make examples out of Black people suspected of less whether they are cps or not. In fact, the Cartersville Police Department’s investigation, which started on March 2, confirmed that Prescott violated standard operating procedures. Still, aside from being placed on three days of administrative leave during which he was still being paid, there were no reports of Prescott being disciplined, let alone charged or arrested. Allowing Prescott to resign despite the clear threat he posed to minors means that, in theory, another police department could still hire him in the future to serve in a similar capacity around other children.
To be clear, Prescott was engaging in this type of activity with eight graders.
Local news outlet the Daily Tribune News reported the explicit contents of some of Prescott’s messages to these young and impressionable girls.
“Do all your friends know you like girls [sic] butt?” Prescott texted to one girl he asked to send him a picture of another girl. IN a separate message he sent a message to students that “drunk texting everyone.”
One student’s mother told Cartersville Police Deputy Chief Jason DiPrima that “the messages were inappropriate considering her daughter’s age and Prescott’s position with the school and agency.”
According to the Cartersville Police Department, its school resource officers are charged with ensuring there is an “atmosphere that is conducive to a good education” and “eliminating distractions that may hamper students in their ability to learn.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) took over the case from the Cartersville Police Department, but “Cartersville Assistant City Attorney Keith Lovell told The Daily Tribune News that the GBI opted to not investigate the matter any further.”
Meanwhile, in 2018, the Cartersville Police Department arrested 70 teenagers at a party after entering a home without a warrant claiming they smelled marijuana. When no one admitted to ownership of the small amount of the drug they discovered, the police arrested everyone. dubbed the “Cartersville 70,” which connected the teens to the long list of Black bodies unjustly arrested, such as the Central Park 5, many of them complained about mistreatment from the police, including getting tied up with zip ties and threatened with tasers, and spent multiple days in jail.
But not Prescott.
This is America.