An internal investigation by Columbia Public Schools has found no violations in the arrest of a black student at Smithton Middle School in January, according to a letter sent to the attorney representing the mother of the student.
The one-page letter sent Friday concluded that board policy was not violated and, therefore, no “corrective action” was recommended.
The letter was shared with the Missourian by Race Matters, Friends. The organization, on the recommendation of the State NAACP chair, has been advocating on behalf of the mother, Kandas Holmes-Barnes, and her daughter since May, president Traci Wilson-Kleekamp said.
The investigation was prompted by a complaint Holmes-Barnes filed in May with the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, alleging her 14-year-old daughter was racially profiled in the arrest and traumatized. The girl was wrongfully arrested after being misidentified as one of the students involved in a fight that left one person injured. She was held in juvenile detention overnight. She was released after her mother showed police cellphone video of the fight and it became clear that the girl wasn’t involved.
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