In a cruel and inhumane overreach, District Attorney Travis Page of Gaston County charged a 15-year-old child with Attempted Murder for defending his twin brother from police violence. La’Dainian Fuller, who was only 15-years-old at the time of the incident, placed a police officer in a headlock, after he witnessed the officer kicking and abusing his twin brother. The incident occurred as the twins attempted to ride their bikes home, and police stopped and detained them due to street closures for a fireworks show. 

The police officer suffered mild redness and bruising from the incident. He did not require any medical attention. Nevertheless, La’Dainian, who has developmental disabilities, was charged as an adult with “Attempted Murder.” Charges against his twin were dismissed due to the twin’s lack of capacity.

Emancipate NC executive director, Attorney Dawn Blagrove is outraged. She stated:

“Apparently, we have to add “riding a bike while Black” to the list of activities that can subject Black children to state sanctioned violence. While the violence suffered is not physical, the psychological trauma that DA Page is subjecting this child and his family to is unconscionable. Additionally, as uncomfortable as it may be for some, it is imperative that we face the role race plays in the equity and fairness that is available in our judicial system. Would a white child be treated with such callousness? No. The answer is no.”

These adult criminal charges against a child offend the people of North Carolina. North Carolina voted to treat children as children, not as adults, and raised the age of adult jurisdiction from 16 years to 18 years in 2019. North Carolina was the last state in the country to Raise the Age. In a vicious abuse of power, the District Attorney moved to transfer La’Dainian’s juvenile case to adult court, where he risks spending decades in prison with adult men. 

Justice League Fellow April Barber was tried as an adult when she was 15 years old. She stated:

“My formative years could have been spared if what led up to the situation would have been evaluated. Brains do not develop until the age of 25 and minors should not be held accountable for their irrational reactions and decisions.”

Emancipate NC and family and friends of La’Dainian will hold a press conference in Gaston County on August 3. #JusticeForTheFullerTwins