What’s it like to be a teenager in Rochester right now?
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — This year, we’ve covered far too many incidents involving teenagers. Shootings, stolen cars, and fights at school. So, when we met teenagers hanging out with Rochester Police, we asked them what it’s like to be a teenager in Rochester right now?
Rochester City School District students spent their April break working side by side with RPD. The idea is that students get a better understanding of who the police are and the police get a better understanding of who students are.
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14-year-old Key’Andre Parham said he and his family tried to avoid police and didn’t have a great opinion of them.
“My family used to let me watch movies where police would be the bad guys and stuff, things that make the police look worse,” he said. “But now that I’ve gotten to know them they’re people just like us, they have lives, they have a family, and some of them have even went through the same experience we have.”
Ro’Niyah Bentley, Ramon Rubio and Parham are all in 8th grade and they spent their school break with RPD.
“I’m here to bring information back to my family to help them get a better understanding that not every cop is a bad cop,” Parham said.
Parham told me when he grows up he wants to be mayor.
News10NBC investigative reporter Berkeley Brean: “What’s it like to be a 14-year-old in the city right now?”
Key’andre Parham, 8th grade School 19: “It’s pretty normal because I stay out of trouble, I get good grades. I’ve always been taught to stay out of trouble and just be yourself.”
Last year, the number of children shot in Rochester under the age of 18 was 54. This year, many of the people arrested for stealing cars or caught in stolen cars are teenagers. Rubio turns 14 Friday.
Ramon Rubio, 8th grade School 45: “I feel like it’s more teenagers getting in trouble and doing bad things than adults. It impacts me because my family could go out and a bunch of teenagers come over there and do something or say something or to me a least, I could be out and they could come up to me and try to get my stuff, something like that.”
Bentley wants to be a dancer when she gets older. Or maybe a lawyer. She feels pressure to do things her friends might do.
Ro’niyah Bentley, 8th grade School 17: “I don’t want to turn out like them but I still want to hang out with my friends. So I know when to stop with certain things.”