Birmingham Student Charged With Ethnic Intimidation

BLOOMFIELD TWP. (WWJ) – A Birmingham Seaholm High student has been charged with ethnic intimidation, and ordered to remain at home until his next court date. The 18-year-old Courtney Isaiah Thomas appeared, Wednesday morning, in district court in Bloomfield Township.

Thomas reportedly confessed to scrawling threats on the boys bathroom wall along with racial remarks aimed at five students, including himself.

Police said Thomas told the school about the racially tinged graffiti, using the n-word and the names of five African-American students at Seaholm — including his own, next to words “should be lynched,” and “I’m going to kill them.”

Thomas’ attorney Wendy Barnwell acknowledged that an earlier racial incident, involving Thomas, could possibly have played a role in her client’s predicament. That incident had brought the suspension of a white student.

“I think it may have had an effect on him,” Barnwell said.  “However, you have to have a specific intent, and I don’t know that that’s there. And they have to prove the case. But, he’s very contrite, and he’s been a good kid,” she said.

“He’s been bullied. He’s been a victim. Right now, he’s under a lot of pressure,” Barnwell added.

To Barnwell’s knowledge, similar charges were never brought against the other student.

A pre-trial hearing was scheduled for next week.


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