Outlaw s01e07 Episode Script

In Re Kelvin Jones

- Man, she shut me out.
Dumped me for clay.
- Clay? The one who says he's like that bible dude? One who got his power from his hair? - His name was samson.
He was given tremendous power by god To combat his enemies.
- Check it out.
- Let's move! Let's move! - Been trying to call you all night.
- Yeah, I noticed.
- did you do it? - I do a lot of things, harvard.
- Listen, listen.
You told his daughter You'd do anything to keep him away from her.
Three hours later, kershaw's lying in a car Two blocks from here with a bullet in his head.
- Wait, wait, let me get this right.
So-- So it happened in a schoolyard.
- 20 minutes before school let out.
Honors student was, uh, Killed in a shooting at a school in alabama.
- Yeah, the cyrus garza school in alabama.
- Yeah.
Eddie, would you mind? - How did you get your name associated with that? - Yeah, well, last I checked, It wasn't that kind of school, But, uh, it's been a few years, Which is why I'm going down there To see for myself.
- Look who's here.
The police.
- Detective, what can we do for you? - Do you recognize this man? His name's benjamin kershaw.
He matches the description of the man You said ransacked your house.
- Someone ransacked the house? - This is the same buzz cut guy I saw out front that time.
Mereta, didn't you say The guy who attacked you in the car Had a buzz cut? Is that him? - Well, I mean, I can't be sure, But maybe.
- Why are you asking? - He was found in a car two blocks from here, Dead.
- Oh, my god.
- Do you have a suspect? - The m.
E.
's tentative is suicide.
We're just doing due diligence.
- Of course, and if we, uh, Come up with any information, I promise you we'll let you know.
- I appreciate that.
- Thank you, detective.
Can you guys give me minute? - Yeah.
- Not you.
The minute you started working for me, This kershaw shows up.
He attacked mereta while she was driving your car.
I think he broke into this house Looking for something that you have that he wants.
Am I right on any of this? - Can I plead the fifth? Only because I am late for the airport.
Soon as I get back, We're gonna talk about this.
- Relax.
Harvard, it was a suicide, okay? Or, what, do you think that I just made it look like a suicide? - I don't know, lucinda, Or whatever your name really is.
But if you're capable of taking the identity of a dead girl For something that's so dark You won't even talk about it, I don't know what you're capable of.
- Tell me about this boy who died.
- You know, every time I'd see him, He'd be like, "can you sponsor a student government? Can you start a school paper?" He even started a tutoring program.
Kelvin jones was a very special young man.
- No metal detectors, huh? - Can't afford 'em.
- Security guards? - I'm a principal, not a miracle worker.
I can barely afford teachers.
- It's always this cold inside? - We've got no insulation, Unless you count duct tape on windows.
The school took your name in '99, huh? - Yeah, that's right.
- A lot's changed since then.
Come on.
Kelvin was a very special boy.
- Tell me about the gang activity here.
- Well, most of our kids are fantastic, But, unfortunately, it doesn't take a lot to cause trouble.
- Do you police these kids at all? - We ask the district to provide resources To protect our kids.
Unfortunately, they haven't been able To give us what we need.
- I'd really like to be able To pay my respects to kelvin's mom and dad.
- Thank you.
- Hi.
Uh, I'm cyrus garza.
Principal menzies, uh, she was telling me What an incredible young man kelvin was.
- This is my daughter, kara.
- Hey, kara.
Sorry for your loss.
- I think you should leave.
- Mr.
Jones, you have my deepest sympathies, sir.
- It's too late for that.
Two years in a row, We requested a transfer to centennial.
Two years.
Better facilities, better teachers.
A place where kids can't walk in the front door Carrying guns.
- Kelvin wanted to go to duke.
As long as he went to garza, His chances of that were greatly diminished.
- The white kids ask out, they get out.
District never even responded to our requests, For kelvin or kara.
She's trapped there too, In the same school where her brother was killed.
You give your name to a place, Seems you're giving your blessing to what they do.
- Garza has no books, no computers, Black kids, and no money.
The other school in the district Has a computer lab, honors program, White kids, and money.
- Yeah, the last two usually go together.
- Al, look, back in the day, Every kid my age knew about the supreme court And admired it because of one thing.
- Yep, brown versus board of education.
- 1954.
"separate educational facilities Are inherently unequal.
" 56 years later, We're still separate and unequal.
- Well, tell me about it.
I got three kids in public school, cyrus.
- Okay, but maybe I should know this.
I don't have any kids, so I had to look it up.
Chicago--87% of public school enrollment, Black or hispanic.
- Right.
- Washington, 94%.
- Uh-huh.
- St.
Louis, cleveland, philadelphia, Los angeles, new york, 75% or higher.
- You're preaching to the choir, brother garza.
What does it have to do with your school? - I'll explain that after you and mereta come down here.
- You want us to come to alabama? - Yep, and make it quick.
They're asking me to speak at a memorial, And I'd like to have you guys there.
I want to start with a moment of silence In memory of kelvin jones.
Thank you.
- When I was in school, Dr.
Martin luther king was assassinated.
I remember after that, hundreds of schools, Including the school that I was attending, Were renamed in his honor.
Now, dr.
King dreamed that one day These schools would be places Where boys and girls of all colors would learn together.
But, sadly, today, those same schools that bear his name Are 90% black and hispanic.
Now, when dr.
King wanted to fix things, He would, what? March.
- He would hold a protest March.
If he were alive today, I'm pretty sure That he would March on some of these same schools That bear his name.
quick show of hands.
How many of the school board members here, How many of your children go to school here? Superintendent garver? See, I understand.
You want what's best for your kids, But you have to want what's best for these kids too.
We all do.
Kelvin jones' parents wanted the best for their son.
They asked for it.
They demanded it, But they didn't get it.
If I was half the man that dr.
King was, I would organize a March.
But I'm just a lawyer.
So the best I can do is file a lawsuit.
- Yeah! - I don't have to tell you that this school is unsafe, That the district has not invested to make it safer, Or that this policy of neglect Directly led to the death of kelvin jones.
You know it.
I know it.
The district knows it.
Which is why, on behalf of kelvin's parents, I am filing a wrongful death suit Against this district and the cyrus garza school.
If it's gonna bear my name, It's gonna do right by these kids.
- My husband's not very good at apologies, But he wanted you to have this.
- Oh, 2012.
That's the year kelvin would have graduated.
- Yes, but that's not kelvin's.
- Uh, it was my grandfather's.
He graduated high school in 1912 here.
I was waiting to give it to kelvin.
- Well, okay, I'll hold it for luck.
And, uh, if we win, you can have it back.
- You don't sound very confident.
- No, I am confident, but, uh, We are asking the court to hold kelvin's school Responsible for his death.
- The defense claims that the person who killed kelvin Is already in prison, and that's enough.
- But it's not.
- I know, But, uh, we could lose, so you both should know that.
Kara, you're gonna be fine up there.
Just take your time and tell the truth.
- I'm a freshman.
Kelvin was two years older than me.
- Kara, as a student at the garza school, Did you and kelvin know there were gangs? - We all know.
The kids, the ones who claim the sets, They just put it right out in the open.
- The ones who claim sets? - A set is a gang.
It's like, you claim which group you come from.
At garza, the sets pretty much control the school.
- Can you tell us how? - They fight, mess up classes, Tag the halls.
And the teachers won't even stop them-- - Objection, your honor.
With all due respect, We all know the problem here.
Kelvin jones was killed in a gang shooting.
That was the proximate cause of death, And it strains the law to its breaking point To say that his school killed him.
- Your honor, that school is a death trap For good kids like kelvin.
No security, no metal detectors, Gangs allowed to operate with-- - We do all that we can, your honor.
- You do absolutely nothing.
Substandard teachers, second-hand school books, No programs at all for gifted students.
- And that's why kelvin jones is dead? - Sir, he is dead because you forced him To learn in a world Where good kids like him can't even survive.
- Objection, your honor.
Can we dial down the rhetoric? - It's not rhetoric, and if things don't change, It's going to happen again.
- Your honor, Mr.
Garza's passion may be commendable, But it doesn't change the law.
An intervening third party caused this murder, And any responsibility on the school's part Is simply too attenuated to justify this.
- Mr.
Garza, are you suggesting The school had prior knowledge of this shooting And failed to protect the victim? - They should've known it was going happen.
It was only a matter of time.
- That's not what I'm asking, and you know it.
Did they have actual knowledge That this specific crime could occur? - No.
- Okay, we're sending garza stats on teacher salaries, Cost per pupil, doctors on staff.
What else did he want? - A usc study on segregation in charter schools.
It's in the printer.
- Oh.
Detective, hi.
Uh, justice garza is out of town right now.
I'm sorry.
- I'm not here to see the justice.
We found these photos in the trunk of kershaw's car.
She's your colleague, isn't she? - She's Part-time, really.
Um, I thought kershaw's death was a suicide.
- Gun residue tests came back.
Kershaw's hands were clean.
It's a homicide investigation now.
- It was ucla, not usc.
- It's gonna have to wait, I think.
- Mr.
Garza, I understand a young boy is dead, But any action or omissions on the part of the school Is simply too remote to meet the legal standard of causality.
- Your honor, the school didn't have to pull the trigger To be liable for kelvin's death.
They contributed directly to a daily life Where this kind of violence was possible and expected.
- I'm sorry, but you have my ruling.
- You okay? - Look where we are.
How did this happen? Are we in hastings, 2010, Or selma in 1963? Your honor, before you dismiss, we are amending our action.
- Great, what did we do now? - Don't worry, we're not singling out your school.
We are filing a class action, your honor, against the county, The entire school system.
- For what? - For the willful and deliberate segregation Of the public schools, In violation of the 14th amendment.
- Segregation? This case is about race now? - It's about education.
It's about equality.
- Mr.
Garza.
- Maybe you're right, your honor.
Maybe I can't prove that this school killed kelvin jones, But I can ask why.
Why was this school so toxic? Why don't they spend the money needed to change things? 80% of students at kelvin jones' school are black.
Now, we know that they're separate.
Let's find out if they're equal.
- Your honor, you can't just declare a class action.
You actually have to certify a class action.
- Yes, I remember that part from that place where I, uh What was it called again? Oh, yes, supreme court.
- All right, step up, both of you.
- Sorry, your honor.
- Mr.
Garza, I applaud your resolve, But let me be clear.
The people of this community need help.
- I know that.
- Just listen.
What they don't need is some fancy former justice Who starts crusades on a whim and disappears.
Now, off the record, I think you may be on to something, But if you want me to certify this class, You need to earn it.
300 plaintiffs.
- 300? - I've seen it all in this city.
Many of the people don't care enough to even want change.
You get them, you get me.
You have 48 hours.
- Sir, cyrus garza is 80% minority, 38 students per class.
We're just trying to even things out.
We just need a signature, please.
- Those are garza's numbers, While centennial is 70% white And has 22 kids per class.
- Who you tellin'? I got a seventh grader over at cyrus garza Reading at a fourth grade level.
- Well, that's why we're signing people up To be part of a class action-- try to make things better.
The graduation rate is 17%.
Tell me what you're gonna do.
You gonna make it 23? - I'll sign.
- Thank you.
- But it's t gonna change anything.
20 years ago my dad was signing a petition To improve our schools.
20 years from now, I expect my son will be signing one too.
- No, we're not in this for the money.
- You're not asking the district to pay for what it's done? - Well, yes, to compensate the students and their families.
- How much? - 7 million.
- And what's your cut? - Look, you're missing the point.
We 33%.
- I get the point just fine.
- Thank you, sir, so very much.
You won't regret this.
Ma'am, would you like to sign up for better schools? No? Sir, want a better future for your kids? - I'm here to talk about schools.
Garza's-- - If you would just take a moment of your time To help raise awareness of the school-- - This is not an interrogation.
We do not consent to an interrogation.
You have no right to hold her here.
- You can leave as soon as we get a dna sample.
- Forget it.
- Look, we found skin cells Underneath the victim's fingernails.
If they don't match your client, we can rule her out.
- And if she doesn't consent? - I gotta say, you guys are making this pretty hard For me to believe you had nothing to do with this.
- I don't give a crap what you believe.
I am innocent.
So you can take your kojak haircut, Your pocket protector, you can get the hell out of my way.
- Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! I experimented with a pocket protector as well, sir.
- Nobody's going anywhere.
You'll be released as soon as my lieutenant says you can go.
- Okay, what am I missing here? If you didn't do it, give him the dna And this'll be done.
- I can't.
- Why, because you fought with him? Your dna's not under his nails from that.
They won't find anything.
- Yeah, they will.
- Are you saying you did this? - No.
No! - Then what do you-- what are they gonna find? What you did in delaware? Good.
Good! I'm starting to think maybe there's something there Worth investigating.
Maybe I should go tell them.
- You do that, I swear to god-- - What, you're gonna kill me too? - Just get me out of here.
- Tell me you got triple digits.
- Almost.
21.
- 13.
- Ha.
7, and I broke a heel.
A kid was murdered.
I mean, you'd think people Would want something good to come out of this.
- Things have been bad for so long, I think people are just scared to keep their hopes up.
- We have 41 signatures.
Only 259 more to go.
- What we need is someone with a support base, Someone who has a loyal following Who will follow directly into this case.
- Sounds great.
You got any names? - I do.
- Mr.
Garza.
- Mayor.
You got my message? - You're suing hastings county, my county.
My school board.
You know, whatever problems exist Will be perceived to be my problems, And now you want my help.
- Well, this lawsuit's going to happen with or without you.
I'm just giving you a chance to get ahead of this.
- I'm up for re-election in less than a year.
You know that.
- And you can run on a platform of educational reform.
Honest man, cleaning up his own backyard.
I'm gonna do this, warner.
Now, you can join us and take the credit, Or fight us and take the blame.
The lord is the strength of my life.
- All right, you get your signatures.
But I want a press release in the morning, Calling me a A "great humanitarian," In those words.
- Welcome aboard, mr.
Mayor.
- Mm-hmm.
Mm-hmm.
- "though a host should encamp against me, "my heart shall not fear.
"though war should rise against me, In this will I be confident.
" Amen.
Please rise.
- We're not gonna let that boy die in vain.
It's a two-step plan.
First, you have to establish the segregation.
- Exactly.
This county has two schools.
Centennial academy, which is mostly white And cyrus garza, which is mostly black.
- But the question is why.
I mean, we need to prove that the county Is intentionally dividing the students.
- And we will.
Where are we on the transfer policy? - Well, the stats look pretty good for our case.
That's a pretty nice health plan you got going, buddy.
- Seriously.
I mean, the only thing missing is a cheeseburger.
- What about the clustering? - We're ready.
Not only are the schools being segregated, But so are the classes within the schools.
- Good.
Once we prove the segregation We move to sp p two.
Come in! We need to prove that it's affecting actual education.
- Yeah.
Well, for now, let's worry about step one.
We have to get ourselves a great first witness.
- I actually think that I have one.
There was a guy who came up to me at the canvass.
His name was, um, archibald - Yeah, breech.
I met him.
He's actually a member of the school board.
- He's the only member who came out to support us.
I mean, maybe you could get him to testify.
- Great.
Attack from the inside.
I like it.
Set up a meeting.
- Mr.
Breech, as a member Of the hastings county school board, I bet you know this county pretty well.
- I suppose.
- How many students? - About 2,500.
- You know the demographics, or do you need a reminder, sir? - I know them.
I'm not as old as I look, counsel.
The count is about 67% black, 33% percent white.
Most of the white families Are evenly distributed around the county.
We have a map over here.
Do you recognize it? - Yes.
That's hastings county.
It's divided into our two school districts: Centennial a academy on the top Cyrus garza's on the bottom.
- Okay, so how exactly does this work? - Uh, I know how it's supposed to work.
You go to school in the district where you live.
But that's not actually how it plays out? - No.
Our schools should reflect The demographics of the community.
Each school should be out 70% black, 30% white.
But in reality, Centennial academy is 70% white and 30% black.
Uh, cyrus garza is just the opposite.
- mr.
Breech, Why are there so many white students at centennial academy If they only make up 30% of the population? - Because the white students transfer.
Because every year for the last five years, We've let over 300 white students leave cyrus garza To go to centennial.
- Now why would the school board do that? - There's no good answer for it.
Because the white families want it, Because the county allows it.
- You're saying that the county Knows that they're segregating the schools? - Objection.
Leading.
- Sustained.
- Okay, what exactly are you saying, sir? - I'm saying the county willingly transfers White students from cyrus garza to centennial academy.
The lie goes something like this: Students learn where they're comfortable.
If whites want to learn together, fine, But I don't think it's wrong to ask If racism is also a factor.
- Thank you, mr.
Breech.
No further questions.
- Mr.
Breech, the fact is, You voted to approve every one of those transfers, didn't you? - Yes.
- But now here you sit, Wondering aloud if it was racist.
Are you saying you're a racist, sir? - No, I didn't speak up.
I'm gonna have to live with that.
But the school board is political.
- Well, the truth is, you didn't want to make any changes, Because no one was aware That there was any segregation in the first place.
- No, I was trying to see the bigger picture.
I have projects.
I have things I want for these kids.
I was afraid to alienate the board.
- You're not here for the kids Are you, mr.
Breech? This is about what you want, isn't it? So what's the plan, archie? You making a run for superintendent? - Objection.
- Overruled.
- Answer the question, mr.
Breech.
That's why you're here to testify today, isn't it? - I'm considering it, yes.
- No further questions, your honor.
- You can't just keep her here.
Either let her go, charge her, Or I file suit for wrongful imprisonment.
- Your client's free to go.
- She is? - We got a hit off the dna.
We know she's not the killer.
- Uh, uhWho is? You're free to go.
- What? You serious? - Yeah.
They found the woman who killed him.
She confessed when they asked for her dna.
She's right there.
- That's his wife.
That's greer kershaw.
I always thought she didn't believe us.
I mean, when valerie made her accusations, She stood by her husband.
- The detective said she didn't want him to find her.
- Yeah, because she knew it was true.
- You're the one that took valerie.
I wasn't brave enough to believe her then - Shh, shh.
- But I always knew, And the idea that he would find her Is she okay? - I'mI'm sure wherever she is, She's fine.
- Thank you.
- My name is marvin jackson.
I'm in charge of routing all the school buses in this county, Elementary to high school.
- Have the bus routes been impacted By all the transfers from garza to centennial? - You kidding? I could cut at least six buses from my fleet If I didn't have to deal with the crosstown transfers.
- Really? Why is that? - Well, see, the centennial And the garza bus routes overlap.
We drive the black kids to garza, Then we drive the white kids from the same area All the way over to centennial.
In fact, we drive 'em right past the garza school To get 'em there.
- Let me get this straight.
You bus white children Directly past the black schools every morning? - Yes, sir, we do, At the taxpayer's expense.
- So you're not just busing white kids out.
The county is taxing all local families to do it.
- Yes, sir.
- All right people, settle down.
- A moment, your honor.
- We need a recess.
- We gotta get to the school now.
- Short recess, your honor? - We got a call about an hour ago.
The county's shutting down all bus routes temporarily.
- Here or at centennial too? - Both.
No county buses to or from public schools.
This is going to kill us.
As it is, we have a problem with attendance, And if the working parent Has to personally drive their kids to school-- - Okay, this is just pushback.
The county is retaliating because of our lawsuit.
- Against the kids? I mean, that's wrong on so many levels.
- But it's not just the buses.
It's sports, art classes, After-school tutoring, everything's suspended.
- Let me be clear.
This will be the last day of county-wide bus service Until further notice.
I-- I had hoped we could avoid this-- - You can't do this.
We have jobs.
We can't drive our kids home after school.
- I get it.
Believe me.
But the fact is, We simply don't have the money to provide this service And battle a major class action lawsuit in the courts.
- Superintendent, when exactly did you make this call? - It wasn't my call.
This decision was made for me, And the man responsible is standing right here.
Mr.
Garza wants to talk about education in our schools.
Meanwhile, he is bankrupting this county, So he can get rich.
- Sir, if you have a problem with our case, Deal with me.
Don't hurt these kids.
- How much money are you making? What kind of commission Suddenly made you care about these children? - This school has my name on it, And it is my promise to the children of this county That when we leave, It will be run according to the constitution.
- The constitution won't drive my son Home from football practice.
- Yes, I understand that, sir.
- No, there won't be any practice, Not until this case is over.
No sports or extracurricular programs of any kind.
- Superintendent garver, we still have more questions.
- Oh, so do I.
Is any of this necessary? Do we really have to tear this county down Just to build it up again? Ask mr.
Garza.
He seems to have all the answers.
- I've been the superintendent of schools In hastings county for six years.
And I'll be honest, I take any allegation of racism To be a personal attack.
Look, I know you'd like to believe that as educators, We control every aspect of the system, But we don't.
The parents apply and we say yes.
- Do you review those transfer applications? - Not individually, no.
We simply don't have the manpower or money To review every application.
- So bottom line is you're saying, If the schools are segregated, It was never your intention-- - Objection.
Would you two like to switch places? Your honor, who exactly is testifying here? - Sustained.
- What I'm saying Is if white and black families Are separating themselves, We should be dealing with that, Not accusing the good people Who spend their days trying to teach our children.
- Your witness.
- Okay, so it's the public that wants to be segregated? - Apparently, there are some white families That prefer to attend a white-majority school.
- And, sir, you don't think you have a responsibility To prevent that? - It seems you do.
- You are a public official.
It is your duty to uphold the constitution.
- Oh, so I should impose my judgment? - No, sir, you should enforce the law.
This isn't about what some families want.
There was a time when half this country wanted slavery.
Mr.
Garver, you transfer hundreds of white students Out of the garza school every year.
Now, you knew that was causing segregation.
- Not intentionally.
- That wasn't my question.
I am asking if you knew the result, That centennial academy was becoming primarily white? - Yes.
- Yes.
Sir, are you familiar with the term, uh, "clustering"? - Yes.
- Now, you weren't just transferring The white students to centennial.
The ones who were still at the garza school Were clustered into a single class.
- Look, our priority is learning.
There is research to show that all students Learn better when they're comfortable.
- And white students aren't comfortable In a class with black students? Do you even hear yourself, sir? - Objection.
Argumentative.
- Lose the commentary, counsel.
- Thank you, your honor.
All right, let's talk about money, mr.
Garver.
The fact is, you don't spend it equally, do you? - We do our best.
- textbooks, the number of teachers per student, Salary, security.
In every major category, You spend more money on centennial academy.
- Well, that's a complicated issue.
Those students perform better, so they get more funding.
- Well, of course they perform better.
You invest in their education.
- Objection.
Argumentative.
- Sustained.
- Kelvin jones asked for a transfer.
He wanted out of the garza school, And you denied him.
- No.
- 300 applications were granted, one denial, The black student.
- We don't review each application, And I'd be very surprised if that happened.
- Oh, it happened.
But, hey, I'm sure race wasn't a factor.
After all, I know you consider The suggestion a personal attack.
- The only transfer application From a black student gets denied? That wasn't an accident.
- Well, maybe not, but how do we prove it? - If I want to transfer, Who do I go to that handles paperwork? - The superintendent's office, Who gives it to an executive assistant, who makes a file.
- We talk to that assistant first.
- Actually, I already did.
I called her to get our stats on the clustering.
She's new.
The old assistant got promoted.
She teaches sixth grade in renault county.
- Promoted? Maybe she got rewarded For keeping her mouth shut about that policy.
- Good work.
I'll take a ride down there and find out.
The superintendent just put his whole case on the line.
If we can prove that he denied kelvin's transfer Because he was black, we win.
- Excuse me.
I was looking for penny rogovin.
- You're early.
Come on in.
The conferences don't start for a half-hour, But you're more than welcome to Hello.
- Uh, ms.
Rogovin, I'm cyrus garza.
This is my law partner, al druzinsky.
We're not here for that.
- Mr.
Garza, of course, From the, um Well, I was going to say the supreme court, but - Yeah, well, I get that a lot.
Uh, seems that when you switch jobs, The old one kinda follows you around.
- That's why we're here, ma'am, to ask about your old job.
You used to work for superintendent garver? - Yes.
I've been reading about your lawsuit in the paper.
- We understand you handled All of the transfer requests for the county.
- I did.
- At least, until you got promoted To a teaching position.
- Promoted? - Well, we know the truth, ms.
Rogovin.
That's why we're here.
You knew the county was granting transfers To white kids only.
- Wait a second.
- Perhaps, that's why you got this job, as payback? - You don't know what you're talking about.
- Okay.
Why don't you explain it to us? - Look, I wasn't promoted.
I was fired.
I knew the transfers were wrong.
Hundreds of white students leaving garza every year.
- Did you tell the superintendent? - Yes.
And he ordered me to grant the transfers anyway.
I just I didn't want to be part of it.
I had to leave the county to find a teaching job.
- What about kelvin jones? Do you know who he is? - Of course.
His family also requested a transfer.
Twice.
- Ms.
Rogovin, you denied his applications.
The school didn't even care enough To respond to his request.
- No.
We all loved kelvin.
We did receive the requests, But the school never had a chance to respond.
- I was superintendent garver's executive assistant For three years.
Part of my job was to process all transfers.
- And did you receive a transfer request From the family of kelvin jones? - Yes, for each of the last two years.
Both times, kelvin came to see me in the office.
He knew that his father had applied for the transfers.
- He came to see you personally? - I never told anyone.
He asked me to withdraw his applications.
- What? - He was only 15.
I know it wasn't his decision to make, But I gave him back the forms.
- Did kelvin say why he wanted to withdraw those applications? - Objection.
Hearsay.
- Goes to his state of mind, your honor.
That's a hearsay exception.
- Overruled.
The witness may answer the question.
- He said that he didn't want to go to a white school.
He said that he wanted to be proud of his school, To stay and help make it better.
His parents only wanted what was best for him, But kelvin knew it wasn't only about him.
He knew the system was broken, So he stayed, And he died wanting to help fix it.
- Did you know the county was segregating Centennial academy and the garza school? - Yes.
And I told superintendent garver.
I showed him the numbers every year I was there.
- Every year.
And how did he respond? - He told me to grant them anyway.
- Did he say why, penny? As an educator and a public official, Did superintendent garver Say why he would intentionally let that happen? - I asked him once.
He just said that he didn't want to get involved.
- This isn't a thank you for defending me.
- O-kay.
- And if you say "you're welcome," I'm taking it back.
- How about if I say I'm sorry? - For thinking I could kill someone? Yeah.
- For doubting that you did right by valerie.
You saved her life.
- I don't just help rescue abused kids.
I was an abused kid.
The organization I work for Took me and my mom in when I was five.
They gave us new identities, And they moved us away from my father.
- Did he look for you? - Yeah, for years.
My dna's on file with the national center For missing and exploited children.
That's why I wouldn't give the cops my dna.
You know, if they did have it, They'd get a hit, and they'd know who I am.
- So lucinda pearl was a victim too.
- Yeah, but no one saved her.
- I don't know what to say.
- Just don't say "you're welcome.
" Pocket protector.
- You are so not welcome.
- "we conclude that in the field of public education, "the doctrine of 'separate but equal' has no place.
Separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.
" It's been over 50 years since the supreme court Wrote those words in brown v.
Board of ed.
Our highest court, some of our greatest minds, Recognized that when we are divided, When our children are kept separate And their standards of education are different, We fail to deliver on the promise of america.
I'm sorry to be here today.
I am sorry to tell you that our nation's public schools Are more segregated today Than they've been in over 40 years.
This situation in hastings county is unacceptable.
It is to me, and it should be to you.
The people who run this county know they are dividing it.
Centennial academy gets more money Than the garza school in every category.
And that's wrong, and I don't need to tell you that.
If you don't want to get involved, get out.
56 years And we're going backwards.
Let's take a step today, together.
Find the defendant liable.
- We need to do better.
Mr.
Garza's right.
That is very easy for him to say, But let's be clear.
This case isn't about us doing better.
It's about whether this county Intentionally segregated the public schools.
And the answer is no.
You heard superintendent garver.
This county grants all transfers.
So how can we be held liable for segregating schools When everyone has the equal right to transfer And every transfer is treated equally? Nobody here supports racism.
And if families in this county Are making choices based on race, Then let's educate them.
Let's stop them from wanting These transfers in the first place.
But let's not blame the very people Who have dedicated their lives to educating these kids.
So let's end this now.
Let's get back to the business of teaching.
Find the county not liable.
- Mr.
Garza, any rebuttal? Mr.
Garza? - "the business of teaching.
" I guess that's how we see it now As a business.
Kelvin jones didn't see it that way.
Because if he had, He would've bet everything on himself.
He would've left his school behind And he would have secured his future At centennial academy.
Instead, he invested everything he was, Everything he could be, For the good of others.
I won't say he was wrong, And I know you won't either.
- Members of the jury, have you reached a verdict? - We have, your honor.
- What say you? - In the matter of plaintiffs versus hastings county, State of alabama, We the jury, find for the plaintiffs And assess damages in the amount of $11 million.
- Order! Order! - Your honor, uh, may we approach? Judge, uh, before you adjourn-- - Oh, I'm not about to adjourn just yet.
In addition to the jury's verdict, I'm issuing an order of my own.
I'm instructing the county to stop all transfers And immediately take all necessary steps To reintegrate both these schools.
- Your honor, if I may Even with a reintegration order, Garza would take years To get up to speed with centennial academy.
- So what are you suggesting? - I don't want to wait.
I don't want these kids to wait.
I'm asking you to merge the schools.
- Hang on.
- That's not a bad idea, mr.
Harmon.
I mean, centennial's had it good for a long time.
I don't see why they can't share the wealth.
- Thank you, your honor.
- There's still one more question.
If I merge the two, what should I call it, Centennial academy or the garza school? - Actually, I had an idea on that too.
- Kelvin jones.
That's what they're calling it? - Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? - Congratulations.
- Mr.
Garza, I so wish kelvin had met you.
- Ah.
This belongs to you.
I know what I said, but, uh, I'd like to keep it.
Our offer for it is, uh, $3.
6 million That's our share of the verdict.
- With your permission, we'd like to start A scholarship fund in kelvin's name.
- I don't know what to say.
- Just say yes, mr.
Jones.
- Leave it to you, man.
Somebody names a school for you And you obliterate it off the face of the earth.
- You know what the hardest part of it's gonna be? - When they take your name off the sign? - Telling claire we just gave back the firm's $3 1/2 million.