Fights prompt request for extra security

Published 12:00 am Friday, April 25, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

Shortly after the school bell rang, police were called to break up a fight.

According to witnesses, more than 30 people were involved in a free-for-all on Broad Street near Selma High School. Selma police officers quickly dispersed the crowd. One participant was taken to the police station. Information was not released as to whether the 16-year-old was detained or just questioned.

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Although some Selma High students were involved, not all of the participants attend school said the principal and witnesses.

According to witnesses, the fights take place after school on streets adjacent to the school and in alleys behind apartments across from Broad Street.

Incidents like this have so far taken place off campus, school officials and witnesses say.

Crystal Boykin, public relations supervisor for the Selma City School System, said the school has talked directly with police chief William Riley III about getting additional patrols around the school.

Other witnesses said the fighting is regular and between gangs calling themselves Crips and Bloods. The Crips wear blue and the Bloods red.

Smith says she has raised her seven children and some of her grandchildren in the Rangedale area. But with so much violence going on around the area, she is considering moving.

Selma High junior Lee Wiggins and senior Tonya Tate said fights that big have happened a couple of times, but said the disagreement between the groups must have been &8220;something big&8221; this time.

Lashanda Smith, the mother of a 3-year-old son, lives across the street from the school and says the fighting goes off like clockwork. She said youths fight and smoke in the alley behind her apartment building.