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  • Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban (Merged)

    http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orange/orl-disney2907jun29,0,5458100.story?coll=orl_tab01_lay out


    Disney reverses 4 teens' lifetime ban

    Scott Powers and Henry Pierson Curtis | Sentinel Staff Writers June 29, 2007 The four Florida State University football prospects who were kicked out of Downtown Disney for loitering last week and banned for life from Walt Disney World can now come back.

    Disney World announced Thursday that it has decided to reduce the sanctions against the four high-schoolers, whose banishment last weekend amplified a controversy about Disney's recent efforts to reduce teen loitering and sparked accusations of racial profiling. All four of the students are 17 years old and black.

    Disney officials, after talking with the mother of one of the teens, decided to revise the trespass warnings so that the four are banned only from Downtown Disney -- not from the theme parks, water parks or other parts of Disney World. And the Downtown Disney ban will last only for one year, not a lifetime.



    That means that, shortly after they are ready to graduate from high school next spring -- they'll all be seniors this fall -- the ban will be lifted entirely.

    But the families of the teens were uncertain Thursday how to respond to Disney's decision. One parent said they would discuss it and get back to Disney today.

    "We were hoping they would lift the ban entirely. We felt like they shouldn't have been banned at all. We also wanted an apology," said Mark Nugent, stepfather of Vincent Williams, a football star at Ridge Community High School in Polk County. "It looks like we're not getting either of those two things."

    Final decision, not an offer

    Disney has not changed its mind about the incident last Friday and is not contemplating an apology, spokeswoman Jacquee Polak said. She also said the move to reduce the sanctions was a final decision by the resort, not an offer.

    Polak would not elaborate on what had emerged during discussions with the four teens' families that led Disney World to scale back its sanctions against the students, all of whom have given oral commitments to attend Florida State University in 2008.

    "Our review of the incident has not changed our determination that the behavior of these four individuals was not appropriate," Polak said.

    Crackdown on loitering

    The four students -- who, in addition to Williams, also included Nigel Carr, Avis Commack and Nickolas Moody -- were kicked off Disney property as part of larger crackdown on youth loitering this month that has resulted in dozens of trespass warnings and banishments.

    Polak said Thursday's decision does not affect the other trespass cases, though Disney could reconsider any case if asked.

    Disney World had grown concerned this spring about teen loitering and the possibility of an emerging street-gang presence at Downtown Disney, a complex of stores, restaurants, nightclubs and shows.

    So two weeks ago, Disney security officers, bolstered by Orange County deputy sheriffs, began a late-night crackdown on Fridays and Saturdays, hoping to drive out loitering youth before trouble could begin.

    Those youths who cannot convince Disney security officers that they have a good reason to be in Downtown Disney late at night are told to leave; those who then refuse to do so are issued trespass warnings banning them from Disney World for life and are expelled from the property.

    When the Orlando Sentinel obtained 46 Disney World trespass-warning documents from the past two weekends, all but one turned out to have been issued to black or Hispanic visitors.

    That led some of the family members, including Nugent and a Philadelphia-based civil-rights lawyer -- Adrian J. Moody, father of Nickolas, one of the four football players -- to openly question whether Disney's security was using racial profiling to target and drive out minority youth.

    The elder Moody, however, sounded encouraged Thursday by Disney's response.

    "That makes me feel a little better," he said. "I think they should give these kids some kind of an apology, but I need to look into this more."

    Disney has maintained that the crackdown has been aimed at loitering youth and possible gang members regardless of ethnicity or race. The four players who were banned late last Friday had loitered for more than an hour, responded inappropriately to security officers and refused to leave when told to go, Disney officials have said.

    Sheriff's Office concurs

    The Sheriff's Office has backed up the resort and agreed Thursday that the incident had been handled properly.

    "The Orange County Sheriff's Office from the very beginning of this case took appropriate action at the request of Walt Disney World and issued proper trespass warnings," sheriff's Capt. Mark Strobridge said. "It is and remains Walt Disney World's decision to set the guidelines and enforce trespass warnings as they see fit."

    There is no formal appeals process for lifetime trespass bans, but the company does review trespass warnings and listens whenever people want to discuss them, Polak said.

    Other people who think they have been unfairly banished from the resort can always call and ask to discuss their cases, she said. She suggested people could start with the Disney World general switchboard, 407-824-2222.

    Scott Powers can be reached at spowers@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5441. Henry Pierson Curtis can be reached at 407-420-5257 or hcurtis@orlandosentinel.com.





    I believe that these kids got what they deserved for their actiions.
    sigpic


    Originally posted by Phonedave
    Well, if your parents can't teach you, maybe you can learn from a taser.

  • #2
    Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

    "Disney has maintained that the crackdown has been aimed at loitering youth and possible gang members regardless of ethnicity or race. The four players who were banned late last Friday had loitered for more than an hour, responded inappropriately to security officers and refused to leave when told to go, Disney officials have said."

    Interesting turn of events but at least Disney did not recant completely. Rules are rules and if they aren't enforced there is no reason to have them.

    More on the story here: http://www.local6.com/news/13592928/detail.html

    Comment


    • #3
      Disney apology could cool talk about racial profiling

      http://www.orlandosentinel.com/busin...dlines-tourism

      Thomas: Disney apology could cool talk about racial profiling

      Mike Thomas COMMENTARY June 28, 2007 I must confess to the crime of loitering at Downtown Disney.

      You can find me at that toy store with the Mr. Potato Head bin, watching my kids slap in eyeballs and ears.

      Just hanging out.



      Not spending money.

      But in my defense I keep my pants pulled up, don't harass other guests and don't curse Disney security, which by now must be desperately looking for white folks to boot out of Downtown Disney.

      A crackdown on Downtown Disney loitering seems to target kids of color. That includes Garnet and Gold, given that some Florida State recruits were swept up in the bust.

      Mickey is in a real bind here.

      Disney sells an escape from reality. That includes removing the mental burden of fearing for your safety.

      To deliver this product, Disney needs to maintain control. That is why Walt bought 27,000 acres, to separate his kingdom from our anarchy.

      Disney controls access. It controls parking. That deters criminals from prowling around, looking for victims. This is why you rarely read about violent crimes on Disney property, whereas they are not all that rare on other tourism strips.

      But now we have this hybrid place called Downtown Disney.

      True, it is Disney. But you can drive right in and park your car without paying a dime or driving through a gate. On top of that, you can go in a bar and get drunk.

      All this tends to loosen control.

      That was the risk Disney took when it delved into nighttime entertainment. And so I'm not entirely sympathetic to its current plight.

      The reality is that such venues attract teenagers looking for a cheap place to loiter. Downtown Orlando, Winter Park, International Drive and almost any shopping mall have all had their problems with kids.

      If they are white kids in their Calvin Kleins hanging around Winter Park Village, they are treated as a nuisance at most. If they are black and Hispanic kids in their baggy pants hanging around Downtown Disney, they are treated as a threat.

      You could argue it's racist.

      You could argue statistical probabilities about which group is more likely to commit a crime.

      The unfortunate reality is that Central Florida's epidemic of violent crime is centered in low-income, minority neighborhoods.

      Another unfortunate reality is that a majority of young, minority males are good kids lumped into a bad stereotype.

      I do not doubt that Disney has a problem with wannabe gangstas. Last week a 15-year-old was caught with a loaded pistol. And then there was that alleged armed abduction of a Connecticut couple from the Downtown Disney parking lot.

      This threatens the perception of Disney control. It tarnishes the image that once you drive on the premises, you are wrapped tightly in Mickey's security blanket.

      That image is why a shooting in downtown Orlando might not even be reported, whereas a shooting on Disney property would be national news.

      Disney is not a racist company.

      It targets Hispanics and blacks in its marketing. Last year it booted far more white kids than minorities.

      If you want to understand Disney's motivation, think dollars, not color. It has a lot more to lose when violence breaks out at one of its venues.

      Disney has to deal with the growing number of teenagers settling in at Downtown Disney. The problem with any crackdown of this magnitude is that mistakes are made.

      To keep the crackdown credible, Disney needs to admit when that's the case, as it appears to be with these FSU recruits, and apologize.

      Mike Thomas can be reached at 407-420-5525 or mthomas@orlandosentinel.com. His blog is OrlandoSentinel.com/mikethomas.
      sigpic


      Originally posted by Phonedave
      Well, if your parents can't teach you, maybe you can learn from a taser.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

        I'll keep that in mind and will have to look for that rule regarding being black and young in downtown disney. Funny, I've never seen that one listed anywhere before.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

          Originally posted by kcnole View Post
          I'll keep that in mind and will have to look for that rule regarding being black and young in downtown disney. Funny, I've never seen that one listed anywhere before.
          I'm pretty sure that the rule has to do with loitering at DTD, not racial profiling.
          sigpic
          When attractions were original

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          • #6
            Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

            Ha!
            That is how the world turns.
            Be warned Disney, if you ban a person of color, it will backfire.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

              I'm pretty sure that the rule has to do with loitering at DTD, not racial profiling.
              Unless of course the only people you tag for loitering on the weekend you decide to crack down are young black guys. I'm certain they had several white people loitering as well as older people loitering yet we don't see them getting kicked out. I'm all for getting the gang presence out of the area, but once it was obvious that these guys had no gang affiliation they should have moved on.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

                So then where does the following occurence (link below) fit into the grand scheme of things regarding Disney Security, race, park rules and breaking them? These folks weren't immune to the consequences nor was there any backlash following their punishment:

                http://www.micechat.com/forums/showt...ighlight=taser
                Last edited by tjcjr; 06-29-2007, 11:37 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

                  Originally posted by kcnole View Post
                  Unless of course the only people you tag for loitering on the weekend you decide to crack down are young black guys. I'm certain they had several white people loitering as well as older people loitering yet we don't see them getting kicked out. I'm all for getting the gang presence out of the area, but once it was obvious that these guys had no gang affiliation they should have moved on.
                  "Those youths who cannot convince Disney security officers that they have a good reason to be in Downtown Disney late at night are told to leave; those who then refuse to do so are issued trespass warnings ..."

                  First off, the above has become a standard, acceptable practice now at many malls and shopping centers around the country. If you are there to browse the stores with the intention of possibly making a purchase, eating at a food establishment or seeing a movie then there is no cause for concern. However if you are found wandering the walkways with no particular purpose for an extended period of time then that is considered loitering and you are subject to disciplinary action. Downtown Disney, being a similar venue, is simply enforcing the same rules.

                  I wasn't there and can't vouch for who was being targeted, how or why but according to the original report, one of the things these gentlemen told security was that they were going to the movies yet apparently that didn't happen and they were seen instead, wandering the property. When spotted again later they were attempting to gain access to an over 21 club after hours. After all was said and done they refused to cooporate in any way with security.

                  All in all, not a really smart moves if you are looking to avoid suspicion or avoid being 'targeted' no matter what your race.
                  Last edited by tjcjr; 06-29-2007, 11:50 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

                    Originally posted by kcnole View Post
                    Unless of course the only people you tag for loitering on the weekend you decide to crack down are young black guys. I'm certain they had several white people loitering as well as older people loitering yet we don't see them getting kicked out. I'm all for getting the gang presence out of the area, but once it was obvious that these guys had no gang affiliation they should have moved on.
                    I agree completely. When you build a really nice shopping mall like Downtown Disney in a location where it is easily accesible to non Disney guests and also don't charge admission, you are basically saying "hey kids, come hang out" whether you want to convey that message or not. If Disney had build DTD way deeper into the resort they would likely not have these problems.
                    Last edited by GhostHost2; 06-29-2007, 11:55 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

                      I don't care what color a person is, if your loitering somewhere and its against the rules, you break those rules, it has consequences. Whether or not this is racial profiling, we have no way of knowing. I suppose the only way to determine that is for Disney to tell us the number of different races they have banned. Although I just don't see them giving us that information.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

                        Originally posted by SummerInFL View Post
                        I don't care what color a person is, if your loitering somewhere and its against the rules, you break those rules, it has consequences. Whether or not this is racial profiling, we have no way of knowing. I suppose the only way to determine that is for Disney to tell us the number of different races they have banned. Although I just don't see them giving us that information.

                        It is against the rules, but I am sure there were a ton of other loiters at DTD at the same time. If Disney really wanted to keep loiters out, they should have build it much deeper into the resort.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

                          I'm pretty sure that the rule has to do with loitering at DTD, not racial profiling.
                          Trying to sound as PC as I can.
                          I doubt that racial profiling is really going on. What's the color/non-color percentage their for locals? I know in SoCal, it would be overwhemingly Latino, so if most of the local kids being busted for tresspassing turn out to be Latino, does it come to a surprise?

                          It's like going to Japan, and being surprised that most of the local kids have dark hair.

                          I'm sure 'Tad' and 'Muffy' spend their time hanging out in the park where they spend money. 'Carlos' and 'Tyrone' have already been chased away from the other malls, and are just shuffling around with nothing to do nowhere to be, and if they are not spending money, why should they be there.

                          I tell my kids not to hang out in stores. If they are not going to buy anything get the heck out, they have no business their.

                          It's just one notch below the 'Babysitter' AP pass that Disney used to offer, then people wonder "Why are all the kids just hanging about, possibly causing trouble out of boredom?"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

                            Originally posted by GhostHost2 View Post
                            If Disney really wanted to keep loiters out, they should have build it much deeper into the resort.

                            Do you really think that the actual location of DTD is the problem? If it were a few miles in more everything would be OK.
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kwwdFhJWDK0

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                            • #15
                              Re: Disney Reverses 4 Teens' Lifetime Ban

                              well according to one of the parents who just happens to be a civil rights attorney, of the sixty or so names that are on this so called list, 40 of them are minorities. I haven't been to DTD in awhile, are signs posted throughout the area that say the rules? Unfortunately many gang members, not all of them of course, are minorities , but if there isn't anything posted that says no loitering, then the father has a good case against the company.

                              Comment

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