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The Vox Box

Excessive or Required?

If fifteen-year-old Malika Calhoun thought being arrested was bad, she was in for a surprise. Calhoun and her friend "borrowed" her friend's mother's car without permission. After they were arrested, Calhoun claims the police officer was verbally abusive and that they exchanged words. Once she was placed in a holding cell, jail footage shows Calhoun kicking her shoe at one police officer, who responded by slamming her up against a wall, throwing her to the ground, and pulling her up by the hair.

You can see Malika's interview and footage of the assult here

While police force is often required in dangerous situations, it is clear that Calhoun acted out of anger, and that the officers involved were not in any danger. Was their response simply procedure, or do you think excessive force was indeed at play?

In 2006, then-editor Steve Smith of The Spokesman-Review had the idea of starting a publication for an often forgotten audience: teenagers. The Vox Box was a continuation of the Vox, an all-student staffed newspaper published by The Spokesman-Review. High school student journalists who staffed the Vox made all content decisions as they learn about the trade of journalism. This blog's mission was to give students an opportunity to publish their voices. The Vox Box and the Vox wrapped up in June 2009, but you can follow former staffers' new blog at