Many people look at skateboarders and see only the baggy clothes and the backwards hats. They hear only the “punk” slang. But most skateboarders, even those who do fit the stereotypical clothes and speech, are just kids trying to have fun doing something together outside.
Skateboarder Zebadiah Cousins-Joyce, 16, from Montpelier, got his skateboard taken away by the police for skateboarding at the Skinny Pancake Restaurant. After getting his board back weeks later, the police threatened to take it again, but this time he wasn’t even using it.
“I was walking in the parking garage and holding my board, and someone on security called the cops and said I was skating, but my board wasn’t even on the ground. When the cops came they asked to take my board again, not knowing that I wasn’t even using it,“ said Zeb.
“And no, I didn’t give it to them.”
Burlington recently spent $1.2 million on a skatepark for the Burlington city waterfront area so that people will have something to do, something to keep them active, and something to keep them out of trouble. With Montpelier being as nice and healthy as it is, why wouldn’t a nice new skatepark be a good idea?
Every day, skateboarders in Vermont are pushing to find new spots to skate, and at most of the spots in downtown Montpelier, the kids get yelled at and criminalized for skating.
“A personal experience i had with being criminalized or targeted, was three weeks ago, when skating downtown, a police officer stopped me and told me that it is not allowed in town, also saying that biking and scootering is illegal on the sidewalk as well, while one of each, ‘bike and scooter,’ rode behind me and the officer did nothing,” said Zeb.
Montpelier getting a skatepark would be beneficial to the skaters in the community, and also the residents of Montpelier that don’t like skateboarding, because it would challenge their stereotypes if they saw what kinds of kids actually skateboard.