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Piedmont Hills High School Student Wins DA's "Justice for All" Writing Contest

For release on August 15, 2017

Terry Harman
Assistant District Attorney 
(408) 792-2826


  First place winner Nidhi Naroth (left) standing next to District Attorney Jeff Rosen (center) and second place winner Bernice Ou-Yang (right). 

An 18-year-old Piedmont Hills High School graduate has been awarded with the annual District Attorney’s “Justice for All” writing award, winning $1,000 for her poem “A Murderer At Large.”  

Nidhi Naroth’s poem will be prominently published on the DA’s website and other venues.  Naroth and the other winners, all hailing from Piedmont Hills High, were presented with their awards by District Attorney Jeff Rosen today in the Santa Clara County Government Center’s breezeway at 70 West Hedding St, in San Jose. 

DA Rosen said: “It is wonderful to see the next generation making an effort to bridge the gap and discuss an issue that is troubling not only our community, but communities across the nation.” 

The “Justice for All” contest, open to all local high school students, is an annual event to raise awareness on a particular criminal justice topic.  The focus of this year’s contest was “Race and Law Enforcement – Let’s Work Together to Make It Better.”  San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia was a guest judge.  

The three winning poems will be on display from August 15th through August 18th in the public breezeway.  

Bernice Ou-Yang, an 18-year-old recent graduate, won $500 for her poem about the fear and lack of communication causing violence in the streets and distress at home.  Chujun Xu, a 15-year-old incoming sophomore, won $300 for his poem pointing out the issue of prank calls leading to fake police reports and slowed-down response times.  

Naroth hopes that her poem on this controversial topic will encourage people to step back and realize that, “Everyone has a story and it isn’t always black and white.”  

The contest, which drew in entries from schools across the county, received many of its submissions, including the winning poems, from attendees of Inspire Kids Tutoring on Piedmont Road, in San Jose. 

The county-approved money used to fund the awards came from the District Attorney’s Asset Forfeiture funds – illegal proceeds confiscated from criminals.

A Murderer at Large


I did nothing wrong, why did he pull me over

I have the slightest suspicion that hes not sober


His car flashes red and blue commanding me to be scared

I do this all the time but Im never fully prepared


This correct stranger in steel blacks and unfriendly blues

Im dressed in my career, my livelihood down to the bruise


Hes marching with excessive pride

I walk in simple strides


He flaunts cold badge of power and authority

A symbol of what Ive done and my dedicated seniority


I think of news reports of people like me dying because of their skin color

I think about radio reports of police being killed during a pullover


I hope he doesnt use his gun

I hope he doesnt have a gun


He doesnt know I have a family expecting me

I have a family awaiting anxiously


Maybe Ill have to use my gun

I hope I dont have to use my gun


My sweaty hands hold at the barrel

My cautious hand on my holster expecting peril


He comes up to the window

I come up to the window


I see the gun in his hands

I see the gun in his hands


Im scared

Im scared


I pull the trigger

I pull the trigger


Two bodies lay lifelessly

Both died thinking they shot righteously


The media will polarize the situation

Feed the issue into an already divided nation


Theyll try to pass judgement on a delicate controversy

Theyll try to decide which dead man receives blame and which one deserves mercy



Which family deserves to mourn more

Which side gets to keep the score


But both are a victim of something much bigger

For it was the murderer called fear that pulled both triggers​