After a written threat about a school shooting by a 10-year-old boy in Florida, people online have criticized the police for releasing his mug shot and subjecting him to a “perp walk”.
This criticism was reinforced when the New York Post also published the photo of the boy who was arrested for making a shooting threat against his school
The boy threatened to shoot his school Patriot Elementary in Cape Cod, Florida. He can also be seen in an earlier video being taken into custody by Florida police.
Now, some online commentators are condemning both the news site and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for releasing the images.
The threat came shortly after the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where a gunman armed with an AR-15 barricaded himself inside Robb Elementary School, killing 19 children and two teachers.
“The Lee County Sheriff’s Office did the right thing by investigating all threats, including from children,” one person said on Facebook, responding to the police post. “But I’m not sure putting a minor on social media is the solution. Giving him consequences is appropriate, but of course look at his family and make sure he’s not a victim himself. It can be a cry for help.”
Although the threat was ruled “fake” by Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, the boy was still charged as a juvenile for writing a mass shooting threat.
According to a W Radio interview with Marceno, on May 28, the school’s threat assessment team received word of a text message threat from the boy. The text sent to a classmate read “get ready for water day,” along with a Google image of assault rifles.
“We have zero tolerance,” Marceno told W radio. “We don’t wait a second. Any threat, whether false or real, will be treated as real, and the result is that this child will be charged with a written threat to commit a mass shooting by Florida state law.”
Under Florida state law, juvenile records including name, age, and photo may be released if the child is charged with a crime that would be considered a felony as an adult.
“The child was booked as a youth,” Marceno told W Radio. “But I will tell you that we will not play games.”
Prior to releasing his mugshot, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office also posted video of the minor’s arrest on its public Facebook page. The decision to share the mugshot and the Perp Walk drew a lot of criticism, especially as police in Uvalde have faced heavy criticism for their handling of the shooting.
“The sheriff has already determined the threat was bogus but has chosen to promote his name and image on social and traditional media,” said a commenter on Facebook. “None of that makes anyone safer; it just guarantees a lifetime of shame for a literal kid who obviously made a big mistake but doesn’t deserve it. The error should not be ignored. Instead, the child and his family should be provided with the social services necessary to actually ensure his success.”
in one tweet until postScreenshots from this video of the arrested boy blurred his face.
Another story using the mugshot was published the next day. It was then used again in a subsequent story about the boy’s father. While some have criticized it post for image selection, Other deemed necessary as a deterrent.
That post did not respond to a request for comment. However, the outlet interviewed Marceno and he defended his decision.
“I know some people get upset – it’s a 10-year-old right? The last thing we want to do is handcuff a 10-year-old. … I have to accept this threat [as] real.”
Marenco said the decision was a message.
“We will make sure that we send a clear message of zero tolerance,” Marceno said. “A lot of parents said, ‘My kid saw this kid in handcuffs. You’ve seen his mugshot, my kid is scared and now he knows not to use threats.” And we want that message.”
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*Initial publication: May 31, 2022 3:23 pm CDT
https://www.dailydot.com/debug/police-shooting-mugshot-boy/ Police release mugshot of 10-year-old after he shot at threat