Cops Arrest 12-Year-Old For Pointing 'Finger Guns' At Classmates

from the finally-the-gov't-is-getting-serious-on-gun-control dept

If we keep insisting on putting cops in schools, things like this are never going to stop happening:

A 12-year-old Overland Park girl formed a gun with her fingers, pointed at four of her Westridge Middle School classmates one at a time, and then turned the pretend weapon toward herself.

Police hauled her out of school in handcuffs, arrested her and charged the child with a felony for threatening.

No one wants to talk about this case. Not the police. Not the school. And not the district. But the arrest no one wants to discuss is only the latest arrest of a minor over something extremely minor. Not that you’d assume it was minor if you read the court documents.

[A]ccording to Johnson County District Court documents, on Sept. 18, the girl “unlawfully and feloniously communicated a threat to commit violence, with the intent to place another, in fear, or with the intent to cause the evacuation, lock down or disruption in regular, ongoing activities …” or created just the risk of causing such fear.

This arrest over finger guns follows similar arrests of minors over things no one in their right mind would consider to be criminal acts. But the combination of zero tolerance policies and actual cops roaming school halls, this is what students have been subjected to in the recent past:

– A ten-year-old student arrested for a finger gun-based “threat”

– A seven-year-old suspended for bringing a “weapon” — a pen that “buzzed” when touched — to school

– A seven-year-old suspended for brandishing a “gun” he made by taking a strategic bite out of his Pop Tart

– A student suspended for taking a hand-drawn picture of a bomb to school with him [actual drawing posted below]

The school’s only statement is that it had nothing to do with the arrest — that the arrest was entirely law enforcement’s decisions. But that assumes school administrators are incapable of exercising discretion. The arrest was made in the principal’s office and a school resource officer recommended the student be arrested. No one in the office even attempted to prevent this from happening, apparently. What the SRO recommended is what happened and the school is now trying to distance itself from its complicity in this debacle.

Even assuming the anecdotal background is true, this arrest is still overkill.

A person familiar with a more detailed incident report spoke to The Star on condition of anonymity. The person said that during a class discussion, another student asked the girl, if she could kill five people in the class, who would they be? In response, the girl allegedly pointed her finger pistol — like the ones many children use playing cops and robbers.

This might make the incident a bit more disturbing, but it should not elevate it to the level of a crime — especially not a felony. But that’s what happened. The school may have felt compelled to accept the officer’s arrest recommendation. The school may have felt bound by policy to pursue disciplinary action. But this is a 12-year-old surrounded by fully-functioning adults — none of whom felt compelled to exercise their discretion or common sense. Finger guns on a schoolyard shouldn’t result in felony charges. There’s a lot of middle ground that no one’s exploring and it’s going to ruin the lives of students who have no idea their classroom jokes are running headlong into people who let their policies and protocols do all of their thinking for them.

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Comments on “Cops Arrest 12-Year-Old For Pointing 'Finger Guns' At Classmates”

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A Guy says:

So, they took the girls actions as a "true threat" under the Supreme Court’s exception to free speech rights (or fighting words maybe). This seems like something they could just keep suing law enforcement for false arrest for. Those are obviously not true threats or fighting words.

The kid who drew the picture of the bomb has a REALLY great case against the officer/police station. They can’t arrest people for distributing the anarchists cookbook or real atom bomb instructions unless the provider knows it will be used in an illegal act.

What a bunch of assholes.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Well, yes I agree in part to absolutely what you say, but at 12 years old kids are fully aware of the tragic consequences of shootings today, especially keen on how uptight everyone is in schools also. This could be a wake up call for this young girl. This might be a positive action if she can make it one. To see the inside of a jail cell and to feel the sturdiness of the bars may very well convince her she does not want to go down that destructive road. I hope for her sake she can get a grip on something positive out of this experience.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:

To see the inside of a jail cell and to feel the sturdiness of the bars may very well convince her she does not want to go down that destructive road.

Or it may convince her that she does want to go down that destructive road once she has access to a proper gun. It’s sufficient to have 1% of those approached in that manner feel justified to escalate on an injust society to significantly increase the number of school shootings.

This is just not an age where you want to force contemplating life and death decisions on a child.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Force contemplating life or death decisions on a child..

She is threatening her classmates chosing those life or death decisions already on her classmates! Someone needs to sit her in front of a large tv and show her about eight hours worth of murdered and tortured humans until she just can’t stand herself. Like Malcom McDowell in the movie Clockwork Orange.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Good ‘ol fashioned law ‘n order, fire ‘n brimstone, blah, blah.
Is it strange how we expect so much more out of our adolescent children than we do out of our elected officials,law enforcement, religious leaders?
Funny how most law ‘n order types actually believe the law is enforced equally, and if you can’t do the time don’t do the crime and they probably think everyone in prison is guilty.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well, yes I agree in part to absolutely what you say, but at 12 years old kids are fully aware of the tragic consequences of shootings today, especially keen on how uptight everyone is in schools also. This could be a wake up call for this young girl. This might be a positive action if she can make it one. To see the inside of a jail cell and to feel the sturdiness of the bars may very well convince her she does not want to go down that destructive road. I hope for her sake she can get a grip on something positive out of this experience.

What in the FUCK are you smoking?

A wake up call????? The one who needs to be woken up is you. If you are truly that terrorized by someone pointing a finger at another, you may as well start screaming "alalalalalalalahhhhh!" because you have capitulated to the terrorists’ every desire. You have implemented the very thing that Osama Bin Laden was hoping for not only in the 9/11 attacks, but also in his death. Congratulations, you sir are the reason the terrorists have won. You’ve made pointing a finger at someone a felony offense, and desire the stripping of a 12 year old’s innocence through imprisonment, out of pure fear.

Seek help. You desperately need it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Easy Billy, the reason you can sit and accuse me of letting terrorists win when I was really hoping this 12 year old girl doesn’t become one with support from idiots like you is because we still live in a free society in part because of people like me who joined the military to help keep America free. What have you done? You twist logic around in your demented brain and regurgitate it up for all the world to see. Bravo bravo.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You are young, someday if you live long enough you may become wise, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. It is a fact that the index finger was used to imitate a gun, but how does anyone know if she has access to firearms for one, and how seriously does she actually want to kill the people she pointed to and for what reason? It wasn’t until she was questioned by the arresting officer that she was arrested. We don’t have that conversation here. Apparently she was hostile enough with her answers, so he arrested her. Will it stick? Probably not. But maybe she needs the wake up call and that officer wasn’t going to take a chance. You are not a very nice person to attack my character from what I wrote. So GO FUCK YOURSELF sounds like you won’t have a problem Dick.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I don’t believe 12-year-olds should be arrested for expressing disturbing thoughts about wanting to kill her classmates or for being hostile to an officer. Period. If she had weapons on her, that would have been made public. Otherwise, any threat she posed was not immediate enough to justify an arrest. There were other options available that would not endanger others at the school and did not involve arresting a 12-year-old girl.

I also have my doubts about whether kids actually get “scared straight” by spending time in jail or juvenile detention.

Whatever fears there may have been about the kid, the only actions taken was pointing a finger gun. I don’t believe either that or any words spoken are sufficient to justify an arrest. That should be a last resort when dealing with children.

cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I read that she ended her "hit list" with herself. We can only pray that her parents get her help to cope with her feelings and whatever gave her reason to put those kids on a hit list, and then change her school. Arresting and charging this girl is only going to make her more likely to act out violently, whether it’s towards others or herself. She needed compassion and she got handcuffs. It’s plain wrong.

cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I would agree that it was just a shade darker than typical twisted talk of preteens if she didn’t supposedly end it with herself, that’s what I find worrying. Otherwise, a simple conversation with the child to explain that such games can be frightening to other kids and misconstrued as threatening by others not in on the game would be sufficient. And I don’t see any harm in the adults taking a moment to check in the girl and give her an ear or a shoulder if she needs it. Those preteen and early teen years are tough.
Oh, and those damn school resource officers need to go. They are just cops by another name and like dog shit, stink just the same.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Good points, well made. Mind you, it’s possible that she naively thought that pretending to end the pretend massacre with herself was just an effort at being fair and equal. After all, she pretended to kill her classmates, that would have made them wonder if she actually liked them. By pretending to kill herself as well, it’s possible she meant to indicate that she felt she would deserve death too if she really did such a thing. Kid logic.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Saying that, if you had a gun and were to kill someone with a gun, you would kill these specific classmates, is not a true threat if the kid did not have a firearm on her person or on school grounds. Also, it’s not a “true threat” when the victim of the violence is the speaker. The fact that, if you were twelve and were one of the people this girl indicated as a potential target, you would beat her up, doesn’t make her words or actions any more of an obviously true threat.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Again, how does that make what she said an “obviously true threat” or an arrestable offense?

While I do find the idea that you (or someone else) would beat her up disturbing, I wasn’t actually criticizing you for saying that; only that it doesn’t refute the point the other person was trying to make like you suggested. How other kids would respond is not part of the “true threat” analysis, and we don’t throw people in jail for saying things that provoke retaliation because of the retaliation.

We aren’t talking about how kids would or should respond to such a threat but how adults should. I could see disciplinary measures like suspension, talking with the parents, or mandatory counseling, but an arrest seems rather excessive.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

You’re completely missing my point here. Let’s recap.

Someone said that this 12-year-old girl’s words and actions don’t constitute an “obviously true threat” in the legal sense.

You responded to that with incredulity, saying that if you were one of the kids threatened, you would “beat the shit out of him after school.” (sic)

I have no idea how what you said has any bearing on the thing you were responding to, so I ask you to clarify.

You respond by saying that, no, you wouldn’t beat her up, but someone would.

I note that that doesn’t actually answer my question, and ask for you to explain what that has to do with whether what the girl did and said constituted an “obviously true threat”. I also note that the topic isn’t about how kids respond but how the adults did or should respond.

You are now explaining how being arrested will teach the girl and/or her parents about how what she did was wrong and why it was taken seriously.

You still haven’t answered the question I actually asked here: why does it matter if other kids will beat up the girl for threatening her when the discussion is about whether or not an arrest is appropriate, specifically by talking about whether or not what she said and did constituted an “obviously true threat” in a legal sense.

To be clear, for the purposes of this particular conversation, I am not asking you to explain why an arrest was appropriate here or what it’s supposed to accomplish. I already do that in several other parts of the thread. I’m also not asking you to explain why beating the girl up would be justified or inevitable. Here, I specifically want you to explain the relevance of the comment about kids beating up someone who threatened them to the comment about the “obviously true threat” analysis which you were responding to.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

obviously true threat

Apparently it is within the arresting officer’s discretion to determine if she intended to carry out her fingergun play. I said if someone back in the day before all the current lollycodding of this generation had someone threatened me like that, I would have beat the shit out of him. I then said someone would have beat the crap out of a girl who threatened us in class like that. I have never hit a girl in my life, though I have been accused once. People have to be aware of the consequences of their actions before they act. Otherwise they will have to live with the sometime harsh reality that not everyone is going to see things the same way.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Apparently it is within the arresting officer’s discretion to determine if she intended to carry out her fingergun play.

And we’re saying he failed to properly exercise that discretion, and that, constitutionally speaking, he did not have the proper probable cause to believe this was a “true threat” that can be used to justify an arrest. What is your opinion?

I said if someone back in the day before all the current lollycodding of this generation had someone threatened me like that, I would have beat the shit out of him. I then said someone would have beat the crap out of a girl who threatened us in class like that.

Again, none of that is relevant at all. What point is that supposed to prove?

Also, is it lollycoddling to want to avoid having kids commit or be victims of violence? Or to care about their mental health in ways that previous generations didn’t know were even problems?

For that matter, when you were a kid, did kids at your school get arrested for threats?

I have never hit a girl in my life, though I have been accused once.

I never said you did, nor did I ask you if you had. You did express an interest in doing so in a hypothetical situation where both you and the girl are the same age, which as an advocate for nonviolent solutions I have a problem with, but I never suggested you actually had.

People have to be aware of the consequences of their actions before they act. Otherwise they will have to live with the sometime harsh reality that not everyone is going to see things the same way.

Sure. However, when it comes to an authority figure enforcing a consequence, especially under color of law, the consequence should be proportional to the seriousness of the offense and the age/maturity of the offender. That’s very different from how the offenders’ peers will likely react on their own to such an offense.

If this was supposed to be the reason why you brought up 12-year-olds beating each other up for threatening them, I’m afraid that doesn’t add any relevance to your story.

cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I can’t help but crack up at adults who make negative claims about the younger generations. On one hand you have people claiming the kids are so much worse and dangerous today. Really, when hazing freshmen involved whipping them with paddles and different forms of public humiliation just a generation or two before mine. ( I’m 38, but considered a millennial; I reject that and call myself and those born before 1990 generation Y because we don’t have the millennial experience). And because there are claims that kids are so bad nowadays, we stick cops in schools, even at elementary level. We create zero tolerance policies that don’t allow for discretion when a little kid brings a knife to cut their birthday cake even when they hand it directly over to their teacher. Or a kid brings some Advil to school and keeps it in their bag instead of handing it over to the nurse like they are incapable of taking it without supervision. Kids can’t even exclude a another kid, even if there is good reason, like the kid is a bully, because that makes them the bully and there is zero tolerance for that.
And then after we demand constant supervision, refuse to allow kids (or parents and teachers) some leeway for their own discretion, disallow them from making independent decisions, outlaw anything that one could imagine is some how dangerous or a distraction- like lip balm or sun block or butter knives, or open toed shoes, which have zero tolerance consequences, and then we claim these younger generations are just snowflakes with no sense of the real world. Which is it? Are they dangerous thugs or helpless babies?
And let’s not forget how expectations of parents have changed. When stay at home moms began entering the workforce and divorce became more acceptable, we started trying to frighten them into the traditional roles with stranger danger; you couldn’t take your eye of your children for even a second because killers were lurking around every corner. But don’t dare think it’s ok to collect welfare so that you can provide your kids with proper supervision. Stay in an abusive marriage for the kids, but your a bad mother for letting those kids witness or experience the abuse. Whenever a kid gets in trouble, we all want to know where were the parents, the parents don’t pay any attention and leave kids to be babysat by the TV. Then it’s oh no, the parents are hovering of their kids and coddling them from the real world. Make up your mind. .

Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re: Shouldn't a finger gun be covered by the 2nd Amendment?

"Well, it’s certainly true that if we lose the right to bear arms, we won’t be able to wield finger guns anymore."

Somewhat irrelevant. According to the OP having fingers in school is already skirting the legal boundary.

It’s just a matter of time before trigger-happy cops gun down the first pedestrian they see pointing his index finger at another.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Shouldn't a finger gun be covered by the 2nd Ame

Well, I am confident that there is the possibility of someone having surgery to implant a gun within one of their fingers. Better just shoot everyone first and look at fingers later. This could lead to the planting of fingers on the perp, especially ones who have lost a finger or two.

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Anonymous Coward says:

Good Grief, I don’t care what your political affiliation is, can we all agree that this is ridiculous? How do normal intelligent adults let this happen? It is a bit creepy, I give you that, but this is clearly something that the school counselor and the child’s parents should be handling not the fucking police.

The police, the prosecutor, the school, everyone involved should be ashamed of themselves.

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PaulT (profile) says:

"But this is a 12-year-old surrounded by fully-functioning adults — none of whom felt compelled to exercise their discretion or common sense."

I dare say it’s the opposite – they were compelled not to use it. Usually at the root of these kinds of events is that administrators have decided to put in zero tolerance policies to fend off the risk of lawsuits. Zero tolerance = zero thought, and someone daring to use common sense might find their job at risk.

David says:

Re: Re: Re:

The lawsuit will target the school, not any of the individuals following school policy to the letter and thus not having to defend themselves in court. The teacher that does not employ school policy is the one that is getting sued personally and/or removed from their job when a school shooting happens. The courts will not likely convict the teacher, but the court system in the U.S. does not really care whether you win or lose unless you are rich: you’ll be bankrupted either way.

Taking the least amount of personal rather than institutional responsibility is a tremendous financial risk in the U.S.

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Scary Devil Monastery (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"The problem is that anyone smart enough to be in government is too smart to want to be in government. This leaves us with idiots."

Plato.

It’s somehow very disheartening that a 2500 year old greek philosopher still reads as if he’s describing the world of 2020.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

"…during a class discussion, another student asked the girl, if she could kill five people in the class, who would they be?"

I was thinking the same thing. What the hell was the teacher thinking when they allowed that question to be asked? What was done to discipline the student asking that question, I mean what the hell was that discussion about that made that question pertinent? What was done to the teacher who allowed that question to be answered?

Then, there is the potential for the epitome of the Reasonably Scared Cop Rule, where the cop appears to have thought that the ‘finger gun’ might be used on themselves. ‘I gots to get home for dinner tonight and no ‘finger gun’ wielding 12 year old is gonna prevent that!’

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You seem to think 12 year olds don’t have access to every seedy, dirty, horrible, mentally sick and deranged act on video, on tv and in books. How is she being raised could be a factor as well. Maybe she gets beat at home and doesn’t give a shit anymore. Whats this "oh but she’s just a twelve year old kid" crap? 12 year olds have a way of turning into 15 year olds and some pretty sick and horrifying acts have come from some kids. These people at the school just aren’t taking any kind of risk.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

If the police are smart, they will completely debrief this girl with why it is so terrible as to what she did and all the ramifications.

Quite frankly, I don’t have an inherent problem with what the 12-year-old did. I don’t see what’s so terrible about it. I don’t understand what “ramifications” could come from it. I highly doubt it was anything but pure bluster or a game for her. And if that’s the case, it shouldn’t be treated like such a big deal.

Also, given the actions of this police officer, you’ll have to forgive me if I don’t expect the police to be smart.

Because it really looks as though the school is failing in their ability to reach this person.

We don’t have any indication of this kid’s past displinary problems, if any, so for all we know, this could be her first offense. As such, I have no reason to blame the school for “failing to reach her” if they had no reason to give her particular attention.

You seem to think 12 year olds don’t have access to every seedy, dirty, horrible, mentally sick and deranged act on video, on tv and in books.

I don’t know about every one, but I absolutely believe that 12-year-olds have access to a lot of horrific things in videos or books. I also believe that kids are able to separate fiction from reality, and that merely seeing horrible things on TV or reading about them in books has any substantial likelihood of having any observable effect on their behavior. I base this belief on a number of studies into this sort of thing.

Also, I have no particular reason to believe that this girl had access to such things.

How is she being raised could be a factor as well. Maybe she gets beat at home and doesn’t give a shit anymore.

Oh, absolutely. I’ve known a lot of kids who acted out in school because of problems at home like that. I fail to see how that could justify an arrest, though.

Whats this "oh but she’s just a twelve year old kid" crap?

Believe it or not, but most people don’t treat 12-year-olds the same way they do 15-year-olds. We don’t expect them to have the same level of maturity, responsibility, or experience, and so we modify our expectations and level of punishment for them accordingly. Furthermore, excessive punishment of a kid can be counterproductive or traumatizing for them, so we need to be extra careful to make the punishment scale with the seriousness of the crime as well as the age of the perpetrator.

12 year olds have a way of turning into 15 year olds…

But until then, they are not 15-year-olds, and we should not treat them like they are 15-year-olds. While they are 12-year-olds, they are 12-year-olds, and they should be treated like 12-year-olds. Actions they take at 12 may not reflect how they will act at 15, and we certainly should discipline them for what may happen three years later.

…and some pretty sick and horrifying acts have come from some kids.

Absolutely. I just don’t think this is that high on the sick-and-horrifying scale, or that an arrest was an appropriate response to it.

These people at the school just aren’t taking any kind of risk.

And in doing so, they could be traumatizing kids unnecessarily. I’m sorry, but what you’re saying just doesn’t justify what the school did. I could see them enacting some sort of discipline, but an arrest was too far.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I boarded a jet for Florida once but passing through security they saw that I had a little 1"x 2" hand gun toy attached to my keychain. They all freaked and grabbed it away from me as another stood and pressed his palm against my chest until they had confiscated the toy gun. Its no joke to them in any degree. That was a new one on me. Since then, I am never surprised when something like this happens. They will make that young girl cry if they can. And she will probably get scolded in court by a sympathetic judge. The cops may look into the situation with her home life and investigate the parents. Expect it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Hell, I used to get paddled by teachers and faculty from my first day of kindergarten on through high school almost every week for stupid things. I could have owned that city now adays with a ballsy team of lawyers. That school is all concerned that this doesn’t turn into something far worse than finger pointing. Turning this over to the discretion of the police is a win win for them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

She didn’t just point to the classmates and herself when asked who she would kill if she could, she turned her hand into the fingergun, imitating a firearm, and pretends to shoot each classmate and then herself in a mock mass murder suicide. That is a little more troubling than just answering the stupid question. She has probably seen it acted out on tv a thousand times. She is only twelve. That is a sad testament to our society today.

Anonymous Coward says:

Figurative threats become real lawsuits

If my child was arrested over a figurative action like finger guns, I would literally be able to finance the school system with the settlement they would be forced to give us for violated our rights and not acting as the parent when a parent isn’t present. The "officer" would never be allowed to arrest another person since their job would now be guarding the local unemployment office since he lost immunity for arresting someone over a none crime

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Figurative threats become real lawsuits

I think most people here are missing the bigger picture and that is that she was arrested and not shot. No one knows if she has access to firearms or not. And to use her finger in such an irresponsible way to threaten her classmates with murder/ suicide, she needs to be rigorously educated that that shit won’t fly.

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David says:

Re: Re: Figurative threats become real lawsuits

I think most people here are missing the bigger picture and that is that she was arrested and not shot.

That rather sounds like reckless endangerment. The officer failing to shoot a clearly deranged person that could have finger-gunned the whole department has probably been placed under supervision.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Figurative threats become real lawsuits

I think most people here are missing the bigger picture and that is that she was arrested and not shot.

Okay. Good on the police for not shooting a 12-year-old armed only with a finger gun. Seriously, though, we know that the kid was arrested and not shot. We just think that an arrest was itself excessive and potentially damaging for the kid’s mental well-being.

No one knows if she has access to firearms or not.

If she had them on school grounds, then that absolutely would’ve been disclosed to the public. If she had access to them from outside the school, then the parents should be consulted and the girl should be clearly told not to play with guns, but that still doesn’t justify an arrest.

And to use her finger in such an irresponsible way to threaten her classmates with murder/ suicide, …

Again, coming from a 12-year-old, I wouldn’t take it that seriously if she did not actually have the means right there to execute on her threats. Also, I’m not expecting a 12-year-old to use her finger responsibly.

…she needs to be rigorously educated that that shit won’t fly.

Absolutely. She should be told that what she did was wrong. Maybe even some counseling or discipline. An arrest, though, is too much.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Figurative threats become real lawsuits

We don’t know anything about this 12 year old girl other than what we’ve read in this story. Maybe she is a bully or maybe the class clown. We can deduce that at least four classmates have crossed her somehow enough to be placed on a hypothetical hitlist by her answer if she could shoot them who would they be. And lastly she aims at herself. That is a telling tragic tale of something way out of wack with this girl. Don’t protect her in a way that could prevent her from getting help.

Tanner Andrews (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Figurative threats become real lawsuits

(why doesn’t the site support strikethrough?)

Somebody came up with this "markdown" stuff. It does not support real quotes or decent mark-up, but someone invented their own triangular wheel and views it as better than the standard round wheels.

The triangular wheel guy managed to reach the site owners on a good (for him) / bad (for everyone else) day and made a sale. Once that is done, site management is likely reluctant to admit mistakes.

This triangular wheel is better than those old-fashioned round wheels because it packs better.

A Guy says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Figurative threats become real lawsuits

Markdown is easier to type and doesn’t leave the site users vulnerable to scripting attacks. If they implemented markdown properly, then HTML code and java-script entered from a site commenter won’t run on other users machine when they load the website.

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Anonymous Coward says:

You look at the world today and wonder what the heck has happened to it. Here is a fine example of why it’s so messed up. You have snowflakes that the slightest improper phrasing means offense. Wonder where all that came from with the fine examples they get at home and at school.

I see no better way to wreck a young life than to do something like this. It’s stupid on the face of it. No one seems to have an inkling of what common sense is.

Sadly missing in all this, is the free range kid. The ability to go out make a mistake and learn from it. Here what the kid learns isn’t going to be good. Worse it will be a life time thing this child will carry with her the rest of her life.

The crime here rests with the adults.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

You have it all wrong. She may learn a great deal of positive applications she may take home with this. I was four years old when my Uncle Johnny told me to draw my cap gun from my cowboy holster on a cop sitting next to him in a dark tavern. "Stick em up," I hollered. To which came the reply as he pulled his gun out and shouted, "You stick em up!" scaring the b’jeezus out of me and sent me crying out of that joint!

I haven’t ever used a gun unlawfully or committed any crime since that day.. I am happy to say.

cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

So this is your excuse for being a bootlicker?
You think good things come from being frightened and abused by authority? That kids learn positive lessons from juvenile detention centers and therefore many never return? That this child will think the teachers, principal, and other staff give a shit about her interests and she should trust them if she feels she is in crisis? You are a moron. And a bootlicker.

Wendy Cockcroft (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

^This. I’m with the Free Range Kid guy, being that I was a free range kid. I went out, made mistakes, and "killed" all my schoolmates with my trusty finger gun over and over again. I did not grow up to be a sociopathic spree killer.

I’m a sensible shoes and trousers, no makeup kind of woman who is gainfully employed and stays out of trouble.

Do any of the "Teach ’em a lesson" types here in the comments wonder how it was that I’m a functioning, working person with a clean record? Let’s stop getting over-excited about kids being a bit nasty when they play; we were all like that when we were young.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I’m so sorry! I had no idea you had a Master’s degree in commenting! I also had no idea you weren’t finished commenting! You absolutely shouldn’t have to put up with such sophomoric comments until the you’ve finished writing, and the rest of us who may only have a mere Bachelor’s degree should just shut up and wait for you to finish.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

No band-aid, but it is disappointing to see the level of intellect drop beneath that of a fifth grade game of killball hurling derogatory defamatory screams in what I thought was a truly significant and bright technical forum. It just does not feel like the brightest minds have shown up when all the horrible insults start flying around. No respect here. And I feel a certain amount of sympathy for the staff and writers who have to constantly babysit
the brouhaha.

cattress (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

That’s not how Techdirt’s comment policy works, and you aren’t being good spirited. But you are right that I should not attack the person, but rather the ideas. I apologise for the name calling. However, your ideas are moronic and cast the obviously corrupt police system in an undeserved heroic light. You are advocating for the permanent psychological damage of a child by forcing her to face the consequences designed for adults who commit crimes which actually hurt another person, all because she exercised her first amendment right in a way that you don’t like. And you repeatedly argue that this is not just an acceptable way to treat a child, but that it’s the appropriate way to treat a child, supporting your argument with a claim that abusive authority figures didn’t do you any permanent harm and in fact, straightened you out. That’s not just a poor argument, but it’s statistically unsupported. Having a master’s degree or a doctorate doesn’t make your argument any less moronic. And advocating for the full power of the state, the militarized police, to swoop in and arrest a child for what amounts to speech you don’t like and finger pointing is the kind of thing a bootlicker says.
There are effective ways to respond to questionable behavior, or even violent behavior, in children that don’t include bringing armed guards to terrorize them. As a 30+ year old adult I had to present myself to be arrested and wasn’t handcuffed nor did I have to wait in a holding cell; that experience was so frightening and upsetting that a significant amount of my hair started coming in grey. (Long story short, I went to the police for help, instead of investigating my complaint they interrogated me and coerced me into saying I lied. I didn’t do anything wrong, the only lie I told was the one they coerced me into. I fought back and got the prosecutor to drop the case) I can’t imagine what that would have done to me as a child. And for the adults that I trusted to simply wash their hands of me, that would have easily triggered a lot of self destructive behavior. I don’t know if this girl is a goodie goodie like I was, or a defiant troublemaker. But girls and boys are socialized differently; boys will be boys, but girls who violate social norms are marked forever.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

When you ARE abused and frightened by authority sometimes repeatedly, you can make any choice you want, but if you still love life and respect it, you don’t have to be bootlickers because you choose to keep on keeping on the best way you know to. Once you get a few scars from the roadrash, you will understand that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Common sense

Sorry but that wasn’t "common sense" … not by definition anyways. "Good sense and sound judgement" doesn’t describe those actions.

com·mon sense
/ˌkämən ˈsens/
noun
noun: common sense; noun: commonsense; modifier noun: common-sense
good sense and sound judgment in practical matters.
"a common-sense approach"
synonyms: good sense, sense, sensibleness, native wit, native intelligence, mother wit, wit, judgment, sound judgment, level-headedness, prudence, discernment, acumen, sharpness, sharp-wittedness, canniness, astuteness, shrewdness, judiciousness, wisdom, insight, intuition, intuitiveness, perceptiveness, perspicacity, vision, understanding, intelligence, reason, powers of reasoning;

Anonymous Coward says:

Maybe someone who understands the law better than I do (which is probably most of you) could explain this to me. She was interrogated by a police officer and on the basis of what she said, arrested. Aren’t parents supposed to be present? Was she read her Miranda rights first?

And couldn’t a no to either of those questions pierce the officer’s qualified immunity?

keep the fifth (profile) says:

finger pointing

This is the most absurd thing I can imagine. Adults making such poor decisions are teaching our children. They need to get rid of these automatons who have been programmed to make kids lives miserable.
Seems the first thing they need to prove is that children were taught that this was not allowed in school, and have a class hour by a teacher to explain to all the kids, and have the kids sign a document that they have been told there is a limit to having fun. We used to love cowboy movies when I was a kid, and kids had toy guns they wore on belts, and no one got shot. Toy guns would be illegal there.
I do not especially like guns but they do serve a purpose and many people depend on them for their safety. That said any picture on paper or a motion with a hand should not even be a crime, let alone a felony.
The school needs to prove that they have instructed the kids what is not allowed before they can call the cops and not get prosecuted because this is malicious. These people do not like children, and lack common sense. Replace them. Cops are not needed in schools. We are becoming a over control fascist country and people need to start speaking out as this is gonna get a whole lot worse. Remember prisons make profits adn courts adn cops get rewards for convictions. Court have their own bank number with Dunn adn Bradstreet and bonds are put together with the money from fines. The money is going to the IMF. It is profitable for them too for children to be put in foster homes making up small matters into a major case adn that is where 75% of the children in the sex trade come from, foster homes. Too dang much oversight, and control and over judgement. New psych diagnostic codes for "diagnoses for which have no test to support". It is subjective and an abuse of authority. Too many kis on psychotropics. Bring back recess.

Dari (profile) says:

Insanity

I find it instructive that a cop can literally film himself having sex with a 15 year old that be goes on to show to follow cops and friends and be aquitted of everything but the misdemeanor of official misconduct

https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nyc-crime/ny-cop-acquitted-of-sex-with-teenage-girl-20191002-7cwx4o2s4jfv3p3cuc7b5azf2i-story.html

but a 12 year old with a finger gun is sent to jail and charged with a felony and there there is an idiot in this threat arguing that this will teach her a lesson. Given how many underage girls are raped by cops in custody, exactly what type of "lesson" does he expect this girl to learn?

What a disgusting country this has become.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Insanity

No one else seems to be teaching this girl what someone with a small brain should know by now. School shootings have made the entire world extremely nervous. The charges will most likely be dropped, and if anyone is paying attention to this episode, they will think before they do something SO FUCKING STUPID. Some of you techdirters are extremely rebellious against common sense and want to blame it on someone who knows better than to imitate a mass murder and suicide even with a simple God given index finger. Ok, ball’s in your court!

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Insanity

Again, this is a lesson that could have been taught without an arrest. Also, you’re assuming that a 12-year-old girl has common sense.

We’ve also been highly critical about some of the oversensitivity that has resulted from the nervousness over mass school shootings. How many 12-year-olds (give or take a year) have been responsible for mass shootings?

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Insanity

Apparently, while it’s perfectly fine to give grown ass men working firearms, put them in a group of like-minded jocks and tell them to escalate any confrontation, assure them that they can shoot unarmed citizens who appear at the window of the homes they live in… We’re also behooved to police our twelve year olds and throw the book at them for pointing their index finger in a way that offends certain sensibilities.

We give adults every possible concession to excuse their poor judgement, refuse the same for our kids and expect them to be adults, then wonder why society is so fucked in the head.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Insanity

"A guy in uniform who’s given a gun and taught to escalate every possible situation and will escape serious punishment if something goes wrong, and comes with a bunch of buddies who will do the exact same thing… not threatening at all! But a kid with a bad attitude, fuck that noise and smash it with a hamma!"

Yeah, #copsuckerlogic is pretty fucked up…

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Insanity

I don’t think her attitude would change anything. It really doesn’t matter how bad her attitude was; it doesn’t justify arresting a 12-year-old.

I would have understood detention, suspension, calling the parents, mandatory counseling, or some other disciplinary measure by the school. I don’t see why a cop had to get involved at the start, and I certainly don’t understand why an arrest was necessary.

bhull242 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Insanity

Sure, but they are incredibly rare, and we have no reason to believe that to be the case here. There were other ways the school could have handled a potential threat like this, including counseling or a call to the parents. I’m just not sure that an arrest was the proper response. If no one was actually harmed, and the girl was not armed right then, which would make the threat imminent, I don’t understand why an arrest was necessary.

Dari (profile) says:

Re: Re: Insanity

Arresting someone is a form of state violence whether they are ultimately charged or not. Before the State commits violence against 12 year old girls, they better have a damn good excuse beyond "she pointed her finger gun at someone!"

Your pandering to police brutality is exactly why people increasingly don’t trust our out of control police Barney Fife driven police force.

Ironically, if the resource officer (cop) had pulled out his gun and returned real fire to match her imaginary bullets, thus killing her, they would likely get off under qualified immunity.

Meanwhile, guys like you would be calling the little girls police execution "a valuable lesson for other 12 year old girls with finger guns."

Dari (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Insanity

Ya, I’m calling bullshit on the "a few bad apples" shtick.

Policing in America is a toxic environment that rewards sadists and sociopaths. It’s irrelevant if "good people with honest intentions" go into law enforcement, which is an unproven assumption on your part. The culture rewards criminals and those who at a minimum turn a blind eye to all the criminality around them.

This is not even where someone starts. It’s a simple rule of human nature that if you create positions with no oversight, not accountability and a monopoly on violence in any society, then the least evolved members of society will be drawn to that work and those who are not will be drummed out.

Police unions, cooperative prosecutors and judges, rules like qualified immunity guarantee you will create a culture of monsters and that is exactly what he have done as every police state before us has done.

This is a very incomplete list, but USA today has recently started pulling together reports of misconduct by police around the US and we are at 85,000 over the last decade alone. Mind you, reporting is optional and most police departments work hard to cover up police corruption within their department. The state of California law enforcement, which is LA shows literally no distinction between themselves and the gangs they cooperate with more than fight refuses to report at all.

It appears we have a situation where an awful lot of bad apples are ruining things for the small handful of cops we have out there.

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