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This Terrible Florida Sheriff Thinks Schools Should Be Arresting More Kids for Dumb Reasons to Stop Shootings

Mike Chitwood arrests 11-year-olds and then complains that officials aren't calling them more.

School protesterJeff Malet Photography/NewscomYou want more cops in your schools to keep kids "safe"? This is what more cops in your schools looks like: Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood, of Volusia County, Florida, has arrested 30 children in two months for alleged "threats." Oh, and he's complaining that he's not arresting nearly enough kids.

Here's an example of a "threat" that got a 14-year-old girl arrested at a Volusia County school: She tapped on a school employee's shoulder and said "Bang, bang." His deputies have also arrested a child as young as 11. There may be more to it than Fox News is reporting, but what that 14-year-old is said to have done is not a crime or a threat for which anybody should be arrested. The report notes that under Florida law, some of the teens Chitwood's office has arrested will be charged as adults.

Chitwood has complained about the cost of responding to 90 calls per day from people who say they saw threats in school, but he's also worried that schools are not calling the police enough, opting instead to handle matters internally. Not calling the cops, he says, is "a big mistake." More people should be overreacting more often, so that Chitwood's over-worked deputies can arrest more kids for dumb reasons. But despite his insistence that he wants to be called more by schools, the ratio of calls to arrests suggests that schools are already calling him too often. Over this two-month period, he's apparently logged thousands of complaints that clearly did not turn out to be connected to actual criminal threats. Why is he asking for more of them?

"For us in law enforcement, we don't want to lose the momentum after Parkland. We lost it after Columbine and Sandy Hook," Chitwood laments in the Fox interview. "There was this initial outrage and then everybody went back to their normal life."

People went back to their "normal life" because mass violence incidents at schools, while horrific, are also rare, and schools are not any more dangerous than they used to be. People in Volusia County shouldn't go through life constantly worrying that somebody's going to shoot up or blow up schools, because they aren't likely to. Volusia County citizens should, however, be disturbed by Chitwood's desire to investigate, torment, and punish even more school students, potentially ruining their lives and saddling them with criminal records.

As a practical matter, residents should also be concerned that Chitwood wants to increase the size of the "threat" haystack police have to search through to find actual dangerous people. You may recall that authorities were warned on multiple occasions about the behavior of the Parkland, Florida, school shooter before his deadly rampage. The problem was not a lack of complaints, but an inability to sort and prioritize potential threats. How much better will Chitwood fare at this task considering he and his team are incapable of distinguishing actual criminal threats from childish behavior?

Punishing a bunch of teens in the name of "doing something" doesn't make schools safer. It ruins lives.

Photo Credit: Jeff Malet Photography/Newscom

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  • DajjaI||

    Punishing a bunch of teens in the name of "doing something" doesn't make schools safer.

    It actually creates mass shooters. Many of these murderers were radicalized by law enforcement. Because when kids are treated like psychopaths they start to act like them. Instead of going out on witch hunts against autistic and homeschool kids, these students need instead to round them up and drag them to school with them. That more than anything would end school shootings. Because nothing like isolating a kid and questioning their propensity to go on a rampage to make them do it.

  • target||

    Chitwood should be glad he is dealing with the threats of today, instead of the threats of students in the early 90's. Piss off too many kids at that time and strangely nobody saw anything happen in the middle of a crowded hallway.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    "Instead of going out on witch hunts against autistic and homeschool kids, these students need instead to round them up and drag them to school with them."

    That borders on kidnapping, in my book. Being "rounded up and dragged" sounds like the second-to-the last step in a witch hunt.

    Maybe the autistic kid (who's more likely to have Asperger's than full autism anyway) just wants to be left alone to pursue their own interests instead of getting all excited over some stupid pep rally or homecoming dance or whatever. As for the homeschool kids, I don't assume all of them or their parents are motivated by religion. I'm sure many are motivated by being able to offer something better/more customized than the current crap system. I actually know at least one libertarian IRL who is determined to "un-school" his children, and with good reason.

    In any case, I'm not aware of single school violence incident that was perpetrated by a homeschooler who decided to wander onto campus and make trouble.

  • LarryA||

    Don't know how it is where you are, but around here when kids get compared, as in writing contests and such or participating in 4-H and other such programs, it's commonly homeschool kids on top, private school kids next, and public schools best students third.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Broken window theory has been disproven time and time again.

  • Alcibiades||

    OT, Cosby guilty on all counts of sexual assault.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    I think they had other accusers testify at his trial. I didn't think that was acceptable during the trial phase.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    IANAL, but I didn't think that was acceptable in general. Other accusers have no bearing on his guilt or innocence in this specific case, right? So why would their testimony be allowed into evidence? Oh yea, I forgot, now it's all about #MeToo.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    That's what I thought.

    I believe it is acceptable during the sentencing phase but a no no during the trial phase.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Evidence of common conduct.

    Its a government tactic to take away that presumption of innocence for the current charges. Courts love it and so do prosecutors.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Obviously it works on juries.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Not the first jury, so the government just played the "Constitutional" do over card.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Justice was served. /S

    Cosby is 80 years old and these events evidently took place over 14 years ago.

    Plus a jury already could not find him guilty, so a redo by the government always seems like a double jeopardy scenario even though the government disagrees.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Plus a jury already could not find him guilty

    I thought the first jury was hung, leading to a mistrial. If they had found him not guilty, then you're right, this would have been double jeopardy, but since it was a mistrial they could try him again. Whether they should be allowed to do that or not is another question. I think prosecutors usually don't bother with re-trials unless they find some additional evidence.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    It was a hung jury. There is a not-so-funny quirk that was fabricated by the government to end-run double jeopardy. The state can retry you on a hung jury.

    How are you presumed innocent beyond a reasonable doubt by our criminal system and if a jury does not unanimously convict you, the state can try you again?

    If you are presumed innocent beyond a reasonable doubt then a single jury deliberating and not finding you guilty would mean that you are not guilty. In other words, a jury should not have to find you not guilty. The only outcome where you are not guilty is if the jury finds you guilty.

    A technical mistrial, like an attorney dying or something would be different kind of mistrial. If a jury cannot find you guilty and deliberates for some period of time, then you should be found not guilty because clearly the jury is a bunch of retards who do not understand that unless you find the defendant guilty then you must acquit them.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    When all you know how to use is a hammer, every other human being looks like a nail.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    We need a new analogy. How about if all you have are nail clippers, everything looks like a nail?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    How about if every human is a nail, every use of a government hammer is proof that you are getting nailed by government?

  • ||

    With a box full of tools, one way or another that nail is gonna get screwed.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    When all you have is a woodchipper, every politician.... nevermind.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Preet's not here, man.

  • Rhywun||

    Sure he isn't....

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I guy with a authoritarian boner like Preet had never fully forgets about the best angry sex they ever had.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    #MeToo

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    When you elect dicks to office, everyone gets nailed.

  • Teddy Pump||

    Reminds me of an old Jackie Mason joke about Nixon: "They said Nixon had Phlebitis. But, they were wrong, Nixon had Syphilis. You can't screw 300 million people & get Phlebitis!"

  • Unicorn Abattoir||

    When all you have is a sherriff's badge, you're an asshole.

  • Half-Virtue, Half-Vice||

    If have penis and badge, then will fuck.

  • Alcibiades||

    Gun-owning Parkland teacher calls Kyle Kashuv "next Hitler" and that "something should be down about him" in rant in front of whole class:

    https://www.theblaze.com/news/2018/04/26/
    parkland-teachers-alleged-class-rant-kyle-kashuv
    -is-hitler-something-should-be-done-about-him

  • Eidde||

    Yes, Hitler was all for gun ownership...by his supporters.

    For some reason he didn't want his opponents to be armed.

  • Alcibiades||

    I'm waiting for the school's reaction to these claims and, if substantiated, what their response is going to be.

    Apparently this teacher had been told by the school administration not to respond to Kyle any further on social media so chose instead to verbally abuse him in front of a class od students and then ended with "something must be done about him".

    This is highly unprofessional behavior and threatening in tone.

    This teacher sounds unstable and potentially dangerous, at the very least it must create a hostile school environment for this student.

  • ||

    This is highly unprofessional behavior and threatening in tone.

    This teacher sounds unstable and potentially dangerous, at the very least it must create a hostile school environment for this student.

    You left out unbelievably ignorant as well. If you truly believed Kyle Kashuv to be the next Hitler, hounding him out of High School and into some gun-toting, low-wage security position is the exact wrong outcome to be pushing for. Could you imagine, as a teacher, having called Eric Harris 'the next Hitler'? I'd want to put a gun in my mouth.

  • ||

    hounding him out of High School and into some gun-toting, low-wage security position or into military service...

  • Alcibiades||

    Maybe he was just using the "Robby Soave-Style" lesson plan approach.

    MSD: "No comment."

    Apparently there's a statement forthcoming from BCPS.

  • TuIpa||

    Pronounced shitwood

  • sarcasmic||

    Punishing a bunch of teens in the name of "doing something" doesn't make schools safer. It ruins lives.

    That's the whole point. Police officers ruin lives for fun. It's what they do. Who in your high school class became a cop? It wasn't the nice guy. It wasn't the smart guy. It was the criminal who didn't get caught. Their entire purpose is to ruin lives. It makes them happy. Especially if the victim is a child who can't defend themselves. That's how they get back on the children who were mean to them in school. Fubar.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Cops are the enforcement branch of government. Demand government does something and this is likely what you get.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    That is bumper sticker worthy.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Christ, what an asshole.

    Chitwood has complained about the cost of responding to 90 calls per day from people who say they saw threats in school, but he's also worried that schools are not calling the police enough, opting instead to handle matters internally.

    Next he'll bitch about not having a big enough budget to hire more officers to handle the call volume. Actually, he's probably already bitched about it.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    That and the police are under no legal obligation to help you in an emergency but they deserve all the money for some reason.

  • Eidde||

    Must the pendulum always swing back and forth between giving students slaps on the wrist for felonies, and arresting students right and left?

    I guess so.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    There are no other options. None.

  • Eidde||

    It's not really in the nature of pendulums to stop in the middle, I suppose.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Hell, this pendulum doesn't even pass through the middle. It exists at either one extreme or the other, and nowhere else between.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    It's more like a tether ball really. At some point, everyone gets smacked in the face with it.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    A quantum pendulum!

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    Schrodinger's Pendulum is in an state of both non-existence and existence, unknown and unknowable - until it hits you in the face.

  • MichaeI Hihn||

    The universe now makes sense.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    IF CAN SEE STEVE SMITH, STEVE SMITH SEE YOU.

    IF NOT CAN SEE STEVE SMITH, YOU ARE ONLY SECONDS AWAY FROM RAPE.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You may recall that authorities were warned on multiple occasions about the behavior of the Parkland, Florida, school shooter before his deadly rampage.

    I do remember. We all got all over the FBI's ass for missed opportunities with Nikolas Cruz, and now we're surprised that law enforcement wants to make overreaction the norm once again?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Never let a tragedy go to waste.

  • Eidde||

    I thought the problem wasn't failing to predict the future but failing to arrest him for felonious attacks on people at the school.

  • Rhywun||

    The problem was not a lack of complaints, but an inability to sort and prioritize potential threats.

    Look, these people don't get paid to "think". The "ability to sort and prioritize potential threats" would require actual police work.

  • Scarecrow Repair & Chippering||

    So fucking weird. We try more and more kids as adults for things which are not crimes even for adults, and then turn around and expect college students to act as kids and excuse them for rude and sometimes illegal behavior which no adult would tolerate.

  • Ken Shultz||

    One of the great things about private schools is that they can kick kids out for being weird, antisocial, psychotic, or shitheads.

    That's a great reason to support the privatization of our school system--so that you don't have to depend on the police to keep the weirdos away from your children.

  • Inigo Montoya||

    Back in school, most of my friends (and me for that matter) would act weird and sometimes antisocial. None of us were psychotic or shitheads, however. In fact, I'd wager you would have found many more shitheads among the so-called "cool" kids who were the sports stars/most popular kids.

    I'm really uncomfortable with the labels they throw around these days to classify who may be a threat versus who is well-adjusted. It's really easy -- especially for idiotic school administrators and SROs -- to completely miss or downplay the ACTUAL threats like happened in Parkland, while unfairly persecuting and stigmatizing all the harmless geeks.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    That sign looks hastily made and not well-planned.

  • Eidde||

    "I should be writing essays...not a will"

    Why would you want to write a will, snowflake? If you die intestate as a kid your property (vast and extensive as it undoubtedly is) will pass to your parents.

    You want to leave your teddy bears to the United Way instead?

  • buybuydandavis||

    The greatest contributor to the Parkland Massacre was government *policy* in Broward County, pushed by the Obama administration, titled "Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline", in which the Schools, Courts, and Police agreed not to uphold the law on student offenders

    Coulter in THE SCHOOL-TO-MASS-MURDER PIPELINE:
    School and law enforcement officials knew Cruz was a ticking time bomb. They did nothing because of a deliberate, willful, bragged-about policy to end the "school-to-prison pipeline."
    In a stroke of genius, they realized that the only problem criminals have is that people keep lists of their criminal activities...
    http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2018-02-28.html

    This primitive, stone-age thinking was made official Broward County policy in a Nov. 5, 2013, agreement titled "Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline."

    The first "whereas" clause of the agreement states that "the use of arrests and referrals to the criminal justice system may decrease a student's chance of graduation, entering higher education, joining the military and getting a job."

    COLLABORATIVE AGREEMENT ON SCHOOL DISCIPLINE
    THIS AGREEMENT
    is made and entered into as of this 5 day of November, 2013, by and between
    THE SCHOOL BOARD OF BROWARD COUNTY, FLORIDA
    https://goo.gl/Ewbczc

    Follow up article
    Coulter in RACIAL QUOTAS KILL KIDS:
    http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2018-03-07.html

  • MaleMatters||

    Left alone, zany gun-control advocates might turn the world into a very scary place.

    Here's what they don't think about, as stated by Skeptic.com:

    A national effort to reduce mass murders, the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004, produced this consequence:

    "The ban didn't appear to have a significant impact on the number of mass murder incidents in that decade compared to other decades, and within the decade, there was no downward trend. This only shows that the availability of assault weapons doesn't change the number of mass murder incidents, which means that killers just switched to different weapons, obtained illegal weapons, or made improvised weapons.

    During the ban, large attacks like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park Bombing occurred, and the average number of people killed per incident increased from 9.4 pre-ban to 11.3 during the ban, then decreasing to 7.6 after the ban expired. The average number of people injured per incident increased from 8.0 to 35.0 during the ban and decreased to 5.6 after the ban.

    More consequences detailed in:

    "Gun Control and Mass Killers"
    https://relevantmatters.wordpress.com/
    2016/06/30/rush-draft-why-gun-control-
    fails-against-mass-killers/

    Join the links making sure there are no spaces in between.

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