A Florida sheriff has published the mugshots of juvenile offenders, including a 10-year-old boy who threatened to shoot up his school.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno ordered his deputies to perp walk the 10-year-old boy in front of cameras on Saturday, May 28.
The boy’s pictures appeared in the NY Post and London’s DailyMail.com. But some American media outlets complied with a law that protects juveniles under 18 who commit crimes.
Sheriff Marceno said publicly disgracing children (and their parents) will scare them straight.
“While I understand the boy is 10 years old, his brain’s not fully developed, he’s a juvenile, I have to tell you: When a 10-year-old presses a trigger, the aftermath is the same regardless of the age.”
“We have a ten-year-old, a fifth-grader, that sends text messages that circulate. Pictures of wads of money. Pictures of rifles and written threats after that,” Marceno said in an interview Tuesday with DailyMail.com.
Marceno said a “fake threat” can lead to “real consequences,” and he will continue to release juvenile mugshots to the public because it teaches that committing an “adult felony” results in adult consequences.
The same day that the 10-year-old’s mugshot and video were released, Corey Anderson, 18, from Hillsborough County, Florida, was charged with a felony after he posted a photo of a rifle, handgun and tactical vest online and captioned the image: “Hey Siri, directions to the nearest school”.
The threats occurred after a teenager killed 21 people, including 19 children, at an elementary school in Texas on May 24.
Merceno defended releasing mugshots of juvenile offenders.
“If a 10-year-old, 12-year-old, 18-year-old presses the trigger, the aftermath is the same,” he said. “As a sheriff I have to make certain that we leave no stone unturned and do everything possible to protect our children.”
He added: “Doesn’t matter who it is, you commit a felony, you write a threat to commit a mass shooting in a school – the mugshot, the picture, it’s all going up there because the days of people trying to protect or hide are done.”
Officials in other jurisdictions take a more traditional approach with juvenile offenders.
In New Orleans, Louisiana, officials have refused media requests to release the mugshots of four Black teenagers who dragged 73-year-old Linda Frickey to her death while stealing her car.
The four suspects – 17-year-old John Honore, 15-year-old Lenyra Theophile, 15-year-old Marquel Curtis, and 15-year-old Briniyah Baker – are charged with second-degree murder and will be tried as adults.
They are being held on $1 million bail each and they face life in prison if convicted.