Sunday, February 18, 2018

See something, say something, do nothing

The stories are coming out that Law Enforcement, the FBI and Social Services were aware of the Parkland Shooter and his deteriorating mental health and given his school history of problems, a recent expulsion and alert at the school to watch for him on the grounds was another red flag that while he was not old enough to buy a beer he had no problem getting a gun.  He made it no secret and just like the maniac in Vegas he meticulously planned his assault and knew how to get in and out of the scene of the crime.  And had he changed clothes at Walmart (where he could also buy a gun!)  he may have returned home and it would have been days before we knew who he was.  So really how great is this bullshit - see something say something?  Although there are those who have been diligent and in turn have stopped potential violence - thanks Grandma. But gee the response by law enforcement is purely co-incidental right?

Having worked in schools I have seen and experienced a whole lot of crazy.  And people wondered why I chose not to go back full time. No thanks there is something freeing about walking in and out of a school at an end of day and being done and making the choice on when I can or will return.  I have little to few stories of great triumphs and joys.  I have them but they are few and far between. The issues surrounding expulsions and their racial component have some truths.  Yes a white child who commits a similar infraction is less likely to be expelled over a child of color but again name three black kids who have shot up a school? Okay you can't.  Me either.  I do know however that these same kids take to the streets and do so in school stay in school but again how do you know and what do you do? Let me respond with what I call the "So Nashville" response:  It's out of my pay grade.  (If I had buck for every time I hear that I would have well more than one dollar!)

We vilify and idolize Teachers in the same way we do all Municipal employees.  We are often somewhere in between a Police Officer, a Fireman, a Nurse, a Military Officer and even a Judge. Wow that is a lot of hats to wear!  Irony living here in Nashville that metaphor or analogy would fly over same head that one wears a hat.  They are the most ill humored, literate, strident people I have ever met.  I met some in Seattle but they were nowhere near the level and depth of idiocy as I have found here.  People often think I am a genius when I speak of something in a positive manner without that perpetual state of rancor and resignation that dominates the culture here.

The last week I was in a class of the high achieving school and saw a suitcase left in a bus shelter across the street. Saw it and said nothing.  My first thought it was a homeless person who left it there as if it was some explosive it would have gone off by then.  But here I was in a school in a downtown core area across from a federal building as well and Police in the building and I see that.  It was there when I left.  Again, this is paranoid town and crazy mother fuckers who have come up to me sitting on a bench outside a school one gorgeous morning drinking coffee, reading a paper if I needed help.  The same city that a Cop came up to the Uber I was in when I pulled into a school parking lot where we saw the Cop, the Teacher and the Kids playing, we were chatting the door was open and it was 11 am.  Yes the Cop approached as he thought we were "watching" kids. Well we would be stupid as shit to sit there with a license plate visible and a door open with a woman and man and both of us white and not young, in a school parking lot where people do come to during the day, but if we were up to nefarious shit I think we suck at it.  Again really?  And lastly the Vanderbilt "wellness" check which I have written about infinitum.

I want to point out the most infamous "wellness" check was the San Bernandino shooter. Or the Orlando Pulse shooter who had been on a watch list and yet no one did shit then.  There are more stories where there were signs, flags, warnings and yet no one did shit.  See something, say something do nothing.  Why?  Again out of my pay grade.  But shoot a black dude in the street not a problem.  Seriously we actually respect Police? Why? They are municipal employees covered by a Union and yet we hate Teacher's Unions. Why?

NOTHING WILL CHANGE.  THE ONLY CHANGE IS THE TEENAGERS WHO ARE NOW MOTIVATED.

For this to change those kids need to see some documentaries about the 60s and see how the youth changed the course of action.  Well that requires history and do our schools actually teach history or just test you on arbitrary facts? Why is that again?  Oh ask Bill Gates the man who feels the cores are common ones we just need a rich fuck to pay for them.  Don't know the history behind Common Core? Why? Well I have written about it on this very blog it is not a secret - free press and all that.  Oh why read that fake news? Why indeed.

I live in a red state in a pink as in color not gay we have none of that gay shit here just ask a Therapist. Oh wait you can't they don't have to speak to you if you a filthy Gay.  Man I will miss the Beav! As in Mae Beavers not mine, mine is still attached.

As I sit here watching the news and the fucked up campaign ads that denigrate poverty and speak of God and all that I think if I hear one more expression that includes the word Pray I will pray to God that I don't punch you in the face!  Oh wait here in Nashville that speech neither free nor protected, as our news is full daily of stories of how some drunk, crazy person said something stupid to a clerk or an individual and were promptly arrested.  They love the crime here.. LOVE it.  Some Gun Store in Mt. Juliet has been robbed twice by teens and yet they cover that but not why the gun store has not taken measures to secure the guns and the business at night, using steel gates, doors, security glass or roll down steel blinds to prevent nefarious individuals from breaking the glass and stealing the guns.  How is that a store that sells guns able to not have appropriate security.  Why?

The FBI is not looking into Russia in Florida.  That is the bureaucracy of Government and in fact the true limitations of them this Civil Rights thing.   So which do we sacrifice?  Our ability to not be arrested and detained for being nuts and talking out of our asses?  To have thoughts and express them in song lyrics, in journals or diaries  or online on Facebook or social media?  And yes we have had said cases. Welcome to the thought police.  To be interned if in fact the files and information indicate a real problem? The right to speak out and demand change? Or the right to buy guns?  Oh fuck it lets do nothing.



Florida social services investigated alleged school shooter Nikolas Cruz before rampage, knew he wanted to buy gun

by Mark Berman The Washington Post February 17 2017

Florida’s state social services agency investigated Nikolas Cruz’s home life more than a year before police say he killed 17 people at his former high school, closing the inquiry after determining that his “final level of risk is low,” despite learning that the teenager had behavioral struggles and was planning to buy a gun, according to an investigative report.

The investigation detailed several unnerving behaviors from Cruz, including that he had cut his arms on Snapchat, had a Nazi symbol and a racial epithet on his backpack and intended to purchase a gun for unknown reasons, according to a Florida Department of Children and Families report obtained by The Washington Post. Ultimately, the investigation was closed in November 2016, just months before Cruz bought the AR-15 assault-style rifle that police say he would later use in the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla

The state social services probe was the latest in a series of revelations about how Cruz’s pattern of worrisome — and sometimes violent — behavior had prompted concerns and had come to the attention of authorities in the past few years, including school officials, state social services officials and federal law enforcement authorities. Though aware of the warning signs, those same officials were unable to stop Cruz from buying a gun or to intervene before he allegedly returned to his former school on Wednesday and opened fire on several classrooms.

Across South Florida and beyond, local and federal authorities have faced intensifying questions over why they failed to act on the red flags. The FBI had drawn the most scrutiny since it acknowledged Friday that the bureau received a tip in January that Cruz might attack a school and then never investigated that warning. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office also said Friday that police had received about 20 calls for service related to Cruz in recent years.

The missed warnings have taken an ominous shape in hindsight: The FBI said in a statement Friday it received a tip from someone close to Cruz who was concerned about his “gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behavior, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting.” The DCF report said that more than a year earlier, state officials were told of Cruz’s intention to purchase a gun.

The DCF report said that the agency began looking into Cruz in September 2016, four days after he turned 18. The report said that Cruz was viewed as “a vulnerable adult due to mental illness,” stating that he has depression and had been taking medication in the past. This report’s findings were first made public by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

Officials with DCF have not publicly released the report but have petitioned a court for permission to disclose “confidential records that pertain to an investigation of alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.” A DCF spokeswoman has said that Cruz had no child-welfare history with the state agency and said Saturday that the state investigation in 2016 was to determine whether Cruz was safe and had access to necessary services.

“While the APS report related to this individual remains confidential pending a court order for release, we have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the 2016 case,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said in a statement. “Mental health services and supports were in place when this investigation closed. We look forward to Monday’s hearing, where we will ask that these records are released so the public can have access to this important information.”

The investigators who wrote the report could not be reached for comment, and one counselor mentioned in the report declined to comment when reached Saturday.

Investigators appeared to be looking into Cruz’s home situation because he was deemed a “vulnerable adult,” and they were determining whether he was being treated well and whether he was taking his medication. Investigators found no reason to think he was being mistreated and found that he had support at home from his mother.

But in the allegation section of the report, investigators wrote that Cruz and his mother, Lynda, were arguing over paperwork he needed to obtain an identification card. Cruz also was described as being ort but have petitioned a court for permission to disclose “confidential records that pertain to an investigation of alleged abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.” A DCF spokeswoman has said that Cruz had no child-welfare history with the state agency and said Saturday that the state investigation in 2016 was to determine whether Cruz was safe and had access to necessary services.

“While the APS report related to this individual remains confidential pending a court order for release, we have reviewed the circumstances surrounding the 2016 case,” DCF Secretary Mike Carroll said in a statement. “Mental health services and supports were in place when this investigation closed. We look forward to Monday’s hearing, where we will ask that these records are released so the public can have access to this important information.”

The investigators who wrote the report could not be reached for comment, and one counselor mentioned in the report declined to comment when reached Saturday.

Investigators appeared to be looking into Cruz’s home situation because he was deemed a “vulnerable adult,” and they were determining whether he was being treated well and whether he was taking his medication. Investigators found no reason to think he was being mistreated and found that he had support at home from his mother.

But in the allegation section of the report, investigators wrote that Cruz and his mother, Lynda, were arguing over paperwork he needed to obtain an identification card. Cruz also was described as being depressed and having been seen on Snapchat cutting his arms.

The report said Cruz’s mother told officials that he was having issues because of a breakup with a girl who was cheating on him. Cruz’s mother also told investigators that she and the girl’s mother “told the kids they had to end the relationship because it was unhealthy for everyone,” the report states, without elaborating.

Cruz had gotten into a fight with another boy over the girl, his mother said, adding that the cutting began only after Cruz and the girl broke up.

Cruz’s mother also is quoted as saying that he did not have a gun at the time of the investigation, though he had an air gun that was taken away when he broke household rules about only firing it at targets in the back yard.

In a safety assessment, the report said the level of risk to Cruz was low because he “has services already in place” and “resides with his mother, attends school and receives counseling.” Cruz’s mother died of pneumonia in November, relatives said, while Broward County Public Schools officials say he was expelled from Douglas last year for unspecified disciplinary issues.

According to the report, Cruz’s mother said her son and their family have never had “issues with other races or issues with racism.” She also said Cruz claimed he did not know what the drawings on his backpack meant.

The investigation was closed less than two months after it began, concluding that there were “no indicators to support the allegations of inadequate supervision or medical neglect.” The report does not say who made the allegations that prompted the probe.

Attorneys representing Cruz acknowledge his guilt, but they have assailed the missed warnings that piled up over the years before the bloodshed at Douglas.

“The system that’s designed to identify folks that are posing a threat to themselves and more importantly to others, it failed,” said Gordon Weekes, the chief assistant Broward County public defender and one of the attorneys representing Cruz. “It just utterly failed. . . . With all these failures in the system that should have recognized a clear cry for help, the system did not work the way it was designed.”

depressed and having been seen on Snapchat cutting his arms.

The report said Cruz’s mother told officials that he was having issues because of a breakup with a girl who was cheating on him. Cruz’s mother also told investigators that she and the girl’s mother “told the kids they had to end the relationship because it was unhealthy for everyone,” the report states, without elaborating.

Cruz had gotten into a fight with another boy over the girl, his mother said, adding that the cutting began only after Cruz and the girl broke up.

Cruz’s mother also is quoted as saying that he did not have a gun at the time of the investigation, though he had an air gun that was taken away when he broke household rules about only firing it at targets in the back yard.

In a safety assessment, the report said the level of risk to Cruz was low because he “has services already in place” and “resides with his mother, attends school and receives counseling.” Cruz’s mother died of pneumonia in November, relatives said, while Broward County Public Schools officials say he was expelled from Douglas last year for unspecified disciplinary issues.

According to the report, Cruz’s mother said her son and their family have never had “issues with other races or issues with racism.” She also said Cruz claimed he did not know what the drawings on his backpack meant.

The investigation was closed less than two months after it began, concluding that there were “no indicators to support the allegations of inadequate supervision or medical neglect.” The report does not say who made the allegations that prompted the probe.

Attorneys representing Cruz acknowledge his guilt, but they have assailed the missed warnings that piled up over the years before the bloodshed at Douglas.

“The system that’s designed to identify folks that are posing a threat to themselves and more importantly to others, it failed,” said Gordon Weekes, the chief assistant Broward County public defender and one of the attorneys representing Cruz. “It just utterly failed. . . . With all these failures in the system that should have recognized a clear cry for help, the system did not work the way it was designed.”

Since the shooting, Parkland has mourned the dead, who included 14 students and three school staffers. The region also has seen a surge in anti-gun activism and anger, highlighted by hundreds of infuriated students, teachers and residents who gathered outside the federal courthouse in Fort Lauderdale on Saturday, chanting “enough” and “not one more.”

Defense attorneys have said that Cruz will plead guilty to the shooting if prosecutors agree not to seek the death penalty, arguing that it would not be right to execute someone who slipped through so many cracks.

Michael J. Satz, the state attorney for Broward County, said his office would not formally announce whether it will seek a death sentence until further along in the investigation, saying that now is a time to let families mourn. But he also said Saturday that the rampage “certainly is the type of case the death penalty was designed for.”






















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