Watch out for and learn from Highland Park warning signs and communication failures

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Illinois has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, but policymakers are scrambling to explain the series of missed warning signs and communication failures that led to the mass shooting of the 4th of July in Highland Park.

Much like 9/11, when law enforcement had information prior to this tragedy but failed to communicate consistently, mass killings continue to uncover indicators identified by some agencies but not communicated to others. ‘others.

Preventing any type of crime requires proper law enforcement and community engagement with monitoring and follow-up of laws already in place.

HIGHLAND PARK JULY FOURTH SUSPECT’S MOTHER HAS HAD CONDITIONS IN THE PAST, INCLUDING ABUSE ALLEGATIONS

The answer to mass shooting reduction is not to violate a constitutional right by abusing a second constitutional right, like in New York’s ridiculous new law that will troll every claimant’s social media accounts. gun looking for subjective signs of ‘character and conduct’. .”

It will be an easy law for the Supreme Court to strike down. The Constitution clearly prohibits this kind of government control — using a person’s speech to deny them the ability to exercise their Second Amendment right to carry a firearm for self-protection in New York or elsewhere.

A more robust effort would be better implementation of the laws and legal frameworks already in place in New York, Illinois, and across the country.

HIGHLAND PARK JULY FOURTH SUSPECT GROWED UP WITH BOOZY PARENTS WHO OFTEN CALLED 911 AT HOME: DOCUMENTS

Take a look at the alleged suspect in Illinois with growing and troubled behavior documented by an arrest at age 16, a suicide attempt at age 19 and just three months before applying for his FOID (Firearm Owners Identification card), the suspect threatened to “kill everyone”, including his mother and other family members, with 16 knives, a dagger and a sword.

Accused Highland Park gunman Robert E. Crimo III, 21, seen in the first booking photo. Crimo allegedly made threats during an incident at his home in 2019 in which a collection of knives was temporarily seized by police.
(Lake County Major Crimes Task Force)

The suspect’s troubled past and social media haven’t alarmed his family enough to cooperate with authorities, and his mother has refused to press charges. Highland Park Police, on the other hand, immediately filed a clear and present danger report with the state police.

Here’s where things took a wrong and avoidable turn. In a statement, Illinois State Police said that without parental cooperation and an arrest, the “kill everyone” incident did not meet the standards for entering information into the NICS database. , which could have prevented future gun ownership.

FILMING THE FOURTH OF JULY AT HIGHLAND PARK: A TIMELINE OF EVENTS

What if local prosecutors had intervened? Highland Park Police could have treated the life-threatening incident as a domestic violence case and prosecutors could have compelled all of the suspect’s family members to testify in court. Pursuing this case could have put the suspect in the NICS database and prevented the FOID application three months later.

HIGHLAND PARK, ILLINOIS: Flowers and cards are placed near a location where a mass shooting took place during the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

HIGHLAND PARK, ILLINOIS: Flowers and cards are placed near a location where a mass shooting took place during the July 4 parade in Highland Park, Illinois.
(Photo by Jacek Boczarski/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

The lawyer for the suspect’s father said his client was in the dark and unaware of his son’s issues. Likely facing future litigation, the father is adamant he sponsored his 19-year-old son’s FOID application in good conscience. Even simple communication between family members could have prevented the successful purchase of these firearms. Tragically, by 2021, the suspect had passed four gun purchase background checks and paid for his guns himself.

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That shouldn’t suit any of us. Miscommunication and a lack of trust in our criminal justice system compounds societal problems.

Before lawmakers in any state attempt to legislate guns, we need to do a better job of building a criminal justice system that people can trust to get it right and do it without collateral damage. .

As a prosecutor and brother of a violent crime survivor, I can tell you firsthand that it is impossible to stop all crimes before they happen. We can, however, remedy the cascading failures without restricting the rights of law-abiding Second Amendment citizens.

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While we can never rely on legislation to address all of the issues and ills facing the problem of gun violence in this country, lawmakers must consider how law enforcement will implement and follow through.

This requires more openness and more communication from all branches of government for suspects already on the radar for violence. And without compromise, we must never endanger our communities or public safety.

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT BRETT TOLMAN

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