In the wake of the failure of law enforcement in Broward County to properly respond to and identify the Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz, prior to the events that left 17 dead, law enforcement agencies across the country are beginning to take warning signs more seriously. One such example led to a Chicago judge banning a 16-year old student from playing violent videogames following a social media outburst.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the student, a sophomore at Lake Park High School in suburban Chicago, decided to publicly express his annoyance with the amount of conversation surrounding school shootings and gun violence in the weeks after Parkland. In a video posted to Snapchat, the student recorded himself playing a shooter with the caption, “Y’all need to shut up about school shooting or I’ll do one.” The act followed the shutdown of the school’s two campuses following a threat of violence that was ultimately not deemed credible.
He was arrested on Monday, spent the evening in a juvenile detention center and was charged with felony disorderly conduct.
A search of his home found that he did not have any weapons, nor did he have access to any firearms. When he went in front of Judge Robert Anderson, the student’s public defender dismissed his comment as a joke, but prosecutors rebutted the defense, saying that school shootings were not an appropriate subject for humor.
Anderson placed the student on indefinite home detention and released him into his parents’ custody on Tuesday, but not before ordering him to turn over his phone to his parents and banning him from playing violent videogames indefinitely. “You can play all the Mario Kart you want,” said Anderson.
Anderson’s decision falls in line with statements by President Trump citing violence in videogames as a key influence on young people who choose to engage in violent activity. Such theories have been consistently disproven, but the White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Thursday that Trump will meet with videogame executives next week as part of a discussion on school safety.
No further information regarding the charges against the student have been released to this point and it is unknown how long the judge’s edict limiting the student’s gaming habits will last.