Following a tragedy like the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut last week, emotions are high. People are ultra-sensitive to potentially offensive comments. After all, 26 people were killed, most of them well under the age of 10. But, does that mean we should react to bad jokes with arrests? An 18-year old Hamilton County man is likely asking the same question.
Devin Carey made an offensive joke, an off-the-cuff remark, and he put it on Facebook as his status. It was insensitive and pretty stupid. But, local law enforcement decided it amounted to a crime.
While officials aren’t saying exactly what the status was, people working to “Free Devin Carey” say it went something like this: “Im so annoyed with dumb statuses about the Connecticut incident on my newsfeed that i think could shoot a few kids myself….”
The status message was highly inappropriate; there’s no one contesting that. But was it worth incarceration and a $100,000 bond being set? Not likely.
Carey stands accused of inciting panic. In the legal world, that’s sort of like stirring up alarm or mass fear among people. Court records say he caused “serious public inconvenience or alarm” for school officials in the district where he lives. A Hamilton County judge has set his bail at $100,000, likely ensuring he won’t be released anytime soon.
When emotions are high, a system that should be devoid of emotions sometimes gets swept up. The arrest of Devin Carey is one thing. His being held on $100,000 is another. Did he incite panic? Considering the only people who saw his message were likely friends and family, they probably knew he wouldn’t shoot up a school. But, perhaps some people don’t know him that well. There’s a small chance that someone could have believed his remark, despite it reading like an easily-frustrated rant, so common on the social network.
Even if there was cause to arrest him, does the judge really think he is a flight risk or that he would do damage to the people around him? Is it really worth a $100,000 bond?
There’s little doubt that the emotion of the Sandy Hook tragedy has played into Devin Carey’s arrest and treatment thus far. But, that’s often the way the system works these days. Sure his comment was idiotic, but treating him as a representation of Adam Lanza won’t likely make the world any safer.
If you are accused of a crime and you believe you are being treated unfairly, you need someone advocating for your rights. Contact our offices today to discuss your case and how we might be able to help.