• Facebook threats lead to shooting of 12 year-old

    Date: 05.27.11 | by Judge Tom.

    Teenage gangs use social networking sites like everyone else. The downside of electronic communication is evident when threats are exchanged and cross over into real life.

    In April, 2011 two rival gangs exchanged threats on Facebook. This led to a shooting outside Cook Elementary School in Chicago. A 14 year-old gang member shot into a crowd of students standing in front of the school at the end of the day. A 12 year-old boy, a rival gang member, was hit in the back and hospitalized.

    The older boy was arrested and charged with attempted murder and aggravated battery. He was placed in a juvenile detention facility pending further hearings. The posts on Facebook continued with new threats of retaliation between the gangs.

    Ten Safe Frogs (Flickr)

    Law enforcement, likewise, uses social media to investigate and monitor criminal activity. It is very difficult to remain anonymous today. Your digital footprint is everywhere and can be easily traced. To avoid trouble at school, work and with the law, think ahead about consequences of mean-spirited and cruel posts.

    This New York Times story explains the efforts to fight crime by cyber-experts.

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    3 Comments subscribe to these comments.

    • Sierra
      Fri, 03 Jun 2011 at 06:15

      The concept of a shooting in elementary school seems wild to me! The fact that is was perpetuated online, is possibly even more baffling. We need to be aware of the dangerous uses of social media. Connecting with friends and playing farmville is one thing. Endangering lives is another.
      We couldn’t agree with you more, Sierra.

    • Oklahoma City Divorce Attorney Matt Ingham
      Wed, 29 Jun 2011 at 08:52

      In today’s high tech society, it is easier than ever to start a feud with someone because of social networking. Most of these gang members are cowards…their inability to cope with their fear is the very reason why they joined a gang to begin with. It is easy to fathom someone with the character of a gang member trash talking a rival gang member on line initially, and then the hostilities escalate between the two members’ gangs until one day, someone gets seriously hurt.

    • Divorce Lawyers Tulsa
      Thu, 01 Sep 2011 at 03:14

      Teenage gangs are a menace to our society. Articles like this one help increase the public’s awareness of the menace though. Thanks for sharing this article with the rest of us.

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