Florida Law Enforcement Officers Attempt to Preemptively Find Potential Mass Shooters
Written by Moses & Rooth on October 21, 2019
The devastating mass shootings that have occurred across the United States have spurred citizens to unite and urge their lawmakers to find solutions. Gun reform activists are using their collective voice to push for tougher gun laws. National retailers are taking steps and banning certain sales of guns and ammo. Several states are promoting legislation that creates more restrictions on the purchase of guns. In addition, law enforcement officers in Florida are also trying to combat mass shootings. They have come up with an idea – but the question is – at what cost? Law enforcement officers in Florida want to try to predict mass shooters before they act to commit their attacks. Police arrested a Florida teenager after he allegedly posted an online comment that he would use his father’s gun to kill people at his school.
How Will the Police Attempt to Identify Potential Mass Shooters?
Florida law enforcement agencies will train law enforcement officials to predict mass shooters before they take action. Agencies are attempting to create a statewide alert system that recognizes potential threats. In order for the system to work medical providers, the public, local governments, and police all would share information. A law enforcement official recently requested $24 million over a five year period to upgrade the agency’s record system. He also requested an extra $3.6 million for additional software and to hire more crime analysts.
Potential Problems With the Proposed Alert System
Senator Janet Cruz of Tampa recently stated that the panel is nothing more than an excuse to spend tens of thousands of dollars. She also expressed concerns that the program could lead to racial profiling. Others argue that the program will ultimately infringe on the rights of innocent Florida residents in its attempt to identify potential criminal defendants.
Some have compared the program to the “see something, say something” campaign after the September 11th attacks. The program could lead people to falsely report their neighbors. Critics argue that creating and maintaining lists of potential terrorist suspects could be used to unlawfully profile citizens who are residents, violating their right to privacy.
Could the New Program Work?
Proponents of the new system state that the program could have stopped the Florida man who shot six women, killing two of them at a yoga studio in Tallahassee two years ago. The shooter had been fired from jobs as a substitute teacher. Others had accused the man of hating women. He planned the attack several months in advance and purchased a weapon and 100 rounds.
In this case, police would have likely learned about him, proponents of the system say. It is unclear how exactly the program would have stopped him. Perhaps reports of him being fired would have triggered a red flag warning.
Would the system catch the Las Vegas shooter? He did not interact with the police at all and had no other apparent red flags. He did purchase a large amount of military-style rifles and at least 6,000 rounds of ammunition. State law prohibits state agencies from maintaining a list of residents who legally own firearms.
We can Help
If you have been accused of a crime in Florida, Moses & Rooth Attorneys at Law can help. We have successfully represented many clients in Orlando criminal defense cases. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free initial consultation.