Defender: Video of kids waving fake gun should have never been online

Video surveillance screen shot. Courtesy PPD
Video surveillance screen shot. Courtesy PPD

A public defender is questioning why a video of juveniles playing with a toy gun was put on the Philadelphia Police’s YouTube channel.

Three juveniles, ages 10, 13 and 14, were charged with harassment for pointing a toy gun at people on the street. The older two juveniles were additionally charged with reckless endangerment and simple assault.

The youth were identified after Philadelphia Police posted the video online. Michelle Mason, whose office will be defending the 13-year-old, questioned why the video was put online at all.

“Child pornography is illegal so why are the police putting video of children on the Internet?” asked Mason, assistant chief of the Juvenile Special Defense Unit of the Philadelphia Public Defenders Office. “Nowadays, it is standard procedure to put videos of suspects on the Internet, but the police could have refrained from posting a video with children.”

She acknowledged the individuals who had the gun directed at them may not have been able to tell it was fake.

“There was a time that parents could go to their neighbors and apologize for their children’s behavior. Once the media got involved, everything went to Hell in a hand basket,” said Mason.

The recent trend toward restorative justice, which focuses on victim’s rights, concerns her.

“Whenever we want to make a change in a juvenile case, be it a change of care provider or home visit, the victim has to be informed,” she said. “In many cases, the victim does not even know the juvenile.”

The juveniles are expected in court today.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.