May 31, 2011
Teen shoots 3 girls fight and uploads video to Facebook network
We live the oddest days. For a normal person that lives by the rules it’s difficult to make sense of some behaviors. When I was young and attending high school boys had fist fights in the space outside. Some would watch and do nothing; the old ones may try to put an end to the fight. I remember broken noses and bleeding on the cement floor. Boys will always engage on fights. Girls also had their share of grievances and vengeances. But it was another game. Violence has a number of complex factors that contribute to it. Violence at an early age is chocking. What kind of human beings are we raising? The education of children and young people is demanding. Many face hard living conditions. But my grandmother lived through the War times and she and the community where she lived endured hardship, yet, she never told me about significant tales of violence in her neighborhood. Parents delegate their responsibility in school but school cannot substitute to the role of parents. Teacher’s authority is gone. Many teachers are often disrespected and even assaulted. The society itself hasn’t a culture of nonviolence in its root. Since the event took place the television showed that video many times, a video that can be translated into half a dozen words. But spectacle is what our society enjoys. Words are not enough. To young people is no longer enough to tell the story. They share the images on mobile phones and internet. Audiences also want to consume the images as if they were addicted to them. Without a change in education there is no change in society.
This month of May a young man of 18 years filmed and posted on Facebook a video of a 13 year old being beaten by two other girls of 15 and 16 years of age before the passivity of other youngsters. They were slapping, kicking the victim's head on the floor and pulling his hair. This happened on the outskirts of Lisbon. Authorities raided the house of the alleged author of the video and seized the suspect's phone and computer. The older girl and the young man who has a criminal record are now preventively detained. Others that watched with hands down were made defendants in the process.
The Criminal Court of Lisbon decided to detain the 16 year old girl accused of assaulting. This measure was equally applied to the boy of 18 who filmed the episode. The other girl just turned 16 two days after that episode, so it’s a case to the Court of Children and Family.
It is not common to order preventive arrest to someone with 16 years for grievous bodily assault. Up to 18 years it is rare to go to jail. Youngsters must have done some serious stuff to go to jail. This measure just applies to crimes that are punished with at least five years of imprisonment.
The Head of the Lawyers (Barristers) has already questioned this measure. But others do agree with the judge that took it. There’s a big discussion going on. Some say that sometimes the arrest is used to protect the aggressor himself. The attitude of the girl during interrogatory may have led to this, just imagine that she was not sorry for what she did.
The special perversity of the aggression that included the dissemination of violent aggression over the Internet, causing social unrest and intense alarm was important for the judge to rule that way. This decision is also a warning to youth and to those who like to attack, shoot and publish videos of the deed on social networks.
In Portugal there is a law for young people between 16 and 21 years. These are subject to a Special Criminal Regime and must stay in detention centers not prisons, but these centers do not exist.
How would this situation be dealt by authorities in your country? Do you have knowledge of similar cases? (For some facts I based my post on a news article published on Público Portuguese newspaper)