Police have arrested two individuals after they were caught stealing toys from a memorial outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The school in question was the site of the February 2018 Parkland shooting where a former student shot and killed 17 people and injured another 17. The two people were arrested by deputies and charged “one count of disfiguring a tomb or monument, a third-degree felony”. They were named as Michael Kennedy, aged 37, and Kara O’Neil, aged 40.
Around 10pm in the evening the local police were called by concerned witnesses who noticed the pair removing items from various memorials near to the school. When police arrived they found the pair and searched their car. They found “found teddy bears, plaques and pin wheels” all taken from the memorial site and placed on the backseat of their vehicle.
Bizarrely, when brought in front of a judge Michael Kennedy tried to argue that the memorials should not count as a tomb or monument and that the pair were not guilty of any crime. The judge did not consider this a sufficiently convincing argument and ordered the pair to be held in police custody and held on a $1000 bail bond.
Michael Kennedy has a prior conviction for dealing oxycontin, assaulting an officer, and burglary. Neither of the two decided to offer a reason, excuse, or even apology, for why they were stealing objects left behind at a memorial dedicated to the victims of mass murder.
Police said the two individuals had teddy bears, plaques, and pinwheels from the memorial site in their car. https://t.co/YSqbeOMIkc— 103.1 KISS FM (@kissfm1031) March 27, 2018
The Parkland shooting was one of the deadliest in recent US history and has ignited a nationwide debate focused on gun control. It has provoked mass walk-outs and protests from younger generations who intend to show politicians the support for increased gun control. Opponents argue that gun control would only hinder innocent from defending themselves and make no impact on criminal behaviour which, by its nature, does not take the law into consideration.
Despite the intensity of this debate few people would be anything but shocked and disgusted by O’Neil and Kennedy’s behaviour which can only be described as a gross and egregious attempt to exploit and benefit from the murder of children.