Kid Put In Jail Over Facebook Comment Is Now On Suicide Watch

Over the weekend I posted about a Texas teenager put in a jail for posting a tasteless, but perfectly harmless, comment on Facebook.

Today The Blaze reports that Justin Carter, who spent his 19th birthday in jail, is on suicide watch:

Justin Carter, 19, is “currently on suicide watch in Comal County Jail near San Antonio, Texas” where he’s been locked up since February. If convicted, NPR reports, the third-degree felony carries up to 10 years in prison in Texas.

“Without getting into the really nasty details, he’s had concussions, black eyes, moved four times from base for his own protection,” Carter’s father, Jack, tells NPR. “He’s been put in solitary confinement, nude, for days on end because he’s depressed. All of this is extremely traumatic to this kid. This is a horrible experience.” CNN reports his father saying that his son is “very scared and he’s very concerned that he’s not going to get out. He’s pretty much lost all hope.”

Here’s a reminder of the “crime” Carter committed to earn himself months of jail, and apparently plenty of physical abuse:

“Someone had said something to the effect of ‘Oh you’re insane, you’re crazy, you’re messed up in the head,’ to which he replied ‘Oh yeah, I’m real messed up in the head, I’m going to go shoot up a school full of kids and eat their still, beating hearts,’ and the next two lines were lol and jk.,” said Carter.

“LOL” stands for “laughing out loud,” and “jk” means “just kidding,” but police didn’t think it was funny. Neither did a woman from Canada who saw the posting.

According to NPR, police are defending the decision to arrest and jail carter despite the fact that a search warrant revealed no evidence that he was serious about his comments:

…police in New Braunfels, Texas, who have investigated the case, acknowledge the “unfortunate” nature of Carter’s case but add they have little choice these days. “We have to … protect the general public and specifically, in this case, with it involving schoolchildren, we have to act,” said Lt. John Wells. “We take those very seriously.”

Flanary told CNN police didn’t find any weapons or other items indicating Carter’s comment was serious, but “in the times we’re living in, it was kind of a perfect storm.” According to court documents, Carter lived less than a half-mile from an elementary school in New Braunfels, Texas.

To the point of “the times we’re living in,” shouldn’t a police state where you can be arrested and jailed for months on end for something tasteless you wrote on the internet scare us just a little? The cops say they’re protecting us from school shootings.

Who is protecting us from the cops?

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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