We are 30 days into 2018, and Stockton crime has reached a new level.
Before, when we would think of robberies or shootings we would picture someone perhaps in their twenties or at least someone around that age.
However, there is a new sad reality in our town, where we now are in fear of the crimes being committed by children ranging from 10 to 14.
Where is our community headed when we have a 14-year-old being booked in juvenile detention under suspicion of first degree murder?
Yet some people still have the audacity to claim that this teenager shouldn’t face severe consequences for his actions.
On Jan. 12, Chris Combs was allegedly shot and killed at the March Lane Food 4 Less by 14-year-old Eric Lamar Sloan, Jr.
Prior to the shooting, Sloan was on probation for previous encounters with the law.
“Just looking at the suspect’s age of 14 is alarming and concerning to us here at the police department and just the action of him pulling that trigger, what these kids don’t realize now a days is there’s consequences when you pull that trigger,” said Joe Silva with the Stockton Police Department in a statement released by CBS Sacramento.
While reading what viewers had to say about the case I was baffled by the fact that many people believe that because Sloan is young, he shouldn’t have to subjected to a long life behind bars.
My firm belief is that if you’re old enough to do the crime, you’re old enough to do the time.
I agree and understand this is a child with a potential future ahead of him, but does that mean we should teach our community that if you’re young you can get off easy?
On Jan. 22, an 11-year-old held up a gas station at gun point attempting to rob the place.
How are these young children accessing firearms at their age?
A few days later the robber was picked up by police at his elementary school, and yet again we were faced with people claiming we shouldn’t punish the child.
Instead, let’s have all the blame and punishment inflicted on the parents.
Many are saying the parents should be blamed for what the children are doing.
Although that might be true, what does that mean?
Can the children commit the crime because at the end of the day, mommy and daddy will clean up the mess?
Why are we not putting the blame on the child who was bold enough to carry a firearm and put another person’s life in jeopardy? Or kill another person?
Even though these are young children we are discussing, they’re still old enough to know right from wrong. If they have the mentality that it is okay to take someone else’s life, they should know there are consequences.
Stockton needs to not let these children off easy, and make a statement to any other young people thinking about committing a crime that: No matter your age, you will see drastic punishment for your actions.
Not putting these children away and leaving them out in society also puts our community in danger and leaves us open to be the next victim in a robbery or shooting.