Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.com.
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(Reuters) -The parents of a Michigan teenager accused of murdering four fellow high school students were taken into custody on Saturday, a day after each was charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the campus mass shooting.
Authorities began searching for James and Jennifer Crumbley after Oakland County prosecutors announced the charges on Friday, saying the Crumbleys bought the gun for their son as a Christmas present and then ignored warning signs that may have presaged such a massacre.
Detroit police said in the early hours of Saturday that they had taken the couple into custody.
The police found the two at what "looked like a residential building," Detroit police spokesman Rudy Harper said.
"We arrested them," Harper said when asked if the parents turned themselves in, adding they were trying to escape when they were caught.
Detroit Police Chief James White told a news conference the couple had not broken into the building where they were arrested, but had been let in by somebody.
The couple's 15-year-old son, Ethan Crumbley, is being held without bail and has been charged as adult on suspicion of carrying out the deadliest U.S. school shooting of 2021 on Tuesday at Oxford High School, about 40 miles (60 km) north of Detroit.
Crumbley's parents were expected to appear for a Friday afternoon arraignment but stopped responding to calls from their attorneys, according to Oakland County Undersheriff Mike McCabe, prompting a search by the Sheriff's Fugitive Apprehension Team.
After they failed to appear, the U.S. Marshals Service said it had taken on the case and was joining Oakland County officials in the search.
"The action of fleeing and ignoring their attorney certainly adds weight to the charges," Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a statement on Friday. "They cannot run from their part in this tragedy."
Even so, lawyers for the parents issued a statement on Friday saying they intended to return for their arraignment.
"They are not fleeing from law enforcement," attorneys Shannon Smith and Mariell Lehman said.
Four days before the shooting, Ethan accompanied his father to a gun shop, where James Crumbley bought a 9mm handgun, prosecutors said.
Ethan posted photos of the gun on social media, writing, "Just got my new beauty today." The next day his mother posted that the two of them were "testing out his new Christmas present," Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said.
McDonald detailed a number of other warning signs that she said the parents failed to act on.
On Nov. 21, a teacher found Ethan Crumbley searching for ammunition on his phone. His mother later texted him, "LOL, I'm not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught."
On the morning of the shooting, a teacher discovered drawings by Ethan Crumbley that depicted a handgun, a bullet, and a bleeding figure next to the words "Blood everywhere," "My life is useless," and "The thoughts won't stop - help me."
School officials summoned the Crumbleys and instructed them to get Ethan into counseling within 48 hours, McDonald said. The parents "resisted" the idea of taking their son home from school and did not search his backpack nor ask him about the gun, she said.
After the Crumbleys left the meeting without their son, Ethan Crumbley was returned to class and later walked out of a bathroom with the gun, killing four students and injuring seven other people, authorities said.
(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath and Reuters staffEditing by Sonya Hepinstall and Frances Kerry)
Reprinted with permission from AlterNet
If it seems like it was just yesterday that Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene labeled the President of the United States and in fact every Democrat in the country “communists,” it was, which is why it might seem strangely hypocritical that the Republican from Georgia is labeling herself the “most attacked” freshman member of Congress in all of U.S. history.
“Joe Biden is a communist,” Greene declared strongly Thursday evening. “And that’s who the Democrats are – they’re communists.”
“You know, a lot of people are swallowing down the word ‘socialist,’ but that’s not a good enough word for Democrats – they are communists,” Greene told her supporters, clearly ignorant of the words’ meanings.
“That’s the word we need to keep using with them,” she continued. “Because they’re using these unprecedented, authoritarian, tyrannical controls on the American people to force people to comply.”
Marge Greene today: \u201cJoe Biden is a communist. And that\u2019s what the Democrats are - they\u2019re communists. A lot of people are swallowing down the word \u2018socialist,\u2019 but .. they are communists.\u201dpic.twitter.com/agaGlwoi4N— Ron Filipkowski (@Ron Filipkowski) 1638499773
But Greene was singing a very different tune Friday afternoon.
“I have been the most attacked freshman Member of Congress probably in United States history,” Greene cried in a video she posted to social media. “The media has defamed me. They have completely smeared my character. Called me names and labeled me horrible things, none of which I am. None of the things they have said are true about me.”
Greene today: \u201cI have been the most attacked freshman Member of Congress probably in US history. The media has defamed me. They smeared my character. Call me names and labeled me horrible things, none of which I am.\u201dpic.twitter.com/a61WJaIsdP— Ron Filipkowski (@Ron Filipkowski) 1638567388
What has been said about Rep. Greene in the legitimate media? Unlike her videos, there’s a high degree of likelihood it’s mostly true.
Here’s a portion of what The New York Times wrote in January:
Marjorie Taylor Greene had just finished questioning whether a plane really flew into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, and flatly stating that President Barack Obama was secretly Muslim when she paused to offer an aside implicating another former president in a crime.
“That’s another one of those Clinton murders,” Ms. Greene said, referring to John F. Kennedy Jr.’s death in a 1999 plane crash, suggesting that he had been assassinated because he was a potential rival to Hillary Clinton for a New York Senate seat.
Ms. Greene casually unfurled the cascade of dangerous and patently untrue conspiracy theories in a 40-minute video that was originally posted to YouTube in 2018.
Ms. Greene suggested in a 2018 Facebook post, unearthed this week by Media Matters, that a devastating wildfire that ravaged California was started by “a laser” beamed from space and controlled by a prominent Jewish banking family with connections to powerful Democrats. She endorsed executing Democratic lawmakers, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She served as a prolific writer for a now-defunct conspiracy blog called “American Truth Seekers,” writing posts with headlines including “MUST READ — Democratic Party Involved With Child Sex, Satanism, and The Occult.” And she argued that the 2018 midterm elections — in which the first two Muslim women were elected to the House — were part of “an Islamic invasion of our government.”
Ms. Greene has repeatedly claimed in multiple videos and social media posts that several school shooting massacres were “false flag” events perpetrated by government officials in an attempt to drum up support for gun control laws. In an October 2020 video surfaced on Friday by Mother Jones, she said that the “only way you get your freedoms back is it’s earned with the price of blood.”
Ms. Greene is perhaps best known for having endorsed QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy movement that claims that Mr. Trump was facing down a shadowy cabal of Democratic pedophiles.
That was almost an entire year ago. You’re probably more familiar with all the baseless and unfounded attacks she has made since.
Greene has made lying about and attacking Democrats part of her weekly, if not daily routine. Sometimes those attacks have been very personal – and very close. Like when she followed Parkland shooting survivor and gun control activist David Hogg around the streets of D.C. He said he felt she was threatening him. Or more recently, when she verbally assaulted U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on the steps of Congress. That was one of her countless attacks against the New York Democrat who Greene seems disturbingly obsessed with.
But if indeed Greene is the “most attacked” freshman member of Congress in all of U.S. history, she has only herself to blame.
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