A charter school student in Lakeland, Florida sparked quite a reaction when he wore body armor to school.
Newberry was arrested Oct. 6 after he went to school wearing a bulletproof vest over a T-shirt Oct. 3. An officer questioned him about the vest at the charter school, Life Skills Center, 407 E. Memorial Blvd.OK--granted, that's a bit odd, but it's not a crime, and not dangerous in itself.
Life Skills administrator Curtis Thomas said Newberry walked into a class of about two dozen students wearing the vest. A teacher told Thomas, who in turn told a school resource officer about the student's unusual attire.
Still, the police were called, and apparently did not like what Newberry had to say.
"Newberry displayed a great knowledge of assault weapons, police body armor, and knowledge of defeating body armor for the purpose of killing human beings," an officer said in a police report.Are we to understand that merely knowing about firearms and body armor is enough to cast suspicion on us? Perhaps the authorities should subpoena the Guns and Ammo subscription list--any regular reader of such literature must be up to no good.
The officer wrote that he "... believes Newberry is training and arming himself for some future illegal event."Well that explains the arrest--if an officer believes that someone is acquiring skills, knowledge, and equipment that may be used "for some future illegal event," he needs to be locked up--and don't bother me with talk of "Bill of Rights" crap.
The actual arrest (and suspension from school) was apparently triggered by the fact that when searching his car, the police found an empty canister of a "tear gas-like" substance.
When Shawn Newberry consented to a search of his car, police charged him after they found a can of Clear Out, a nonlethal tear gas-like spray. Newberry was suspended from school.I am not familiar with Florida law regarding tear gas (and the like), but mere possession of it (or in this case, possession of a canister that no longer contains it) seems rather non-threatening.
Jessie Newberry explained that the Clear Out bottle was empty and his son kept it for protection during his delivery job at Pizza Hut on routes in bad neighborhoods.
It was then that Newberry revealed his possession of "assault knowledge."
After the search, more red flags were raised when Newberry talked about bulletproof vests with officers questioning him, police records state.The car apparently also contained a piece of paper with "10-19" written on it. Scary stuff (I guess).
"Newberry explained ... that the only way to defeat the body armor is with a head shot or shooting someone's legs hitting the arterial vein so that they would 'bleed out.'"
Officers said in documents they thought it was unusual that Newberry would talk about killing people "in such a calculated way" with three officers present.
The arrest led to a search of his home that turned up firearms, ammunition (both of which were acquired legally, apparently), a small amount of marijuana, and a video camera with footage of Newberry and others doing some target practice. Obviously, the marijuana is illegal, and the target practice included a newspaper box (which apparently wasn't his), so it does seem that Newberry has broken some laws (he has been charged with "armed trespassing, grand theft for stealing the box and criminal mischief for damaging the box."). Not particularly monstrous crimes, it would seem.
He is in the Polk County Jail in lieu of $605,000 bail.Rather a lot, don't you think?
The owner of the shop where Newberry bought his first AK-47 clone was also interviewed for the article.
An LPD officer in the store when Newberry purchased the gun asked him why he was buying it. Newberry could not provide a good reason, Dunn [the shop owner] said.Well of course interest peaked in him--if you can't provide a curious "only one" with a good reason for buying a gun (especially a politically incorrect one like a semi-auto copy of an AK-47), you need to be watched.
"Right about that time interest peaked in him," Dunn said.
Luckily, Big Brother seems to be on top of it.