In the fog of a early Wednesday morning, two young birds of the juvenile justice system came home to roost. Unfortunately, it was not those who coddled these individuals who paid the price, but rather one who stood up on behalf of the community, working to insure that others would be protected from the lawlessness that Robert Jobe and Sherman Powell represented.
What makes this even more upsetting is how it may have been prevented. The "alleged" shooter, Robert Jobe, at 15 years of age, has a rap sheet as long as my arm - including weapons charges and drug activity. Each time, he was not convicted of the felony charge, but let go with a stern warning to behave. Instead of time being locked up, he was placed in "drug court" with orders to report to the court each week - and I have not found evidence that he did so. I am relatively certain that his probation on the latest gun charge - which was reduced to a misdemeanor charge of carrying a concealed weapon - required him to attend school. Despite attending only 2 days in 2 weeks, he was "within a week" of being reported as truant. The electronic monitor he was supposed to be wearing apparently wasn't checked as well.
Throughout his run-ins with police, Jobe was given chance after chance, without real punishment, just the admonishment to shape up. Apparently, any real punishment was considered detrimental to his "self-esteem." So, he was allowed to continue in this lawless ways, until one of Toledo's finest came along. Now, Jobe faces the potential of trial as an adult, regrettably without the possibility of the death penalty. More likely, however, he will be tried as a juvenile, locked up until 21, and have his records sealed - so that when he commits another crime or kills someone, there can be no mention to the jury that the crime under consideration was not his first.
So, in some sense, the blame for Detective Dressel's death is not Jobe's alone. This does not absolve Jobe for his actions, he must pay the price for his actions. However, he had a wonderful cast of enablers along the way, his family, the court system for letting him go time and time again, his schools, the list goes on. I guess it does take a village to raise a killer.
So, to you screaming at your computer right now, I ask does the following make sense. A puppy relieves itself on your floor, and you pat it's head gently and tell it in a calm voice how it needs to go outside. Then, one day when it is an adult dog, and performs the same action - you shoot it in the head. If that doesn't make sense, perhaps we should take a closer look at how we treat those juveniles who break the law.