“It seems like more and more gang members joined in order to get free military training and gain new skills that they can use when they are back in their street gangs. This epidemic of gang members in the US army, marines and even the navy is getting worse. It seems like the background checks aren’t that accurate and can’t always detect who’s legit vs who’s a criminal.”
Micah Johnson, a US Army Reserves veteran, is accused of gunning down and murdering five Dallas police officers during a Black Lives Matter Event on July 8, 2016. This is considered one of the deadliest attacks on police officers since September 11, 2001. He was eventually killed in a stand off with police. In recent media reports we learned that Micah Johnson deployed to Afghanistan from November 2013 to July 2014. He was accused of sexual harassment while deployed to Afghanistan in May 2014. He was accused of stalking and stealing women’s underwear as well. The victim sought a protection order and told superiors he needed mental health treatment. The protection order was granted and the Commanding officer recommended an Other Than Honorable discharge and sent him home early from his deployment to Afghanistan. Johnson’s military attorney stated that this kind of punishment is unusual for an isolated incident of sexual harassment. As part of a tentative agreement, it was recommended that Johnson receive a general discharge which saves the Army time and resources needed to discharge soldiers under Other Than Honorable conditions. Instead he was eventually released from the Army with a honorable discharge in April 2015.
As a result of his actions while serving, he was not investigated and prosecuted but instead sent back home from overseas and discharged from the US Army Reserves honorably. Although we have limited information in which to base conclusions, at first glance this looks like a case of escalation of predatory behavior that starts with sexual harassment, progresses to stalking, then the individual gets brazen and starts breaking and entering to steal his victims belongings. It would only be a matter of time before the individual escalated to sexual assault, rape and then murder. It’s too early to make a definitive conclusion as we are still waiting for information to come in because this story is developing. But one thing we do know is that the US Army Reserves took the easy way out, booted Micah Johnson from the military to protect it’s service members, and unleashed him on society with no warning or records. This case is another reason why we need the military to investigate and process each and every case through the legal system so we at least have a fighting chance at prevention and escalation of crimes. If the military can’t handle or afford to investigate and prosecute each case to determine the soldier’s danger to society, then maybe they should hand over the investigation and prosecution of crimes to the civilians. This isn’t the first case they let slip through the cracks and it certainly won’t be the last.
TSgt Zechariah Casagranda, Barksdale Air Force Base, US Air Force, was murdered in the rear parking lot of the Rockin Rodeo in Bossier City, Louisiana at 2:00 a.m. on January 24, 2016. The 34 year old airman was stabbed during an altercation involving two groups of men at the night club. Bossier City Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit detectives arrested 21 year old Benjamin William Shaw of Killeen, Texas in connection with the fatal stabbing. Shaw is facing a charge of second degree murder. Shaw posted $500,000 bond and was released to the custody of his parents in Naples, Maine.
Louisiana authorities made Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department in Maine aware of the case and they were asked to periodically check in on Shaw. But other local officials are concerned that they were not notified and are not sure why he was allowed to travel to Maine. According to WMTW, Shaw can’t leave Cumberland County, except to meet with his attorney or for court appearances. He has to surrender his passport, can’t have firearms or weapons, and can’t have contact with the victim’s family. Shaw must also report to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office weekly.