BROOKLYN, NY – The suspect arrested in the Brooklyn subway shooting that left 10 shot and injured also left behind a trove of angry YouTube videos ranting about race, violence and his struggles with mental illness. The police are investigating them for a possible motive.
So, is there a way to see something like this happen and intervene?
We see so much on the internet, but when should we say something?
“They do monitor, in some areas, keywords, but again, there are so many that it’s actually impossible for the law enforcement community to monitor them,” said Brian Dorow, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.
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Frank James’ videos, now deleted from YouTube, are often rambling, with a recurring theme of violence, including reports on subway violence, stories from Milwaukee, where he recently lived, and the war in Ukraine. .
“I know it would be better – if nuclear devices fell, all of humanity would be wiped out,” James said in one of the videos.
“It’s certainly alarming,” Dorow said.
Dorow says red flags include escalating hateful or violent behavior online, specific details of a plan, and discussions about buying guns.
“Does it make the hair on the back of your neck stand up?” Dorow said. “Instinctively, we know when something is wrong.”
But he says our instincts can also keep us from intervening.
“Always make that effort because you don’t know the outcome,” Dorow said. “It could be that little nugget this person is looking for to put them on a different track.”
Whether it’s reaching out to someone’s friend, family or law enforcement, Dorow says it goes back to the old adage: if you see something, say something.
“If it’s harmless, no harm, no fault, but if you can prevent the next mass shooting, that’s pretty important,” Dorow said.
In the videos, James talks about having post-traumatic stress disorder. His lawyers requested a psychiatric expertise for him.