Just hours after a mass shooting in Cleveland, Ohio left nine people injured last weekend, Mayor Justin Bibb tried to pin the blame for the violence on Ohio’s Constitutional Carry law, telling reporters that the law itself directly led to shots being fired.
The bill, which went into effect in June 2022, grants Ohio citizens over 21 years of age to concealed carry without a permit.
“Across this state, from Cleveland to Columbus to Cincinnati we’ve seen an uptick in shootings across our state,” Bibb said.
19 Investigates learned Jennings’ criminal record dates back to at least 2018.
In fact, he was arrested twice before this just this year.
Court records show lots of criminal convictions in Lorain County and Cuyahoga County including several instances of drug trafficking and drug possession.
Jennings is currently facing charges in Lorain for possession of a controlled substance, driving with a suspended license, domestic violence, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and unlawful restraint.
Court documents show those cases are still pending.
Court records also show Jennings doesn’t have the best track record for showing up to court.
He failed to show up in the courtroom at least a dozen times over the years.
News 5 investigator Scott Noll discovered that a man with the same name and birth date as Jennings was out on bond at the time of the shooting. The man had been arrested and was awaiting trial in Lorain County for drug trafficking and drug possession charges. In that case, Jennings was released on $5,000 bail.
Other records show a man matching Jennings’s name and birth date was busted again in Lorain County in a separate drug case in March of this year. In that case, records show Jennings was released on his own recognizance.
In addition, Cleveland Municipal Court Records show a Jaylon Jennings with the same birth date failed to pay all his fines and court costs from a 2018 disorderly conduct conviction and had an outstanding warrant.
Amazing. Even though Jennings had an active warrant he was released from custody twice this year, once without having to pony up a single penny as bond. Will Mayor Bibb show the same outrage towards the failures of the criminal justice system that he displayed towards Ohio legislators? I sure hope so, but I’m not holding my breath, and I don’t think there’s a chance in hell that Bibb will ever acknowledge he was wrong about the role that SB 215 played in Saturday’s shooting. It wasn’t the permitless carry law that allowed Jennings to allegedly carry out this crime. It was a court system that turned a blind eye to his repeated transgressions, spitting him back onto the streets when he could have been behind bars.