Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others.
~ Thomas Jefferson

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Guerena Shooting: Initial Analysis

Came across a web site called "Confederate Yankee" where a gentleman who sounds as if he knows what he is talking about (states he has SWAT experience) does a critique of what is known about the SWAT killing of Jose Guerena, including a breakdown of what is visible on the helmet cam video that is available on the 'Net. I don't know if that is the entire video, or if it has been edited or cut short, but he bases his conclusions on what is available. The first half is a lengthy description of what SWAT is supposed to be, and how it is meant to operate. Well worth reading, but if your time and/or attention span are short, the analysis begins about halfway down into the article.

Mike M. is a lot gentler in his statement concerning how Pima County SWAT handled this incident than I would have been, even though I am a former peace keeper with law enforcement experience myself. He posts at the end of his article (please read it):
As you read further accounts of this situation keep in mind that the actions of the police must be judged only on what they knew, or reasonably should have known, when they arrived to serve the warrant that morning. Post-shooting attempts to paint Guerena as the worlds most dangerous drug dealer and homicidal maniac (who, faced with four armed men he likely recognized as police did not take his weapon off safe) mean nothing at all, other than that the police are furiously spinning to justify what may turn out to be unjustifiable.

I don’t have all the facts. No one does. But based on the video, and what is currently known, it is very hard indeed to see how the police acted with anything less than amazing incompetence, incompetence that cost the life of a former Marine, a man who was apparently a solid citizen working hard in a copper mine to provide for his young family.

* * * * * * * * * *

As Mike M. was, I also was amazed by the team member who ducked in at the last minute to shove his pistol past the heads of several of his teammates in order to unleash several shots himself, "me too" shots as Mike characterized them, shots that appeared not even to have been aimed, although he might have been shooting at Guerena's body as it lay on the floor. (I wonder if the coroner will do a forensic ballistics work-up to indicate whose bullets struck Guerena and how many hit him after he was already down and no longer a threat by even the wildest imagination.) Thank the Lord the wife and child were not struck by these or any of the previous rounds these miscreants blazed away with into that home.

It is my fervent hope, although I am too cynical to expect it, that a real investigation of this incident will be done, and that the planners and executors (intentional use of the word) of this SWAT debacle will suffer serious consequences. In either a legal or extra-legal fashion.

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Sorry, folks. I was completely ignorant about comment rules. Anyone can post, but I'd prefer a name, even if it is made up. Anonymous posts just seem cheap, if you know what I mean. Also, if you want to argue a point, that's fine. Cheap shots and name calling towards me or another person commenting (ad hominem) is rude and will get you banned. Other than that, I'd love to get some comments.