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May 25, 2011 11:07 PM   Subscribe

Pima County, Arizona cops have murdered a marine veteran in his own home. Apparently he was shot 60 times.
posted by bardic (34 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: A lot of heavy-handedness and editorializing for such a short post -- vacapinta



 
I'm not sure if this particular case has any bearing on it, but I think Arizona has the single most toxic culture of anywhere in the country right now. I'm not even sure I'd enter the state right now - certainly I wouldn't unless I absolutely have to.

It's to the point where I honestly think that switching the contents of the prisons and the police forces would result in a net improvement.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:13 PM on May 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here we go again.
posted by dersins at 11:21 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


I suppose I can just about understand the police mistakenly firing on someone pointing a gun at them, but:

the police refused to allow paramedics to access Guerena for more than hour, leaving the young father to bleed to death, alone, in his own home.

Jesus.
posted by jack_mo at 11:24 PM on May 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


switching the contents of the prisons and the police forces would result in a net improvement

Aha! I smell a reality show pleading to be made.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 11:24 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is really quite awful. The paramilitary business police departments like to get into needs to be stopped.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 11:25 PM on May 25, 2011


One hopes the FBI will be tasked to investigate, but Obama seems firmly behind the drug war that took this man's life.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:26 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


These kinds of stories are going to happen with increasing frequency in the coming years. You've got a lot of steriod-enhanced militarized SWAT teams patrolling America's streets, plus you've got a lot of angry, alienated and well-armed young men coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan, many of them with mental health and substance abuse issues. It's a powderkeg.

The real story, in my mind, is how the Tea Party and the traditional right are going to react to more stories like these. On the one hand, you've got the Police (who we support without fail), and on the other hand, you've got the Vets (who we claim to support without fail).

In the coming years, America's ongoing drug war is going to claim more lives, and it's going to claim not a few veterans as well. "Iraq War veteran shot by cops during drug bust" could possibly become my generation's "Homeless Vietnam Vet passed out on sidewalk". I think the tension between the two sides -- police vs. vets -- may create new divisions in our society where we haven't seen them before.

It may help turn the tide in the drug war, even. We'll see.
posted by Avenger at 11:27 PM on May 25, 2011 [11 favorites]


The police are going to lie through their teeth to justify this. Every member of that team is going to betray his oath and lie to protect his fellow officers. And nothing is going to happen to any of them, because in the USA when a cop hits you in the face, it's always your fault.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:29 PM on May 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


It my look like murder and it may smell like murder, but one week after the incident is too soon to be plastering *MURDERED* on MeFi's front page.
posted by Ardiril at 11:33 PM on May 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


and a stark contrast to the SWAT team, which despite never receiving hostile fire, unleashed a barrage of bullets that penetrated not only Jose Guerena but, according to sources I spoke with, also the walls of neighboring homes

If this is the case, it seems to me the entire neighborhood should be allowed to sue the police department for reckless endangerment, at the very least.
posted by FireballForever at 11:35 PM on May 25, 2011


... cuz in this country, doing such may get someone murdered.
posted by Ardiril at 11:36 PM on May 25, 2011


And nothing is going to happen to any of them, because in the USA when a cop hits you in the face, it's always your fault.

Well your face bruised the cop's knuckles. That's assault, sir.
posted by Talez at 11:37 PM on May 25, 2011 [3 favorites]


(At least one of these confrontations between police and Iraq/Afghanistan veterans had a decent ending)
posted by milkrate at 11:39 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Shoot Whoever Appears Threatening
posted by jeremy b at 11:42 PM on May 25, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, a veteran? I thought those crazy Arizonians had more respect for... wait, his name was Jose? Oh. OH.

Well then.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:44 PM on May 25, 2011 [4 favorites]


One hopes the FBI will be tasked to investigate, but Obama seems firmly behind the drug war that took this man's life.

Endlessly depressing facts about America: Support for the drug war is, at this point, essentially a non-negotiable prerequisite for electability to anything higher up the ladder than dog catcher.

It's like living in a world where you have to join the Flat Earth Society before they'll even put your name on a ballot.
posted by brennen at 11:45 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Was the tank not available?
posted by Artw at 11:45 PM on May 25, 2011


The War on (Some) Drugs is, along with actual wars, a topic that leftists and liberals share a common goal with Libertarians and (dare I say it) Tea Party-types. There's a lot of overlap there, a lot of people who would like to see the Drug War stopped completely, or at the very least toned down.

I hate to hijack the thread with a question, but I've just gotta know: do we have the numbers? Do the people that want this Drug War to continue outnumber the people that want this all to stop? I usually hesitate to lump Democrats and Republicans together, but when it comes to this issue, they are absolutely in lock step, and treat any kind of reform on the Drug War to be a total third rail issue. Touch it with a ten foot pole and watch your political career die. So in their own self interest, they don't touch it.

But does that mean that the majority of people in this country are ok with SWAT bullshit like this? Not to demean his military service, but should it even matter that he was a veteran? If he weren't, this story might very well be buried amongst all the other Drug War casualties.
posted by zardoz at 11:47 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


the drug war

Rolling Stone: How America Lost the War on Drugs
posted by Mikey-San at 11:55 PM on May 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


But Libertarians will, without exception, "grudgingly" vote for a Republican over a Democrat every single time.

And the Teabaggers are Republicans who have simply moved further to the right due to racism and unfounded paranoia.
posted by bardic at 11:56 PM on May 25, 2011


In what world, ever, is it justified to have several SWAT teams from four different police departments raid a home for marijuana? I can somewhat understand the sentiment behind the puritanical War on Drugs, but even if you don't buy that marijuana is less damaging than cigarettes, this level of force is grotesquely overblown for anything less than putting heroin in baby powder.

/wanders off to find another choir
posted by Phire at 12:02 AM on May 26, 2011


Zardoz,
There is some common ground with the libertarian right. It's interesting to me that a guy from the Oath Keepers (a right wing organization) went out and investigated the shooting. From the HuffPo article:
This week I also spoke with Ray Epps, a retired Marine sergeant from Mesa, Arizona and president of the Arizona chapter of Oath Keepers, the controversial organization of police and military personnel who have vowed not to enforce laws they believe are unconstitutional. After hearing about Guerena's death, Epps drove to Tucson to investigate.
I remember in early 2001, watching the movie Traffic and there was a lot of discussion in the mainstream press about the futility of the drug war. I was very hopeful that we might be able to have a sane national conversation about the costs of the drug war. Then the planes hit the towers, and we all know what happened next.
posted by wuwei at 12:05 AM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bravo for Huffington Post for having a rather well-researched actual article of their own and not just ripping off someone else's writing and putting their own banner on it. If they're doing that kind of reporting across the board, they may be worth not mocking anymore.
posted by hippybear at 12:08 AM on May 26, 2011


I recently represented Darryl George. Darryl out in his yard at his home in the country. A neighbor heard a lot of yelling coming from Darryl and another man at Darryl's house and called the police. When the police arrived, it was completely dark out. One police car arrived to check things out and the blue lights were not activated. Everyone was in the house by the time the police arrived. The police walked around to the back deck that led to the back door. There were two officers. One of them banged on the side of the house to get the attention of those inside as they approached the deck. There were not lights on in the back yard. Darryl was inside and heard a sudden banging on the side of his house. He was holding his shotgun when he went to the back door to see what the commotion was about. The police never identified themselves to Darryl. It was dark. They shot Darryl five times. None of those facts are in dispute.

Darryl was hospitalized for a month or so and survived. Darryl said that he was sort of using the shotgun as a cane when he walked to the door. The shotgun was not loaded, according to hm. He heard a noise, went to the back door, and was shot several times.

The police said that Daryl fired the gun at them. They said he answered the door, pointed the shotgun at them, and fired it. They both said they saw the blast. A shell was recovered out in the yard. It was pretty old. I am not a gun expert, but the investigation revealed that the shotgun was not able to have been fired.

Darryl was originally charged with shooting at law enforcement. When tests revealed that he the gun had not been fired, he was instead charged with pointing a gun at law enforcement, which is also a felony. The warrant was served on him when he was released from the hospital and he spent a couple weeks in jail before bonding out.

As Darryl was obviously planning to sue the sheriff's department, the DA would not dismiss the case. Dismissing the case would result in considerable harm to the sheriff's department in the civil case. Darryl got involved with the ACLU and opted to use them for his criminal defense. I was very disappointed, as I relished the opportunity to put that case in front of a jury. As of now, the case is still pending.

So this case in the FPP? I can't imagine any cops will get charged with a crime. They would charge the dead guy if they could.
posted by flarbuse at 12:10 AM on May 26, 2011 [18 favorites]


It's like living in a world where you have to join the Flat Earth Society before they'll even put your name on a ballot.

What other irrational world-views must be publicly embraced by all serious candidates for office?
posted by orthogonality at 12:15 AM on May 26, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's (somewhat) important to note that Pima County is actually NOT Sheriff Arpaio, who manages Maricopa county. Pima is Tucson, Oro Valley, et al, in the south of the state. Its sheriff is Clarence Dupnik, who made news recently for his calling out of Arizona as a place of hateful vitriol.

What would really impress me at this point is if Dupnik would recognize that any marijuana case that results in someone being shot 60 times and prevented from receiving medical attention warrants a full, independent investigation and not the circlejerk it will receive.

But this isn't Arpaio, and on balance, Pima is a blue county. Regrettably, that all goes out the window when it comes to drug policy apparently. Completely absurd.
posted by disillusioned at 12:23 AM on May 26, 2011


Hey, is everybody here on those drug guys side?
posted by telstar at 12:27 AM on May 26, 2011


Hey, is everybody here on those drug guys side?

The alternative is to be on the side of shit-for-brains fascist thugs. So, yes.
posted by maxwelton at 12:32 AM on May 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hey, is everybody here on those heavy-handed FPPs side?
posted by Roman Graves at 12:33 AM on May 26, 2011


Turns out if you threaten SWAT with an assault rifle, they react with hostility. Who knew?
posted by kafziel at 12:35 AM on May 26, 2011


Hey, is everybody here on those drug guys side?

Police refuse to say whether any drugs were found in his home. In cases like this, anything incriminating normally get trumpeted, so I'm guessing he wasn't a drug guy, just someone - like you or me - and some incompetent mix-up resulted in him being shot to death by the people he protected and who were supposed to be protecting him.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:38 AM on May 26, 2011


"Turns out if you threaten SWAT with an assault rifle"

When historians study 21st century America they'll be perplexed at just how easily so many citizens gave up basic rights like the Fourth Amendment or, say, the right and/or duty to defend your wife and children from armed men who don't identify themselves as cops.
posted by bardic at 12:40 AM on May 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


The bottom line is nobody gives a shit about anyone else. Screw boundaries. Cops spraying bullets in a residential neighborhood. Higher-ups suppressing evidence. This is homeland collateral murder. Only in a post 9/11 world is any of this possible. Shoot, fire, aim. Our politicians coddle us with messages like "If you're not doing anything wrong, why are you worried?" while they read our emails and track our movements. People glued to their televisions, information pouring in, totally connected.. and yet not. complete desensitization and disempowerment. In a week from now, no one will remember this happened and little will have changed.

It's come down to kill or be killed. This guy survived Iraq, a clusterfuck in it's own right, only to be gunned down in his own house in front of his kids. What a sad fucking world. To quote a totally random movie, "My heart always told me that people are inherently good. My experience suggests otherwise."
posted by phaedon at 12:53 AM on May 26, 2011


It my look like murder and it may smell like murder, but one week after the incident is too soon to be plastering *MURDERED* on MeFi's front page.

Which may be why this incident was not made into an FPP on May 12th.
posted by ShutterBun at 1:01 AM on May 26, 2011 [3 favorites]


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