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Disturbing Pattern Emerging with Shootings of Non-terrorists


E-Dog Night

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As reports are coming out that Rigoberto Alpizar never actually said he had a bomb, I was wondering if we aren't seeing a pattern here. Without insinuating anything, I found this eerily similar to the shooting of a non-terrorist after the subway bombings in London (police may face charges in that incident).

While it may very well be that these two fatal shootings have absolutely nothing to do with each other, I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that there is a "shoot now, ask questions later" attitude permeating its way through the ranks of those who are ostensibly fighting terrorism.

Why would an unarmed man who never made a bomb threat need to be shot? I don't necessarily think that it might be all bad to make examples out of a few incidents in order to get the idea out in public that people really are out there fighting the war on terror, unless of course you're the guy having a panic attack on an airplane.

To be honest, I don't know how I feel about it. I don't want to fall into that trap of intolerance of saying "Too bad, some crazy **** got shot, people die every day, what's the big deal". I think it paints a bigger picture that we as a society - and perhaps the Europeans to an extent as well - have fallen into a mentality that seems justifiably innocuous now, but could lead to something much scarier.

It is really quite unsettling to know now that anyone who has some sort of mental moment in an area where armed men are on the lookout for "anything suspicious" could get shot and the shooters would lie about what happened.

From Time Magazine:"I never heard the word 'bomb' on the plane," McAlhany told TIME in a telephone interview. "I never heard the word bomb until the FBI asked me did you hear the word bomb. That is ridiculous." Even the authorities didn't come out and say bomb, McAlhany says. "They asked, 'Did you hear anything about the b-word?'" he says. "That's what they called it."

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I said it in the other thread, just wait. Their who investigate these things and hopefully (unlike London) they won't cover up wrong doing only to be later exposed by the media when a tape finds its way to them.

My theory is that this persons behavior scared people on the previous flight and it made everyone including the marshalls nervous. Perhaps something was said that was misunderstood. Then when this guy gets up and bolts off the aircraft people freak out, he's going nuts, they are nervous, and that combination lead to tragedy. No one is to blame and it's just a crappy situation for all involved.

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It's not unusual when interviewing a large number of witnesses to the same event - especially an unexpected and traumatic one - to find that there are many different versions of the event being told, some even sounding like they are in conflict and even opposite in some cases. Studies have shown that this is the most difficult type of event for human beings to successfully record and then accurately relate to an interviewer.

One man saying he didn't hear "bomb" as a result is not a surprise, much less is it compelling evidence that it didn't happen. If no one said it, or if one or a few people "thought they heard it" or something, then I might start paying attention to it.

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It's not unusual when interviewing a large number of witnesses to the same event - especially an unexpected and traumatic one - to find that there are many different versions of the event being told, some even sounding like they are in conflict and even opposite in some cases. Studies have shown that this is the most difficult type of event for human beings to successfully record and then accurately relate to an interviewer.

One man saying he didn't hear "bomb" as a result is not a surprise, much less is it compelling evidence that it didn't happen. If no one said it, or if one or a few people "thought they heard it" or something, then I might start paying attention to it.

And that right there is a good argument on why the death penalty should not be used in cases based solely on eyewitness testimony.

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There hasn't been any witnesses that said he screamed or mentioned having a bomb. This is very similiar to the case in London where the authorities claimed one story, with supposed witness testimony, while actual witnesses on the scene had a different story. I doubt if this will be the last time a person is killed while supposedly making "terrorist threats."

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/orange/orl-planefolo0905dec09,0,3421926.story?coll=orl-home-headlines

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While you raise a good point, you have to put yourself in the air marshall's shoes. There was no way that he/she could tell this passenger was mentally ill. So when someone yells they have a bomb, and they take off towards a plane do you really think the first thought through an air marshall's head is, "Hmm this man may be mentally ill I think I should refrain from firing and put countless other lives in danger." Granted, it is very unfortunate that this individual was killed because he was unarmed, but hindsight is 20/20. We also live in a sick world where other people wouldn't hesitate to seriously do something like that in a sane state. I'm also sure that the air marshall feels terrible, but in his eyes and in the eyes of anyone placed in his situation he was posed with a real threat and responded to it. Still my heart goes out to the deceased man's friends and family.

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While you raise a good point, you have to put yourself in the air marshall's shoes. There was no way that he/she could tell this passenger was mentally ill. So when someone yells they have a bomb, and they take off towards a plane do you really think the first thought through an air marshall's head is, "Hmm this man may be mentally ill I think I should refrain from firing and put countless other lives in danger." Granted, it is very unfortunate that this individual was killed because he was unarmed, but hindsight is 20/20. We also live in a sick world where other people wouldn't hesitate to seriously do something like that in a sane state. I'm also sure that the air marshall feels terrible, but in his eyes and in the eyes of anyone placed in his situation he was posed with a real threat and responded to it. Still my heart goes out to the deceased man's friends and family.

:applause:

I completely agree. Great post.

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As is often the case, I'm conflicted on this. (And hoping that further review will clarify some.)

1) Supposedly, as this was going on, the guy's wife was shouting not to pay attention to hubby, he's unstable and he's off his meds.

Now me, if I'm a Marshall, and I've heard the word "bomb", that doesn't make me feel any safer.

2) But that paranoid little voice is also telling me: What a coincidence that the guy got shot when he wasn't on the plane (in front of witnesses), or in the airport (where he might be on video.)

In fact, how convenient that he got shot in just about the only place where he wasn't a threat to a whole bunch of people.

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I'm confident that no air-marshall would have shot the man if he felt there were viable alternatives given the circumstances.

Law Enforcement often finds itself in situations such as these, where officers, marshall's, agents are forced to make split second decisions that could potentially have a huge impact on people's lives. Often, in hindsight, people that judge law enforcement have the luxury of sitting back, and debating a given incident, going over the facts, looking at all the alternatives that a man with hours.. not seconds ..can conclude would have been "better." No peace officer wants to take anybody's life, unless he/she feels that there are no other alternatives, and to NOT take action would result in consequences far worse than taking out the suspect.

Not to say that anybody has come down on this marshall hard...I'm actually suprised to see that some are showing restraint of judgement here, but I'm just making my point, that most people will never have to be put into this situation. Consider yourself lucky.

I'm sure this marshall felt he did what he was forced to do. We'll see as more information continues to surface if he will be judged as making the best decision or not.

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I'm sure this marshall felt he did what he was forced to do. We'll see as more information continues to surface if he will be judged as making the best decision or not.

Painkiller you don't get it. The question here isn't did he do what he felt was right. The question is "are his reasons for shooting justiable" meaning that if his feeling wasn't well founded in fact, he's going to be screwed. Doesn't matter if it was what he felt was right or not.

If it turns out the cops made up the "i have a bomb" rantings, they are going to be a world of trouble in civil court. His wife will sue and a jury is going to wonder why cops minutes after shooting her husband made up a crucial detail like that if they felt what they did was correct.

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As reports are coming out that Rigoberto Alpizar never actually said he had a bomb, I was wondering if we aren't seeing a pattern here. Without insinuating anything, I found this eerily similar to the shooting of a non-terrorist after the subway bombings in London (police may face charges in that incident).

While it may very well be that these two fatal shootings have absolutely nothing to do with each other, I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that there is a "shoot now, ask questions later" attitude permeating its way through the ranks of those who are ostensibly fighting terrorism.

Why would an unarmed man who never made a bomb threat need to be shot? I don't necessarily think that it might be all bad to make examples out of a few incidents in order to get the idea out in public that people really are out there fighting the war on terror, unless of course you're the guy having a panic attack on an airplane.

To be honest, I don't know how I feel about it. I don't want to fall into that trap of intolerance of saying "Too bad, some crazy **** got shot, people die every day, what's the big deal". I think it paints a bigger picture that we as a society - and perhaps the Europeans to an extent as well - have fallen into a mentality that seems justifiably innocuous now, but could lead to something much scarier.

It is really quite unsettling to know now that anyone who has some sort of mental moment in an area where armed men are on the lookout for "anything suspicious" could get shot and the shooters would lie about what happened.

From Time Magazine:"I never heard the word 'bomb' on the plane," McAlhany told TIME in a telephone interview. "I never heard the word bomb until the FBI asked me did you hear the word bomb. That is ridiculous." Even the authorities didn't come out and say bomb, McAlhany says. "They asked, 'Did you hear anything about the b-word?'" he says. "That's what they called it."

Nothing like two completely different incidents involving two entirely different modes of transportation, in two different countries, after three years or so, to make a disturbing pattern.

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As is often the case, I'm conflicted on this. (And hoping that further review will clarify some.)

1) Supposedly, as this was going on, the guy's wife was shouting not to pay attention to hubby, he's unstable and he's off his meds.

Now me, if I'm a Marshall, and I've heard the word "bomb", that doesn't make me feel any safer.

2) But that paranoid little voice is also telling me: What a coincidence that the guy got shot when he wasn't on the plane (in front of witnesses), or in the airport (where he might be on video.)

In fact, how convenient that he got shot in just about the only place where he wasn't a threat to a whole bunch of people.

From what I heard on MSNBC the other day, he suddenly changed direction and started to charge the marhalls who had followed him out of the plane, before they fired. Now this may not be the case, and I haven't heard the mostr recent updates...but this would certainly at least partially explain why he was shot off of the plane.

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Another disturbing coincidence is that both were middle-aged Latino men:

20854976.jpgvv5a.jpg

Both were immigrants in their countries, for whom English was not their first language. Both had dark hair and complexions that could be mistaken as Arabic. I don't mean to imply any racism or profiling, but I think the backgrounds of these two men certainly increased the chances of misunderstanding in a tense situation.

...these are difficult times we live in...

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Another disturbing coincidence is that both were middle-aged Latino men:

Both were immigrants in their countries, for whom English was not their first language. Both had dark hair and complexions that could be mistaken as Arabic. I don't mean to imply any racism or profiling, but I think the backgrounds of these two men certainly increased the chances of misunderstanding in a tense situation.

...these are difficult times we live in...

Now, in the London case, part of the reason the cops were following him was supposedly because the cops were watching an apartment building where a suspected terrorist lived, and they thought they were following the terrorist.

As I pointed out, the video supposedly shows the "suspect" stopping on his way into the subway, and buying a newspaper.

Now, if you're following this guy, does this mean he's an innocent civilian? Or does it mean he's a well-trained spy who's checking for a tail?

Even in the London case, I don't have enough information to pass judgement on the officers, as to whether their actions were justified.

I do think it's pretty well proven that the cops deliberatly lied about the shooting, after it happened.

-----

On a more general note, my opinion as to police and lethal force is: I think all police officers should be legally exempt from civil damages as a result of their actions, if they simply make an honest mistake. (My reasoning: If you don't trust a guy to make good decisions under pressure, then don't hand him a gun and a badge untill you are willing to trust him.)

If, say, a cop shoots at a bank robber, and the shot kills a four-year-old, then he should be exempt from civil and criminal prosecution. The worst punishment he should potentially face would be loss of his job. (One screwup is a valid reason for not giving a guy his gun back.)

(Now, if a cop breaks the law (takes a bribe, gives false testimony, whatever), then he should be prosecuted and get his tookis thrown in jail, alongside a bunch of people who were all "framed by the cops". But an honest mistake should be imune from prosecution.)

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On a more general note, my opinion as to police and lethal force is: I think all police officers should be legally exempt from civil damages as a result of their actions, if they simply make an honest mistake. (My reasoning: If you don't trust a guy to make good decisions under pressure, then don't hand him a gun and a badge untill you are willing to trust him.)

If, say, a cop shoots at a bank robber, and the shot kills a four-year-old, then he should be exempt from civil and criminal prosecution. The worst punishment he should potentially face would be loss of his job. (One screwup is a valid reason for not giving a guy his gun back.)

(Now, if a cop breaks the law (takes a bribe, gives false testimony, whatever), then he should be prosecuted and get his tookis thrown in jail, alongside a bunch of people who were all "framed by the cops". But an honest mistake should be imune from prosecution.)

I believe that in general, police are exempt from civil liability because of respondeat superior: Employers are liable for the actions of employees acting within the course of their employment. When there is a civil suit in these cases, it is the city that usually ends up paying.

The standard for any sort of liability is also typically what you describe: honest mistakes are okay. However, if the police are negligent in their actions, they could face murder charges or civil liability.

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If it turns out the cops made up the "i have a bomb" rantings, they are going to be a world of trouble in civil court. His wife will sue and a jury is going to wonder why cops minutes after shooting her husband made up a crucial detail like that if they felt what they did was correct.

Why would you assume that they made it up? Why do you hate America?

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A half-deaf lady named Grandma Sarah in the Airport Gift Shop down the hall from the gate also insists she did not hear the man say "bomb" , therefore he did not say "bomb". :rolleyes:

Come on guys, this entire scene covered a span of about 200 feet, from his seat in the airplane to the place on the jet-bridge where he was shot. No ONE person could have been at a place to hear him during his entire 200 foot rampage. In fact, when he was shot, he was on the Jet Bridge, quite a distance from the man who claimed he never heard him say "bomb". He very well may have said it right before he was shot, and way out of ear-range of Mr McAlhany in Seat 21C or whatever.

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It's just amazing how the Liberals just automatically assume the worst. That the man did nothing wrong and he was shot and killed and then the feds made up the bomb thing to cover their asses.

They wonder why mainstream America labels them as Anti-American.....well, look in the mirror.

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It's just amazing how the Liberals just automatically assume the worst. That the man did nothing wrong and he was shot and killed and then the feds made up the bomb thing to cover their asses.

They wonder why mainstream America labels them as Anti-American.....well, look in the mirror.

Innocent until proven guilty. Its part of our laws, or something like that, I dunno, civics was never my strong suit. To assume that someone was not guilty is sort of how Americans are supposed to roll. I think...

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