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Stefan

A guy with a bag runs up and down an airplane in a agitated state claiming he has a bomb. Authorities instruct him to drop the bag, he doesn't. Authorities instuct him to lie down on the ground he doesn't. What he does do is reach into his bag and then authorities open fire. They were trying to prevent him from triggering the bomb he claimed he had. Now if he acutally had a bomb and was reaching in to trigger it, would you prefer that they didn't shoot him, ending up with potentially multiple deaths?

I think you might be playing the race card a little quickly.

ryan

I don't mean to say that he was shot only because he was brown - or even primarily. I'm sure it just helped him fit the "training," and I wonder if the air marshals would have been so quick to kill a white man or woman. It also seems too early (from the limited sources I've read) to spell out a precise timeline. So far the only source I've read including "bomb" comes from homeland security, and I think it's safe to say the government's first official word should always be taken with a grain of salt. It will be interesting to see what details emerge. Regardless, I think it's atrocious to hear so little remorse for this man's death.

While I appreciate your utilitarian reasoning that killing one bomb-wielder is better than his killing multiple people, I do not think everyone who says they have a bomb and acts strangely (even if they resist authorities) should be killed. I think that's erring too much towards "shoot now and ask questions later"

Dennis

As much as it is my instinct to blame this as another awful act of our fascist police state, this one is a really tough call. It could end up being like the accidental shooting death of that Brazilian in the UK a few months ago. If I was on that plane and some insane person was claiming to have a bomb, I'd probably want to shoot him myself. I'm keeping my mouth shut on this one until I know all (or enough) facts and know who to believe. Unfortunately, I can't believe the "authorities" considering the amount of lying that happens these days.

ryan

I agree that it's a complicated situation to judge what really happened - and I don't claim to have all the facts. I'm mostly that most of the reaction I'm reading is along the lines of "he got what was coming to him."

Stefan

Agree facts at this point should be taken with a grain of salt. I'm just going by CNN's time line, who knows what that is worth... spin, spin, spin. I just know you have to do some pretty bizarre stuff to have an air marshal chase you off of an airplane and then shoot you.

Ryan said: "I do not think everyone who says they have a bomb and acts strangely (even if they resist authorities) should be killed. "

(To me) claiming you have a bomb and then reaching into your backpack is a bit more than acting strangely. More along the lines of pointing a gun at a cop. Starts to become a self defense issue for the cop. My thinking was more like a suicide by cop thing. But the one vs. many is a valid point too.

Regarding race, think about where this happened. In Miami airport hispanic is not a minority.

So I know this is callous but... Shitty that this guy was crazy and got killed, but you have to meet certain standards of behavior in public especially when traveling in a international hub like Miami.

ryan

I completely agree with you - if the suspect has an actual bomb. To my knowledge, there has never been a situation where a person detonated an IED at gunpoint - especially in the U.S. A bomb big enough to do serious damage is very bulky (though even a small bomb could cause a plane to crash), so I think "crazy" is more likely than "terrorist" in this situation.

I keep coming back to the fact that deadly force is the first reaction here - this isn't like a police shooting where the cops fall all over themselves to apologize when they use too much force. I haven't read any apology for the use of deadly force, and it seems like overkill to me. Why not a stun gun? In the close proximity of an airplane (or terminal) an air marshal's gunfire is very likely to hit innocent onlookers. Isn't there some kind of safer technology?

Dennis

Air marshals said Rigoberto Alpizar announced he was carrying a bomb before being killed.

However, no passenger has publicly concurred with that account. Only one passenger recalled Alpizar saying, "I've got to get off, I've got to get off," CNN's Kathleen Koch reported.

This is starting to smell more and more like Jean Charles de Menezes case in the UK.

By the way, Stun Guns aren't always effective. Same deal with tranquilizers.

Ken

This IS a tough call, but a bomb that goes around a waist in Iraq can fit in a backpack. A statement of an experienced policeman I knew seems pertinent "When push comes to shove, innocent until proven guilty can get you killed" And in this case, several others.

Stefan

There may be safer technologies, but so far none as effective and reliable. These types of situations aren't the time to beta test new tech.

But alternates are being worked on, recently a cruise ship used a sonic weapon to repel boarders. This wouldn't be an effective tool in the situation we are talking about, but it's just an example that non lethal weapons are "in the pipeline". I imaging it will be quite a while before the stun gun ala Star Trek becomes a reality and replaces lead propelled by gun powder.

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