Federal air marshals shot and killed Rigoberto Alpizar, a Florida citizen, in Miami yesterday after he ran around a plane and allegedly said he had a bomb. Sick and sad on many levels, but most chilling is this quote from Homeland Security talking head Brian Doyle:
"...the air marshals proceeded consistent with their training," Mr. Doyle said. "Shots were fired as the team attempted to subdue the individual."
Wow, so every time we fly, we're surrounded by air marshals who are trained to shoot us dead if we make a commotion and yell fire? America loves its death penalty, but wow, judge, jury and executioner all follow us along on the plane. It appears that Mr. Alpizar suffered from mental illness, and suffered some kind of episode. Was it not possible to immobilize him without killing him? September 11th was a horrible atrocity, but is this dystopic police state better? This is the kind of evil "security" that used to be laid on "evil" communists, who shot first and asked questions later. Seems our "security" has moved beyond one definition
Freedom from risk or danger; safety.
Freedom from doubt, anxiety, or fear; confidence.
Is freedom from paranoid, exaggeratted danger worth any one innocent life? Would it be worth a Caucasian life? Is it possible to be free from doubt, anxiety or fear in a culture where the daily news at five feeds us all the myth of urban crime, and now the myth of villainous "islamofacists" out to get us?
It's a dark day for our country when we ourselves look just like our "enemies."
Update: Looks like I'm not the only skeptic. From Time:
"I don't think they needed to use deadly force with the guy," says John McAlhany, a 44-year-old construction worker from Sebastian, Fla. "He was getting off the plane." McAlhany also maintains that Alpizar never mentioned having a bomb.
"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."
Via Mathew Gross