May 25, 2011

BOB OWENS: Seventy-One Shots: The Death of Jose Guereña.

Dupnik’s SWAT team initially claimed that Guereña fired at them while they were serving a warrant — as he slept. They claimed that his bullets hit the bulletproof shield that the entry team hid behind, and that the barrage of bullets they fired back was in self-defense.

Only, Guereña never fired his weapon. Awoken by his wife with screams that men with guns were invading his home and threatening his family, Jose Guereña armed himself with a AR-15 rifle and crouched in the hallway. The SWAT team unloaded upon Guereña on sight. He apparently recognized the home invaders as police. He took 60 rounds, but never — as the Pima County Sheriff’s Department was forced to admit — took off his weapon’s safety as he was being killed. . . . A Marine veteran of Iraq that had the discipline not to fire — a discipline that a trigger-happy SWAT team which has now killed three men in less than a year cannot itself exercise?

Police shouldn’t launch this sort of raid absent an imminent threat to life. They go wrong too often. And clowns like Pima County’s Sheriff Dupnik shouldn’t be around guns of any kind.

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