Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The TSA Shooting of a Man Last Week

Otter and I have been discussing this case off and on recently. I tend to agree with the notion that TSA agents should shoot to kill anyone who claims they have a bomb, but something about the case has been bothering me. I think I've been disturbed by the fact that this man was, according to many accounts, rather obviously mentally ill, that he had already cleared at least two security checkpoints, and that he was running off the plane (I believe he was killed in the part of the airport that extends between the plane and the airport). My position was that the officers might have exercised a little bit of restraint and not fired at the man so quickly - especially as his wife was on the plane and could have informed the officers of his mental illness.

Now it appears that the initial account of the shooting provided by the government has changed. Apparently, he never said he had a bomb (which is the only reason to shoot first and ask questions later).

"According to law enforcement officials, Alpizar 'uttered threatening
words that included a sentence to the effect that he had a bomb.'" It is a long
way from running up and down aisle shouting about having a bomb to using
unspecified "threatening words." What sort of sentence includes threatening
words "to the effect" that one has a bomb—but apparently does not include the
word bomb?

Anyway, I have no problem with the TSA's actions if the story went how they initially told it, but it's starting to appear as if my unease with their facts is becoming more and more justified. Also, it's interesting to note that:

"Seven passengers interviewed by the Orlando Sentinel—seated in both the
front and rear of the main passenger cabin—said Alpizar was silent as he ran
past them on his way to the exit." No passenger the Sentinel spoke to offered
any account akin to what the feds claimed.

That certainly seems to go against the TSA's action. Anyway, I'm still ambivalent about how I feel about this case, but it would be nice if the TSA would have told their actual version of this story in the first place - instead of changing it several days later. It's just a little too convenient.

Anyway - read the link.

Kid H.


Blogger ZooooM said...

Jeeber you Scaggsvillians are like posting bunnies! Every time I turn around there are 3 or 4 more new ones!

I like it.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Chowda said...

A Big Mac can be deadly - if thrown in just the right way. If I say I have a Big Mac in my bag in the airport, can I get shot? Just want to know so I don't say the wrong thing in front of these gun slingers.

5:59 AM  

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