The Pima County Sheriff’s Department created this situation when they reached and stretched for every piece of unrelated information they could possibly find to manufacture something approximating "probable cause". The Pima County Sheriff’s Department created this situation when they decided to stage a full-force invasion of his home, rather than simply arrest him at the job they knew he worked. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department created this situation when they sent a full, tac’d-out SWAT team to execute a simple arrest warrant, rather than simply send a few squad cars and uniformed officers. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department created this situation when their SWAT team skulked around the exterior of a Marine’s home, and especially one that had lost family members to home-invaders. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department created this situation when, through their gross negligence and incompetence, they inadequately and insufficiently identified themselves before bursting through the Guerenas’ door (a "police siren" that strangely sounds like 90% of car alarms out there, and "yelling" "Police!" barely loud enough to be heard on their own helmet cams?).
You may likewise remember my doom-and-gloom prognostication that:
I guess our country had a good run, but welcome to the police state. When an apparently law-abiding citizen and veteran can be gunned down in his own home for owning legal property and being unfortunately related to a family of allegedly law-breaking pikers, this "America" experiment of ours is well and truly over.
Even if you do not remember all of that, however, you should pay attention to this:
Jose Guerena, a 26-year-old Marine and Iraq war veteran, was killed May 5 when a SWAT team broke into his home a little after 9:30 a.m. According to Guerena’s wife, Vanessa (who was home at he time, along with their 4-year-old son), Guerena thought the police were home invaders. He ushered his family into a closet, then grabbed a rifle. When the police battered down the door, they saw Guerena and his rifle, and opened fire. The SWAT team released 70 rounds. Guerena didn’t fire a shot; the safety of his rifle was still on.
Last week, Arizona attorney Chris Scileppi filed notice of a $20 million lawsuit against Pima County, Ariz., on behalf of Guerena’s family.
No, unfortunately, this court case does not include criminal charges being brought against everyone from Sheriff Dupnik on down for the illegitimate and unnecessary murder of Jose Guerena, but we would do well to watch how it proceeds. Even looking past the manufactured justification and convenient "discoveries" that have cast a massive shadow of doubt over this entire case, perhaps the most damning observation comes from the above-linked article:
Three months have now passed, and police in Pima County have yet to make a single arrest related to the home invasions investigation. If Alejandro Guerena or any of his relatives or associates — including Jose Guerena — were so dangerous that they required the use of paramilitary police tactics — and police found illegal weapons, drugs, and cash indicative of a criminal operation — it’s difficult to comprehend why the alleged dangerous criminals are still at large.
Even Storie concedes the police didn’t have enough evidence against Guerena — and didn’t find evidence in his home during the raid — to charge him with a crime. The question remains as to why the Pima County Sheriff’s Department found it necessary to send a SWAT team to serve its search warrant for the Guerena residence in the first place.
The PCSD did not have any substantial evidence against Guerena. The PCSD found no substantial evidence against Guerena after searching his home, apart from a supposedly-stolen firearm (and Guerena may have been unaware of its criminal-related history). And since their shooting of Guerena, the PCSD has made no further arrests or charges related to the investigation they shot him over.
I am going to belabor one point, because it deserves belaboring – if the PCSD genuinely believed that Jose Guerena was the kind of person they have incessantly been trying to paint him as (an inactive Marine who used his military training to become the "heavy" of a well-armed, violent home-invasion squad), then why on Gods Green And Fluffy Earth did they perform a full-up, "tactical" raid on his house when he was known to be home and probably armed? Did they want to get into an all-out gun battle, in a crowded neighborhood, with a wife and child in the house they were assaulting? On the other hand, if they knew Jose was not the criminal thug they are making him out to be, why the massive SWAT raid to execute a simple search warrant?
This whole chain of events simply does not make sense. One starts to wonder whose pockets Sheriff Dupnik is in, and how the Guerenas pissed that person off…
Regardless, this will be a case to watch – if the Guerenas emerge from this lawsuit successful, I may yet be proven wrong about the American experiment. If, however, the Pima County authorities hide behind "qualified immunity" and makes this lawsuit simply disappear… well, I will not claim that proves me right, but it certainly substantiates my argument.
(Courtesy of Curses! Foiled Again!.)