On May 5, in Tucson, Arizona, a travesty happened.
Jose Guerena Ortiz was sleeping after an exhausting 12-hour night shift at a copper mine. His wife, Vanessa, had begun breakfast. Their 4-year-old son, Joel, asked to watch cartoons.
An ordinary morning was unfolding in the middle-class Tucson neighborhood -- until an armored vehicle pulled into the family's driveway and men wearing heavy body armor and helmets climbed out, weapons ready.
They were a sheriff's department SWAT team who had come to execute a search warrant. But Vanessa Guerena insisted she had no idea, when she heard a "boom" and saw a dark-suited man pass by a window, that it was police outside her home. She shook her husband awake and told him someone was firing a gun outside.
A U.S. Marine veteran of the Iraq war, he was only trying to defend his family, she said, when he grabbed his own gun -- an AR-15 assault rifle.
What happened next was captured on video after a member of the SWAT team activated a helmet-mounted camera.
The officers -- four of whom carried .40-caliber handguns while another had an AR-15 -- moved to the door, briefly sounding a siren, then shouting "Police!" in English and Spanish. With a thrust of a battering ram, they broke the door open. Eight seconds passed before they opened fire into the house.
And 10 seconds later, Guerena lay dying in a hallway 20 feet from the front door. The SWAT team fired 71 rounds, riddling his body 22 times, while his wife and child cowered in a closet.
"Hurry up, he's bleeding," Vanessa Guerena pleaded with a 911 operator. "I don't know why they shoot him. They open the door and shoot him. Please get me an ambulance."
When she emerged from the home minutes later, officers hustled her to a police van, even as she cried that her husband was unresponsive and bleeding, and that her young son was still inside. She begged them to get Joel out of the house before he saw his father in a puddle of blood on the floor.
But soon afterward, the boy appeared in the front doorway in Spider-Man pajamas, crying.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department said its SWAT team was at the home because Guerena was suspected of being involved in a drug-trafficking organization and that the shooting happened because he arrived at the door brandishing a gun. The county prosecutor's office says the shooting was justified.
Despite the Tucson police claims that they announced themselves, I can't hear it on the video. Which was taken outside, with NO walls or doors to muffle the announcement.
The 27-year-old Guerena had completed two tours in Iraq, and a former superior there was among those who couldn't make sense of his death. Leo Verdugo said Guerena stood out among other Marines for his maturity and sense of responsibility. Verdugo, who retired as a master sergeant last year after 25 years in the Marines, placed Guerena in charge of an important helicopter refueling mission in the remote west desert of Iraq. "He had a lot of integrity and he was a man of his word," Verdugo said.
Here is some of the things that people who knew Jose Ortiz had to say about him:
"I don't care what the cops say. I don't believe for one moment Jose was involved in anything illegal, They were judge, jury and executioner, and there was no excuse."
"Personally, I think he was murdered, and that is the feeling that is out here."
"No one in their right mind" would choose this work, which paid about $41,000 a year, if they were bringing in drug smuggling money.
"high-powered rifles and bulletproof vests that were found in Guerena's home after the shooting back up investigators' belief that Guerena was involved in drug trafficking. A shotgun found in the home was reported stolen in Tucson in 2008."
Well the last time I checked "high-powered rifles (How 'bout a better description) and bulletproof vests" are NOT illegal. An a shotgun that was reported stolen... Hmm I don't know if Arizona requires a firearms transfer for a smooth bore long gun. If it doesn't then this is a smear and misdirect to cover the police.
In the affidavit, sheriff's Detective Alex Tisch laid out the case against Guerena's family. It details two instances of drug seizures, one in April 2009 in which Jose Guerena was found in a home with other people who had just dropped off 1,000 pounds of marijuana at a separate residence, and another in October 2009 in which a man who had met with Guerena's brother was found with drugs and weapons. Neither Guerena nor his brother was charged.
OK so let me get this straight. If you go to SOMEONE elses house and someone "drops off marijuana at a SEPARATE RESIDENCE", Then YOU are guilty.
And if someone with drugs meets with YOUR BROTHER then you are guilty.
But no arrests were made... Even though they are using these instances in a character assassination.
"What reasonable person comes to the front door and points a rifle at people?"
He DIDN'T 'come to the front door', THEY BROKE IT DOWN!!!! AND IT WAS THE WRONG DOOR!!!!
An independent expert, Chuck Drago, a former longtime SWAT officer for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., police who now does consulting on use of force and other law enforcement issues, said that the shooting itself appeared justified.
"It's a horrible, horrible tragedy, but if they walked in the door and somebody came at them with an assault rifle, that would be a justifiable response," said Drago. "It doesn't matter whether he's innocent or not."
But after examining elements of the search affidavit, Drago questioned whether the sheriff's office truly had probable cause.
"When you back up and look at why they're there in the first place and whether the search warrant was proper, my mind starts struggling," Drago said. "There are a lot of things that don't make a lot of sense."
Here's what I think happened.
Point man makes entry.
Sees Ortiz with AR15
Point man panics and opens fire (This man should be prosecuted for MURDER, his job is to protect citizens, not assassinate them). You can actually see him trying to back out in a panic.
The rest of the SWAT team (trusting the point mans judgement, as they are trained to) also open fire
Now the lies and covering of asses begin.
Dan Emplit WBFD
USN 1986 - 1992
And wondering what is going on in this country