Friday, October 7, 2011

More questions than rounds - Chapter II

Two comments posted close together from "Federale" dated October 7. 2011.   I am replying to each by inserting my highlighted responses after the appropriate portion.
Obviously you have not viewed the video. Yes, I saw the video.  Several times.  I also saw the longer version of the same video, the portion the SO will no longer release.  The video clearly shows the officers and deputies in uniform with “POLICE” emblazoned on the FRONT and back of their raid vests. Yes, it does.  They all seem to be in the front yard. Question:   What would someone in the house see by looking out a side window?  Or to either side?
Anyone who has seen the video sees that.  And if Vanessa Guerena looked out the window, she would have seen that as well. If she had looked out the front window at the time of the video you are probably correct, if her vision had been unobscured by a curtain or ?.  If she had looked out a bit earlier, or through a window not at the front of the house, she might not have seen what the video shows.
And if she was up and awake like she claimed, then she would have heard the sirens.  That siren, which went off briefly twice, sounds remarkably similar to three or four of the car alarms that go off occasionally in my neighborhood.  Could she have thought someone was messing with her car, or the car of a neighbor?  Your assumption is argumentative and speculative, and is not a proven "fact".  We just don't know for sure what she thought she heard.
If she looked out the window, or even just “peeked” she would have seen the marked police cruisers with their emergency lights activated. Again, true for the front window(s), not a proven fact for the others.
Clearly you did not see the video. Again, I saw the video.  Take a look. All is quite clear.  What is clear is that nowhere in the video can Mrs. Guerena be seen looking out a window. Or don’t look, so you can believe a fiction.  My assumption is you want the truth.  Insulting me diminishes you..
Obviously you did not read my response. I do not disagree that the entry was botched, but that is not the issue here. Yes, I read your response and noted too many fallacious assumptions to not say anything in response.  The botched entry IS an issue, and I'll explain why further on.
The issue is what Vanessa Guerena saw, what she said she saw, and what she told her husband.  Those questions are "an" issue, not "the" issue.  I show you why in a moment.
Her claims of what she saw to the press clearly are not true. If she looked out the window, she would have seen armed men in the local police tactical uniform, olive drab, with “POLICE” emblazoned in yellow on their chests and back.  I've already discussed what she might or might not have seen.  I do not take her statements to the press as "gospel".  They may or may not be self-serving, accurate, true and/or unembellished.
That is a fact, what is your claim on that fact? It is your assumption, and unfortunately we will never really know the full truth of the issue - no matter what she says.  And the reason we will not know is the authorities botched her initial interrogation.  It lasted too long, they were not forthcoming [truthful] to her, and they falsely threatened her with actions by them that were unwarranted and illegal.  Ergo, the sum total of what she said is simply unreliable and is probably trashed forever.
What the police should have done is interrogate her completely through what she saw and heard,  thanked her and turned her over to a community services or victims services officer who could answer her questions concerning her husbands status, her son, etc., provided her with a potty and lunch break, and then had a second team of officers re-interrogate her - this time in depth and drilling in on any discrepancies between the two.  She may be lying.  About a little or about a lot.  But that really doesn't make any difference except to anal-retentive types.  She was kept in isolation and questioned for 3.5 hours.  Only fools or charlatans would rely on anything she said after 2 hours.  I can break almost anyone down after that long "in the box".  It's simply a fact of life..
If Vanessa Guerena looked out the window, she would have seen marked police vehicles with emergency lights activated.  Asked and answered.  You are far too sure of yourself.
That is a fact. What is your claim on that fact?Ditto
The police sounded a siren before approaching the house. That is a fact.Or a car alarm
What is your claim on that fact? Is Vanessa deaf? You are getting silly.  If you are serious about this it doesn't become you.  If you are simply an idiot - and I don't think you are - if doesn't matter.
Why did Vanessa Guerena tell her husband that there were “armed men” attacking the house when, if as she claimed she looked outside, and outside were the police officers in uniform, marked police cars, and activated red and blue emergency lights? IF that is what she said it may have been all the information she had at the moment she woke him up.
What is your claim on these facts? ditto
It is clearly impossible to mistake the officers in uniform in the video for “armed attackers.” They were obviously the police. This is another of your fallacious assumptions.  Mrs. Guerena is said to be from Mexico.  Isn't that where the deadly drug cartels use "uniformed" banditos to enforce their bidding?  Could that be in her background?  One problem with SWAT teams is their proclivity of wearing military type field uniforms.  Field uniforms are meant to hide and camoflage personnel.  I have members of my family who in 15 seconds could not tell the difference between a SWAT team gathered on the street and a high school wrestling team dressed in warmups.  It's just that simple.  Adding the large print words "POLICE" or "SHERIFF" or "MARSHALL" to a vest is not the end-all to self-identification.  Even cops sometimes have a hard time telling their own from the bad guys.  You are far too certain of what she saw, in my view, and that is a bad problem for law enforcement.
Lights, sirens, uniforms, they mean one thing, the police. How do you explain her claim that the “armed men” were not the police?Asked and answered.
Clearly you have an agenda and it does not encompass the facts of the case. My agenda is this:  Law Enforcement is an honorable profession.  It comes with rules, regulations and requirements.  One of the requirements is self-control.  Officers must be in control of their emotions.  If there had been a total of three shots that morning that struck Mr. Guerena I would believe what law enforcement is saying.  If therre had been ten rounds, I'd be a little uneasy but would not push it.
Twenty rounds?  Something is wrong.  The decedent did not fire a shot.  Why would there need to be 20 rounds from the few officers that could get a target site?  Beyond twenty rounds says to any unbiased experience lawman that the SWAT team was out of control.  The supervision sucked, badly.  We now hear 60 rounds out of the 71 struck him.  That's accurate tarket shooting by panicked officers.  In my the whole team was a felony fail.  I simply can't stand it when officers make a mistake and then cover it up.  Like here.  That it took a life is that much worse.
The execution of the warrant is irrelevant. See, this is wishful thinking on your part.  It appears as if the warrant may have been fraudulently obtained and/or was improper on it's face.  That may not mean much to you, but if true will take all your issues and flush them out to sea.  Only a valid warrant could  justify the entry.  Invalid warrant, illegal entry.  Illegal entry, manslaughter.  Why the wife did anything will have little to do with establishing those issues.  The issue is why Vanessa told her husband that armed men were attacking the house.Because they were?
There can be only two explanations:  Another fallacious assumption.  You, yourself offer three.  How many more could be offered?  Maybe a dozen?
1. Vanessa Guerena is lying in her statements to the press because she told her husband that the police were at the house and he decided to resist the police.One
2. Vanessa Guerena lied to set her husband up.Two
3. Vanessa Guerena lied because she did not tell her husband that it was the police, but her husband decided to fight it out with the police after the knock and announce anyway or was truely not aware that it was the police at the door.Three
But from the video, and those are the only facts in evidence, it is beyond any reasonable doubt that anyone looking outside would have seen the police. You are a one-trick pony on this
The only alternative explanation is that Vanessa did not look outside the front of the house, but some other direction and saw an officer not in uniform with a displayed weapon.
No one has presented that as evidence. Nor has anyone presented any evidence that there were police not in uniform or with other identifiers such as raid vest anywhere except at the front of the house.
If the author has such evidence, then present it.
Otherwise there is nothing to support the claim that what Vanessa Guerena claimed is true.
Further comments pending.  Need to take care of family right now.

More questions than rounds - Chapter I

For background please read this post at Pajamas Media.  While you're at it be sure to view the video.  And then read as many as you wish of the comments, understanding that one particular comment thread will be expanded here.  When you feel you are current, please return here.

Now to the meat of this post.   Beginning at comment 17 a commenter named Federale posted thusly:
“He was sound asleep when his wife Vanessa saw armed men in their front yard. A native of Mexico, Vanessa was alarmed and rushed to awaken Jose, who immediately ensured that Vanessa and their four-year-old son were hidden in the closet of a back bedroom, as far from the front door as possible. Wearing only boxer briefs, he retrieved the nearest weapon: a scoped AR-15 rifle. He had no idea what he was facing. The police were parked in front of his garage and the blinds of his front window — the only window offering a view of the front yard — were closed.
In the front yard, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team, comprised of officers from four local agencies, assembled. The 54-second video of their botched assault is a stunning testament to their ineptness and lack of training and leadership.”
Actually the video that you mention completely exonerates the officers and proves that Vanessa Guerena was lying.
She claims that she saw armed men in her yard. The video clearly documents that the police arrived in marked police vehicles, with lights activated and they sounded their siren.
Officers in standard PCSO olive drab uniforms with “Police” in yellow lettering on the front and back of their raid vests entered the front yard and stationed themselves at the front door, then knocked and announced their presence.
If Vanessa Guerena saw “armed men” in her yard, then she saw uniformed police officers and sheriff’s deputies.
The real question is what she said to her husband. Why didn’t she say police were in the yard? Why did she say “armed men?”
This question is clearly more important that the issue of competancy of the entry team.
Clearly Vanessa Guerena either set up her husband to die, or he chose to resist the police.
It is most likely that since the police knocked and announced that in the end Jose Guerena knew it was the police. All esle is an academic exercise on how to stack, or command & control, or fire disipline.
It is clear that the writer is trying to gin up a controversy by selective analysis.
And, no, police do not only request search warrants for big raids on multiple suspects and large amounts of drugs. Agencies, both State, local and Federal used small raids and small amounts to start with in an investigation. To roll up a drug trafficing organization you have to usually start at the lowest level, meaning the street user or lowest level dealer.
Clearly this could be the case with Guereno. He was probably the smallest of the fish that the PD and SO were going to flip on the higher ups. Clearly the author needs some remedial training on investigations no matter his skill and familiarity with SWAT operations.
But in the end, the questions about what Vanessa Guerena says she saw must be answered before you can blame any of the officers for anything. It is sad and disconcerting that the author refuses to address what Vanessa Guerena says she saw when it is so critical.
Perhaps since the Erik Scott case has petered out and there has been no rush to Scott’s defense by his fellow West Pointers, this is why the author is riding this latest of his hobby horses.
But, to mix metaphors, this dog ain’t hunting either.
[MM - another commenter then said]
You are disgusting. The police had their lights flashing when they pulled up? For a no-knock warrant? They were deploying, and Mrs. Guerena saw them. So she set her husband up to die? Really? Why don’t you just call her a whore and stone her while you are at it? A war hero was undeniably murdered, and you choose to slander his wife.
The police behavior was consistent with a botched operation. They massed at the doorway. They fired without any provocation whatsoever. There was no proper investigation.
There was no reason for the judge to sign the order, except that it has become so banal to issue such warrants. He probably never read the details. There was no “judgment” used at all.
Neither the police nor the judge showed any concern for the possibility that the person might be innocent. Innocent until proven guilty means nothing to them. Nor does the 4th Amendment mean anything to them.
The worst part is the mentality, that it is far better that a civilian (whom they are supposed to be protecting!) die, than some “heroic” cop risk his life. I rather expect the cops to risk their lives and demand a surrender before opening fire. The problem is that the guy in the house had a gun. Police do not think citizens should have guns. They immediately get hostile. So, they fired as soon as they saw the gun.
Jack-booted thugs.
  • [H, another commenter then said]
    Agreed …guys probably a fed-pig…or wannabe …hoping one day he can armor up and crack some skulls …
  •   Federale  responded this way  
    I noticed that you did not address the facts, but made ad hominem attacks. That is the usual story with gun nuts. Attack the person, not the facts of the argument.

    Deal with the facts. Why did Vanessa Guereno lie to either the press, which is more likely, or lie to her husband? There are only two choices.
    Facts are facts. Deal with it. And grow up. And learn to read.
    • [t, another commenter said]
      Fed, You base your entire arguement on supposedly knowing what Vanessa saw. If she heard noises and took a quick peek out, she very likely saw “men with guns.” Nobody would stop to read the backs of their shirts – even if they could. Maybe she told Jose she didn’t know if they were cops or not.
      You have no “facts” other than the ose you made up. You want real facts, look at the total lack of competence in the video. Look at the changed stories after the fact – by the cops. And look at the absurd warrant request. I’m in law in enforcement and support it – when done right.
      • Federale  responded 
        Men with guns, in uniform with “Police” embazoned on the chest of their uniforms, with marked police cars in the front of the house, with their emergency lights activated, and sirens sounding.
        That is why I know she is not telling the truth.
      Bill Gannon  I then commented: @ Federale said:
      “Actually the video that you mention completely exonerates the officers and proves that Vanessa Guerena was lying.”
      The video may or may not show anything that Venessa Guerena may or may not have seen. Your “assumption” of the timing involved and what she might have seen is your own, not mine, and certainly subject to further analysis.
      What the video does show is the tail end of an obviously uncoordinated, undisciplined, poorly trained and ill-performing SWAT team setting up and then breaching the front door of a private residence and then losing control of themselves by shooting the place up.
      During my career I was present at another police shooting like this, one where an armed suspect had broken into an empty residence. Thirty four officers set up containment on the house and were considering how best to enter when a gunshot rang out inside the house. In the next two minutes one hundred four shots were fired into the house. Only six officers, including myself, failed to fire – basically because we had no target. The suspect was found dead from his own bullet, the first shot we had heard. One other stray round stuck him in the leg. One hundred three of the shots, in my view, had been “panic” induced. I firmly believe the same should be said for at least 70 of the shots in Pima County that morning.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Working on it!

UPDATED: Site is still somewhat under construction.  Please be careful as you wander around, and come back soon!