You remember Sheriff Dupnik. After Congresswoman Giffords was shot in January 2011, he eagerly joined the hysterical chorus from the left that blamed the shooting on Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and anything and everything that could be construed as “rightist.” It apparently didn’t occur to him that he himself was spouting “leftist” vitriol (e.g. he glaimed the shooting was a result of “rightist” opposition to Obamacare), but such ideological blindness is part of the mental territory in which the likes of Dupnik live.
It is of course a fair question to what extent Dupnik was creating waves to direct attention away from his own complicity in that tragic event. It was quickly discovered that Dupnik’s department and the deranged leftist shooter, Jared Loughner, were old acquaintances because of several death threats Loughner had made before shooting Rep. Giffords. Another fair question is whether Loughner shouldn’t have been in a mental hospital long before he’d had a chance to shoot Giffords (Dupnik had plenty of evidence to put him away).
But that’s (regrettably) an old story now.
But (regrettably) here comes Dupnik again. On May 05, 2011, his SWAT team broke into the home of Jose Guerena, an ex-Marine who had served two tours in Iraq, and cut him down in a hail of 71 bullets. Guerena was struck by 60 bullets, but the Dupnik SWATties didn’t allow a medic into the house for over an hour. The SWATties were allegedly executing a multi-house, drug-related search warrant when Guerena’s wife noticed one of them – armed to the teeth, of course – outside their son’s window. She yelled for her husband, who told her to take the child and hide in the closet. He then proceeded to defend his home (pace, Indiana Supreme Court!) from what he assumed to be intruders like the ones who had murdered his relatives in their Tucson home last year. When the SWATties broke down the front door, he aimed a rifle at them and they cut him down.
The SWATties initially claimed that Guerena had fired his assault rifle at them, but later admitted that his safety was on and he didn’t fire at all.
In a statement, Dupnik criticized those questioning the team’s actions, saying:
“It is unacceptable and irresponsible to couch those questions with implications of secrecy and a coverup, not to mention questioning the legality of actions that could not have been taken without the approval of an impartial judge.”
Now, I understand the need for keeping a tight hold on information during an ongoing investigation to prevent confusion and erroneous conclusions. It is something else to refer to questions posed as “unacceptable and irresponsible.” Given Sheriff Dupnik’s track record of political histrionics, what he should have said was something like this:
“I understand that confusion and lack of information at this point, not to mention the tragedy of Mr. Guerena’s death, invites speculation about what had happened, our motives behind this raid and even its legality. In a democracy that prizes free flow of information, this is both understandable and natural. Nonetheless, I would ask everyone to resist the temptation to speculate, the more so because speculation – that is attempts to connect what may turn out to be unconnected bits of information – might prejudice legal actions that might accrue from this case. This is of the very first importance. I say this not just on our behalf but also on behalf of Mrs. Serrano, who may choose take legal action against the Pima Sheriff’s Department and whose case may be seriously prejudiced by a “public opinion circus” even before it comes to trial. The Pima Sheriff’s Department will share all information that can legally be shared as soon as it becomes available. Thank you.”
Somehow, thought, I don’t see Sheriff Dupnik saying something like that to the prejudiced, bigoted Arizonans who he despises so much.