Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Shooting men in the back: Arizona and California

While the videotaped Oakland murder of Oscar Grant by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle has captured the public's attention, let us not forget that right here in Arizona, by all eyewitness accounts, Border Patrol agent Nicholas Corbett did the same to Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera.

In AZ, where many of the less educated believe that police should Not Be Questioned because They Are Here To Protect Us, eyewitness testimony be damned, the case ended in two mistrials. The California matter is made slightly more clear by videotape--or not, as how to treat the testimony of witnesses who later saw video is unclear--but it'll be interesting to see how the conclusion of the cases differ and to what extent the less submissive (albeit leftist) culture of Northern California effects the differences.

I have personal connections to the Bay Area--I've been splitting my time more and more between here and there--and would like myself and the people I love to be able ride the BART without fear of negligent or deliberate summary execution by 27-year-old cops who don't know when to keep the gun in the holster. Condolences go out to the Grant family and, of course, to the Riveras, along with a hope that the latter prevail in their lawsuit.

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