May 26, 2011 in Drugs
Republicans, if this isn’t enough to piss you off, you can go straight to hell:
As the SWAT team forced its way into his home, Guerena, a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, armed himself with his AR-15 rifle and told his wife and son to hide in a closet. As the officers entered, Guerena confronted them from the far end of a long, dark hallway. The police opened fire, releasing more than 70 rounds in about 7 seconds, at least 60 of which struck Guerena. He was pronounced dead a little over an hour later.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Department initially claimed (PDF) Guerena fired his weapon at the SWAT team. They now acknowledge that not only did he not fire, the safety on his gun was still activated when he was killed. Guerena had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home. After ushering out his wife and son, the police refused to allow paramedics to access Guerena for more than hour, leaving the young father to bleed to death, alone, in his own home.
So this is nothing new, and one hardly need have a gun to be murdered in one of these drug raids, but what a crystallization of everything the Drug War has done to destroy the land of the free. In this country, the real one, your doors and windows can be smashed in by a horde of armed men, and if you react defensively at all you will be gunned down in your pajamas, in front of your family.
Where’s the NRA on this one? The Tea Party, who tells us that having to get health insurance is tyranny, I look forward to their outrage. Veterans groups, I expect full-throated howls of wronged fury at the gunning down of a Marine reacting to a home invasion. I want anybody who continues to support no-knock raids by militarized police forces to be shamed. I want the Obama administration to be put to the test over their giggling about marijuana legalization (can you imagine this man being killed over suspicion that he had a case of Budweiser in his fridge?).
We’ve been watching the Drug War erase American freedom and rights for decades, and most intelligent observers have realized the destructive folly of it all for the past ten years. Yet we continue.
With the War on Terror shredding what’s left of our freedoms, America is getting sandwiched. Solipsism tells us that it’s always somebody else getting the brunt, and that they usually deserve it. Hopefully Jose Guerena’s story makes it clear that this can happen to anybody. This is the world you are living in.