Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In Texas Being Suspected of Being a Drug Smuggler is a Capital Offense

You Get Shot on Sight

A truck is speeding away from police in rural Texas near the border.  It’s rear area is covered.  The natural assumption of any rational person is that this is a vehicle full of illegal aliens.  The natural assumption of at least some Texas law enforcement authorities is that these are drug dealers who should be shot on sight.

Two people were killed in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley after a state trooper flying in a highway patrol helicopter opened fire on a fleeing pickup authorities thought was smuggling drugs, officials said.

Of course, no drugs were found and the people inside the truck were suspected of being illegals trying to enter the country.

No drugs were found inside the truck. Troopers found three people shot inside the truck, two of them dead. The third person was hospitalized and seven others were taken into custody, including one who initially fled, according to the statement. All the passengers and the injured person are suspected to be illegal immigrants, officials said Friday. They did not release the identities of those killed.

So why the deadly force?

As the driver fled, the warden followed in pursuit, radioed for backup, and a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter and ground units were called in to assist, Cox said.

Troopers suspected the driver was smuggling drugs, according to an agency statement released to The Times on Friday by spokesman Tom Vinger. The  truck had "a typical 'covered' drug load in the bed," the statement said.

During the pursuit, the truck driver "was traveling at reckless speeds endangering the public."

Eventually, a trooper “discharged his firearm from the helicopter to disable the vehicle,” according to the statement.

Well, it is true that killing the driver will disable a vehicle.  And we would have more sympathy for the individual that made this tragic mistake if we understood why multiple shots were fired and why it was necessary to shoot at all, since there are things like roadblocks these days, or at least there have been since the 1930’s.

The tragedy here is the loss of life, even if the victims were illegal aliens that is not a crime punishable be death from a police helicopter.  But the greater tragedy is that no one really seems to care that people were killed just because they were trying to get to America.

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