Monday, February 25, 2013

Fuckin Texas, Man

Texas bans shooting immigrants from helicopters

This would seem to be the sort of thing that one would not have to bother banning because who would just open fire on people from a helicopter?

A hot-air balloon, sure. But a helicopter?
But, because this is Texas, of course some people have got shot from a helicopter. In fact, a couple of guys got shot dead from a helicopter
back in Oct, 2012.

A Texas state trooper who fired on a pickup truck from a helicopter during a deadly chase through the desert was trying to disable the vehicle and suspected it was being used to smuggle drugs, authorities said Friday.

The disclosure came a day after the incident left two illegal immigrants from Guatemala dead on an isolated gravel road near the town of La Joya, just north of the Mexico border.

 I suppose this is probably why they felt like they needed to ban this practice.

While announcing the new policy, Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw insisted that the ban on aerial shootings had nothing to do with the October 2012 death of two Guatemalan immigrants, who were gunned down by troopers in helicopter while they were hiding in the back of a speeding pickup truck near La Joya.

Oh, right. It's Texas!
If they said that this new policy was a response to these two deaths, that would be a little too close to admitting that they were wrong. And admitting you're wrong is the first step on the slippery slope to apologizing. And in Te4xas, they live by the rule set forth by John Wayne's character in "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon,"

Never apologize! It's a sign of weakness!

“I’m convinced that now, from a helicopter platform, that we shouldn’t shoot unless being shot at, or unless someone is being shot at,” McCraw told the state House Committee on Appropriations.

Wait, what? Up 'til now, you didn't even have to be getting shot at to shoot someone from a helicopter? No one needed to be getting shot at? You could just shoot someone from a helicopter if, what, they looked suspicious? (Guatemalan)
Apparently! Because they are finding no fault whatsoever with last October's shooting.

“Last Friday, after a review of the policy and looking at all of the different things, and this is not a reflection of what happened there, I’m a firm believer they did exactly what they thought they needed to do.”

If you think that what you need to do when someone is speeding and might possibly have some sort of contraband in the back of the truck is to open fire, maybe your thought process is a bit flawed. Maybe you shouldn't be in a position of responsibility with the ability to make life-and-death decisions.
Granted, I'm no expert on law-enforcement techniques, but someone did ask a guy who is:

An expert on police chases said the decision to fire on the truck was "a reckless act" that served "no legitimate law enforcement purpose."
In 25 years following police pursuits, I hadn't seen a situation where an officer shot a speeding vehicle from a helicopter," said Geoffrey Alpert, professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina.

I know, but I'm lazy.

Such action would be reasonable only if "you know for sure the person driving the car deserves to die and that there are no other occupants."
In general, he said, law enforcement agencies allow the use of deadly force only when the car is being used as a weapon, not "just on a hunch," Alpert added

Well, that sort of wimpy soft-on-crime attitude might play in hippie South Carolina, but this is Texas, man! Fuckin' Texas!