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Friday, December 09, 2005

Did Anybody Hear Him Use the “B-word”?

United States Air Marshals shot and mortally wounded 44-year-old Rigoberto Alpizar, of Maitland, Florida. Marshals say he was “agitated” on an American Airlines plane that was waiting for take-off at Miami International Airport. They say he threatened them by stating in a loud voice he had a bomb. The air police say their lives were endangered when the suspect was non-compliant.

This story is interesting on many levels. The first is that no one except the air marshals heard Alpizar say he had a bomb, and they were not the closest to him. The air marshals heard him yelling out loud that he had a bomb, but no one else did. Everyone else heard his wife say he was sick that he was bipolar, but strangely when it came to the yelling they were deaf. How is that?

Secondly, why did they shoot to kill? Why did they kill someone who was leaving the jet? What if he really did have a bomb? Wouldn’t you prefer that he run out on the jetway before it blew up, than shoot and kill him near the jet? Then if you had to shoot him you could have shot him running away and maybe just wounded him instead? What would be the harm in that?

Thirdly, they told him to lie down on the jet way. He failed to comply. They said he failed to comply. Is that the reason they shot him? They shot him because he was disobedient? We all know how the police can be about these matters.

Fourthly, we are told he had a bag. Several reports say he was running with a backpack, then we hear it was actually one of those little bags you wear around your waist at the front. That is quite different from a backpack, which sounds rather large or even a piece of carry-on luggage as this bag is described in some news reports.

Then later we hear it was a backpack on his chest. Who wears a backpack on their chest? Isn’t that why it is called a backpack instead of a front pack? But since the passengers say he was wearing it around his waist, I tend to go with the belly bag.

Now, everyone seems to think it was justified to protect them from dangerous terrorists but isn’t it strange that in four years of an increased number of air marshals there hasn’t even been one terrorist event? The first suspected terrorist apprehended by the aero-cops is simply a disturbed soul who was traveling without his meds, but they kill him anyway.


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