Nur al-Cubicle

A blog on the current crises in the Middle East and news accounts unpublished by the US press. Daily timeline of events in Iraq as collected from stories and dispatches in the French and Italian media: Le Monde (Paris), Il Corriere della Sera (Milan), La Repubblica (Rome), L'Orient-Le Jour (Beirut) and occasionally from El Mundo (Madrid).

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Hysterical air marshals; collective punishment

The Alpizars

Update: The air marshals who shot Alpizar may be in trouble over their lethal intervention. Via Yahoo News:
The two federal air marshals involved in the deadly shooting of a threatening air passenger in Miami have been put on administrative leave pending investigation of the incident, officials said on Thursday.
Witnesses have come forward to say Alpizar never said anything about a bomb.

Rough and tough US air marshals shot dead a man who was off his meds, literally.
The man, identified as Rigoberto Alpizar, a 44-year-old U.S. citizen, was gunned down on a jetway just before the American Airlines plane was about to leave for Orlando, near his home in Maitland. The man's wife says her husband was bipolar - a mental illness also known as manic-depression - and had not had his medication. Four to five shots were fired. After the shooting, police boarded the plane and told the passengers to put their hands on their heads. Investigators then spread passengers' bags on the tarmac and let dogs sniff them for explosives, and bomb squad members blew up at least two bags.


Blogger Postman said...

Sounds like normal service on AA in my experience.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

You are funny, postman!

12:11 AM  
Blogger Nudnik said...

Collective punishment????

The guy said he had a bomb. And when he refused to follow the air marshall's orders he was shot. Should every air marshall now diagonose a suspect before acting? How about waiting to see of he really does have a bomb?

6:07 AM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

It now appears that Mr. Alpizar never said anything about a bomb.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Nur-al-Cubicle said...

And gee, Nudie, don't you wonder how Alpizar snunk a bomb [yeah, right] not only past security, but past HS Customs and Immigration?

People like you fall for whoppers like that every time. Look! An Egress!

2:49 PM  
Anonymous graniab said...

Excuse me under the current scenario I can see lots of grey areas where innocent people will get shot by Air Marshalls for refusing to stop/obey a command and/or behaving strangely. Let me see - deaf people spring to mind, or anyone with a developmental delay. I predict there will be a big settlement paid out some time next year to the Alpizar family.

12:50 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

But graniab, why did the air marshals claim he said he had a bomb? As of late last night/early this morning, no witness had stepped substantiated that statement. So if they were in a justified grey area, why lie about the facts?

1:00 PM  
Anonymous graniab said...

I am not accusing the Air Marshals of lying or calling them trigger happy. I am just pointing out problems that exist where decisions are made in a split second with adreneline flowing. In California we have recently seen alot of cases where law enforcement departments have had to settle with familes over wrongful death shootings. I also have an autistic son who would not obey an order to stop. He would have such a oversensory overload he wouldn't even hear the order.

1:27 PM  
Blogger Corrie said...

Imagine this alternative version:
“The effectiveness of the Air Marshalls program was being called into question today after a disturbed man was allowed to rush up a jetway and into the terminal from an airplane that had just landed from Columbia.

The man forced his way off the plane and ran up the jetway with a backpack, shouting that he had a bomb. Air marshalls drew their weapons and ordered him to stop, but he ignored their commands and ran into the terminal. Hundreds of passengers waiting to board their aircraft panicked and rushed for the exits. Forty-two were injured in the stampede, and two were killed in the crush, including an elderly man and a two-year old.

‘He was wild-eyed and panting,’ said one witness who declined to be identified. ‘I was scared he had a gun or a bomb or something. Everybody just ran.’

Not everybody. Frank Wilson, a retired police officer, tripped and tackled the suspect as he ran past. Wilson tossed the backpack - which did not contain a bomb - to the side as he held the disturbed passenger to the ground.

‘I just reacted, I guess.’ said Wilson. ‘Old habits die hard. You see someone running like that, and, well, I just took him down. I’m not as young as I once was - I’m a little sore, actually.’

A spokesman for the Air Marshalls said, ‘Our agents are trained to carefully evaluate a potential threat in order to avoid over-reacting. In hindsight, the passenger was clearly not a threat, so we’re very gratified the Marshalls on the scene did not open fire.’ Asked about the passengers who were killed and injured by the panic in the terminal, the spokesman said, ‘That’s a very tragic thing, obviously.’”

2:03 PM  
Blogger The Liberal Avenger said...

Corrie has quite an imagination.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Gaianne said...

Is this any way to run an airline?

You bet it is!

11:12 PM  

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