Tuesday, August 02, 2005

L.A. police commander defends SWAT team

From USAToday:

LOS ANGELES (AP) A police commander on Saturday defended the actions of SWAT members who killed a young girl in a shootout with her father, one of three standoffs in the past nine months in which officers killed suspects holding hostages.

"Those people did the absolute best job that they could," said Capt. Scott Kroeber, who had been invited by community activists to a South Los Angeles coffee house. "When you're being shot at, it's very difficult to get off a precision shot."

Makes sense to me.

SWAT officers cornered Jose Pena in his Watts car business' office July 10. The distraught father was holding his 19-month-old daughter Suzie in his arms as he fired a 9 mm handgun, wounding one officer.

"Distraught father" does not describe a man who would use his 19 month-old daughter as a shield. Try "cowardly punk".

In the latest shooting, police claimed Pena, 34, had ingested cocaine and alcohol before threatening his wife and stepdaughter and shooting wildly in the streets. The coroner's toxicology report is pending.

Pena, an illegal immigrant, had a history of drug abuse, authorities said.

A lawyer representing the slain girl's mother said the shootouts indicated possible training gaps.

"Did they follow proper police procedures? Were they trained properly? All of these questions have to be answered," attorney Luis Carrillo said.

Okay, I'll answer them--yes and yes! God, save us from lawyers.