Friday, December 09, 2005

Further Thoughts on Miami Airport Shooting

Skepticism about whether Alpizar ever claimed to have a bomb is emerging from passengers from the plane. This doesn't really change my view of the incident for two reasons: first, there remains significant disagreement as to what actually occured on the plane itself. Eyewitness testimony not especially reliable in these sorts of incidents (past recollection of the same event witnessed under stress vary greatly from person to person). Second, there is still this account of what occured on the jetway:
After running from the plane, Alpizar . . . turned in the jetway, walked menacingly toward the agents and reached into his backpack, police said. Marshals stepped back before firing at Alpizar, who died at the scene, police said.
which has yet to be seriously disputed. You do not "shoot for the trigger finger" in this situation, you aim center-mass. Perhaps non-lethal means could have been used, but that sort of Monday morning quarterbacking assumes knowledge that the marshals could not have had at the time.

This incident not withstanding, I still think I'd rather have trained law enforcement personnel on planes than not. Though it is always appropriate to investigate whether the procedures and training can be improved in light of recent events. Otherwise, I stand by my earlier thoughts.

(Links via: Liberal Serving)

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