Mob Rule

I probably shouldn’t write about this, but I’m going to anyway. I feel this incident has spun almost out of control and people need to get a grip and think before they react any further.

This week, Danny Rodriguez’s mother called police when Danny became angry and violent. Phoenix police officer Sergio Vergillo was the first to arrive on scene and called for backup; officer Richard Chrisman responded. Verifiable information is scarce at best, but this is what has been claimed: Rodriguez told officers they couldn’t come in without a warrant, Chrisman put his gun to Rodriguez’s head and said “I don’t need no warrant, motherf***er,” they went inside, and at some point Vergillo tazed Rodriguez, Chrisman deployed OC (pepper) spray, shot the dog, got into a physical struggle with Rodriguez, then shot him.

Naturally, not all of the information coming from the media is accurate. Most outlets aren’t even relying on the police report (they rarely, if ever, give a full accounting of events as they actually happened, usually relying on hyper-emotional witnesses or people who claim to have seen it because they just want to be on TV). Before you go any further, though, click here and watch the news video.

What’s the first thing you see?

I see a stream of Latino protesters, the leader carrying a pole with three flags on it. Is the American flag on top? Nope. It’s at the bottom, below the Mexican flag and one other that I can’t quite place (if anyone else can tell, by all means, share). The very first thing we see in this protest is a protester basically declaring that the United States is inferior to Latino nations. That’s hilarious, considering the fact that law and order in most Latino countries – to include Mexico – is a joke.

Then you see signs, some of them in Spanish, some in English, and small children carrying graphic signs declaring the police are murderers. Then, they talk to protester Manuel Martinez. His first words are, “let’s set aside the fact that he’s Latino.”

Really? You want us to set that aside? I don’t think you really do want it to be “set aside”, because a few things are quite evident: first of all, you’re only protesting with fellow Latinos. Second, you’re holding up signs in Spanish decrying “la policia” as murderers. Third, you are openly and brazenly disrespecting the US flag by flying it underneath the Mexican flag. You don’t want us to set aside the fact that he’s Latino. You want everyone to believe this was a racially-motivated crime so you have ammunition at your next SB 1070 rally.

They say that this incident is driving a bigger wedge between Latinos and law enforcement. Actually, the only one driving a wedge between Latinos and law enforcement are the Latinos crying racism over everything that happens. Where is the outrage over Latino gang members deliberately targeting black people in Los Angeles? When you’re willing to call out the racism in your own ranks, your outrage will be a little more believable.

Then we see Carlos Galindo, wearing a Vietnam Veteran cap, railing about how unfair it is that Chrisman is out on bail. “He is getting special treatment,” Galindo yells. “And the Latin community, we are not – I repeat, we are NOT – gonna let up until the officer is back in jail, among other prisoners!” This statement galls me. What he is suggesting is that because the Latino community is outraged about this incident, more charges should immediately be brought and Chrisman should be held behind bars without bail. Mr. Galindo, thank you for your service, but what you are suggesting is mob rule. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, sir, but here in the United States we don’t work that way. You can get pissed all you want, but our justice system has certain requirements that must be met. Until the investigation is complete and enough evidence is found, he’s not going to be re-arrested. He is not getting any special treatment. Any person not charged with murder because of an unknown amount of evidence or an ongoing investigation would be treated the same way. My friend, Tony Holly, was murdered in 2007; if his killer, Bryan Wayne Hulsey, had the $1 million available to post bail, he’d have been released, too.

Martinez then says, “this was a US citizen that was killed in cold blood by an officer who took an oath and wore a badge and walked in and killed someone.” Okay, so that precipitates a protest? Where the hell were you when Nick Erfle was murdered by an illegal alien gang member? Where was the outrage when Marc Atkinson was ambushed and murdered by Mexicans who had come here looking for work and turned to drug running when they couldn’t get jobs legally? You hardly lifted a finger when those two incidents happened. Being angry is perfectly normal. Calling for law enforcement to dump a person back in jail simply because you don’t like the circumstances is a little ridiculous. We don’t work the way Mexico does. Sorry.

The most incredible scene in the entire protest, I think, was the protester carrying a sign that said, “Eye for an Eye.”

Really?

If you want that, then why are you protesting against SB 1070 by calling it inhumane? If you are going to claim that an enforcement of federal law is somehow against human decency, then don’t you dare stand on American soil and demand an eye for an eye. That is an outrage we will not abide. The actions of our justice system are not dictated by mob rule. If they were, a lot of innocent people would have gone down for crimes they didn’t commit. We don’t know all of the facts in this case yet, too – so take a step back and breathe. Think before you react.