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[South Texas:]DPS helicopter shooting under review by grand jury
The Monitor ^ | July 16, 2013 | Ildefonso Ortiz

Posted on 07/17/2013 12:34:23 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch

EDINBURG — An Hidalgo County grand jury has begun to examine the deaths of two unauthorized Guatemalan immigrants shot by a state trooper who was perched in a helicopter as he sought to blow out the tires of a fleeing pickup truck in October.

A grand jury review is standard practice for all police-related shootings, said Murray Moore, Hidalgo County assistant district attorney.

The review of the case is expected to take at least two weeks so that panel members can determine whether Trooper Miguel Avila should face criminal charges for the shooting, Moore said.

Avila was the sniper aboard the Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter that responded to a chase Oct. 25 as nine Guatemalan nationals suspected of illegal immigration rode in a red pickup driven by a 14-year-old boy. In an effort to avoid being seen by police as they were moved, some of the immigrants were hiding under a tarp in the bed of the pickup.

The teenager sped off when Texas Parks and Wildlife game wardens tried to pull the vehicle over just north of La Joya, thinking it was carrying marijuana bundles.

As the chase continued, Avila was given authorization to fire his .223-caliber rifle toward the pickup to blow out its tires — a tactic that DPS had used in the past during drug chases. The Texas law enforcement agency never released the number of shots fired at the vehicle, but a Monitor photograph of the vehicle taken shortly after the shooting shows several holes near the rear, driver’s-side tire.

Since the shooting, DPS has changed its policies so that it no longer allows troopers to fire at fleeing vehicles under similar circumstances.

The teen driver is a Mexican national who has been arrested various times by authorities on human smuggling charges and has been deported after each arrest. Most recently the teen was arrested in June by Border Patrol agents and deported.

The teenager is now considered a fugitive after 449th state District Judge Jesse Contreras issued a warrant for his arrest.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Mexico; News/Current Events; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: aliens; banglist; corruption; guatemala
"The teen driver is a Mexican national who has been arrested various times by authorities on human smuggling charges and has been deported after each arrest."
1 posted on 07/17/2013 12:34:23 PM PDT by SwinneySwitch
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To: SwinneySwitch

“unauthorized immigrants” HA! Invading foreigners.


2 posted on 07/17/2013 12:42:27 PM PDT by Ray76 (Do you reject Obama? And all his works? And all his empty promises?)
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To: SwinneySwitch

I can’t help but thinking that shooting from one moving vehicle at another is an inherently risky task. If those had been US citizens running from the law we would be outraged.


3 posted on 07/17/2013 12:43:25 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Inside every liberal and WOD defender is a totalitarian screaming to get out.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I agree. I have always demanded that cops be held personally responsible for shootings. However, in this case the shooter was “authorized”. I would prefer to hold the bureaucrat who wrote the policy personally responsible, both criminally and civilly.

I think the trooper doing the shooter can say he didn’t know people were in the back of the truck, and he was following SOP.

But this business of Ready, Fire, Aim, has got to stop. The only way to reduce police shootings is to hold people personally responsible.


4 posted on 07/17/2013 12:50:39 PM PDT by DariusBane (Liberty and Risk. Flip sides of the same coin. So how much risk will YOU accept?)
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To: Blood of Tyrants
If those had been US citizens running from the law we would be outraged.

I'm sure it's happened, and I'm sure they keep it quiet when it does.

5 posted on 07/17/2013 12:50:41 PM PDT by E. Pluribus Unum (Who knew that one day professional wrestling would be less fake than professional journalism?)
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To: SwinneySwitch

Who does this guy think he is, Lon Horiuchi?!?


6 posted on 07/17/2013 12:52:52 PM PDT by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Fraid so. Doesn’t matter if it was illegal aliens. Until the rules change, the shooter should be prosecuted - and so should his boss!


7 posted on 07/17/2013 12:52:53 PM PDT by Little Ray (How did I end up in this hand-basket, and why is it getting so hot?)
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To: SwinneySwitch

What I want to know is why it fell to the Texas DPS to shoot these criminal invaders and not the Border Patrol, DHS, USAF, or National Guard?


8 posted on 07/17/2013 12:53:25 PM PDT by MeganC (A gun is like a parachute. If you need one, and don't have one, you'll never need one again.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

If those had been US citizens running from the law we would be outraged.

But they weren’t, They were criminals coming into our country uninvited.

Shooting criminals—No harm no foul.


9 posted on 07/17/2013 12:55:21 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: Oberon

What ever became of dear old Lon after he was dumped in that advertising fiasco?


10 posted on 07/17/2013 12:56:22 PM PDT by meatloaf
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To: SwinneySwitch

If he had used a 20mm, he’d only have needed 2 or 3 shots. But I guess that would create potholes.


11 posted on 07/17/2013 1:00:44 PM PDT by Darteaus94025
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To: SwinneySwitch
A grand jury review is standard practice for all police-related shootings, said Murray Moore, Hidalgo County assistant district attorney.

Somewhat off-topic, but I think this should be the case for all violent deaths.

The SYG law here in FL as it now stands I think made things worse for Zimmerman.

When someone dies in a shooting, the decision whether to classify it as justifiable should not be left up to an administrative decision by elected or appointed officials. When this was done in the Zimmerman case, it looked initially to many people like police/prosecutor collusion.

If Zimmerman had to go through something like a coroner's inquest or a grand jury hearing, then there would have been a judicial decision that would have barred future harassment, as the SYG law states. As it now is, without such a hearing and determination, the possibility is always there that some future official, for political reasons, reopens the case and files charges.

I think a simple hearing to settle that the shooting was justifiable is not too much to ask anybody who takes another life to go through.

12 posted on 07/17/2013 1:08:51 PM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: DariusBane

Give them open season with no bag limit on ILLEGALS, and watch how fast the invasion stops.


13 posted on 07/17/2013 1:14:22 PM PDT by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: meatloaf
What ever became of dear old Lon after he was dumped in that advertising fiasco?

I always figured he had to go underground and assume a new public identity. He's probably still working for the Feds, however. They can always use guys like Lon.

14 posted on 07/17/2013 1:19:23 PM PDT by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: Oberon

That was a very public appearance to do an endorsement. Do you really think he’s looking over his shoulder.


15 posted on 07/17/2013 1:28:19 PM PDT by meatloaf
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To: meatloaf
Do you really think he’s looking over his shoulder.

I don't know for sure... but I sure hope so.

16 posted on 07/17/2013 1:34:34 PM PDT by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: MeganC
What I want to know is why it fell to the Texas DPS to shoot these criminal invaders and not the Border Patrol, DHS, USAF, or National Guard?

I'll bet it's got something to do with respect for the law.

17 posted on 07/17/2013 1:36:13 PM PDT by Standing Wolf
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To: Slump Tester

We don’t have to do that.

Deny access to public schools unless you can show and verify a green card, deny medical care unless you can pay cash. Can’t rent or buy a home without proof of citizenship or a green card. No welfare benefits to anybody on a green card.

Problem solved. Nobody killed.


18 posted on 07/17/2013 1:37:59 PM PDT by DariusBane (Liberty and Risk. Flip sides of the same coin. So how much risk will YOU accept?)
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To: DariusBane
We don’t have to do that. Deny access to public schools unless you can show and verify a green card, deny medical care unless you can pay cash. Can’t rent or buy a home without proof of citizenship or a green card. No welfare benefits to anybody on a green card. Problem solved. Nobody killed.

Well, the problem I see with your solution is that it would work.

19 posted on 07/17/2013 2:46:52 PM PDT by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: SwinneySwitch

That’s just stupid on so many levels.

The skill required to pull off accurate fire from a moving and even stationary helicopter is ridiculously filled with improbabilities.

It shouldn’t be done except against violent criminals.

The risk for errors is just too high.


20 posted on 07/17/2013 3:12:18 PM PDT by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
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To: SwinneySwitch

This should not have occurred, The Secretary of Homeland Defense said the Border was sealed.

The Victims must have been U.S. Citizens. /s


21 posted on 07/17/2013 3:37:31 PM PDT by Chief901 (Tyranny coming to an area near you soon !)
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To: SwinneySwitch

Exactly how is “unauthorized” better than “illegal?”

Shooting out tires from a helicopter sounds like great fun, but not the best training for accuracy.


22 posted on 07/17/2013 4:04:34 PM PDT by pallis
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