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Home Columns JGL Eye Did Race Factor in Killing of Filipino-American Woman?
Did Race Factor in Killing of Filipino-American Woman? PDF Print E-mail
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Columns - JGL Eye
Wednesday, 03 July 2013 05:20



JGL Eye

By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA

(© 2013 Fil Am Extra Exchange)


C HICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) – Domestic law enforcers, like sheriffs’ deputies and police officers, should learn lessons from overseas police in cracking down on street demonstrators. They should call in the anti-riot squads as a first recourse, not the SWATs, in handling local disturbances.

When a couple of sheriff’s deputies responded to quell a disturbance allegedly stirred by a Filipino-American woman, holding either a knife or a pair or scissors or both, the deputies should have used a wooden club to wrest the deadly weapon/s away from her hands if the deputies don’t have training on hand-to-hand combat.

If a wooden club would not do the job, they could have called a fire truck and train a water hose on the weapon/s of the woman.

If a fire hose could not reach the scene of the disturbance, the deputies could have used tear gas, one of the most popular defensive weapons of choice used by third-world anti-riot squads to disperse demonstrators.

Use of Taser gun, which had resulted in unintended deaths to many alleged unruly troublemakers, as a first option by first responders in this case that happened last May inside Costco in Sterling, Virginia, was premature, especially if the deputies were facing an untrained or amateur holder of bladed weapon/s, like a knife or a pair of scissors. It was very obvious the Loudoun Sheriff’s deputies panicked and must have violated protocol in handling this particular situation.

Use of Taser gun or their own regulation firearm on an alleged troublemaker should only be the last option if the holder of bladed weapon will not be endangering other people.

When the deputies used the gun after a Taser gun failed on Filipino American Mylene de Leon Scott, 38, who was holding either a knife or a pair of scissor or both, it was a naked and brutal use of force.

 

VICTIM WAS NOT EVEN IN A STABLE FRAME OF MIND

 

Based on news accounts, Ms. Scott had obviously had no combat training and was not even in a stable frame of mind. Instead of suing for time by engaging Scott in verbal negotiations that could get her to lay down her weapon/s, the deputies were in a hurry to settle the standoff by resorting to a deadly force as their first recourse.

I wonder if Scott were white or relatives of the deputies, would the deputies have taken a different tack?

When the deputies hurriedly took down Scott with the use of a gun, their actions on Scott was tantamount to killing a house fly with the use of a sledge hammer. (In the Philippines, the unjustified or extrajudicial killing of a suspected troublemaker is called “salvaging,” which is being roundly denounced by human rights activists as a human rights violation.)

I emailed Loudoun Sheriff Michael Chapman with the following questions right after the killing of Scott but I never received a courtesy of a reply:

“If Taser did not work, why not use another Taser?

"Do your deputies have martial arts training to wrestle the knife or pair of scissors from the hands of women, who may not have armed combat training?

"Shouldn’t deputies have used wooden stick to wrest the knife or pair of scissors from her hands?

"Do deputies have training to shoot assailants in non-fatal parts of the body?”

 

DEPUTIES LOST PRESENCE OF MIND

 

It was very obvious that the trigger-happy deputies lost their presence of mind when they shot cold Scott as the shooting endangered others, including a deputy, who was reportedly injured from the bullets they themselves discharged. The deputies would have been in a worse predicament if somebody else, other than their own, sustained a collateral injury, especially if the victim were white or their own relatives or other ordinary Costco customers.

That’s why calls by human rights lawyer and Migrant Heritage Commission co-executive director Arnedo Valera based in Arlington, Virginia, and Philippine Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. for a thorough investigation of the shooting incident should not only be heeded but should get a full attention and consideration.

“There was an apparent use of excessive and unnecessary force to repel an impending crime that does not truly constitute a clear and present danger against anyone at the moment she was shot. This has to be thoroughly investigated.  The victim only had a knife or a pair of scissors, and what could have been done to quell an impending attack would just be to hit her in non-fatal parts of the body,” said Valera in a press statement.

Scott is reportedly a food server of the Club Demonstration Services, which provides services to Costco. At the time of the incident, Scott was said to be behaving strangely, and threatened her supervisor and was making angry remarks about the pizza.

I hope the Loudoun Sheriff will make a timely report of their investigation that could shed light on the incident so that such poor judgment by deputy sheriffs and other enforcers dealing with domestic disturbance will not be replicated nor will happen ever again. Let’s all hope. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)



Joseph G. Lariosa
Correspondent
Fil Am Extra Exchange
Journal Group Link International
P. O. Box 30110
Chicago, IL 60630
Tel. 312.772.5454
Telefax 312.428.5714


 

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