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Murder with impunity

At first I started to write a letter to the editor of the Star. I wanted to ask whether the paper would follow up on an article in today’s edition on page A2 written by Kimberly Matas about the murder last May of  31 year-old Jose Luis Arambula. Arambula was killed by Border Patrol agent Daniel Marquez. The agent was cleared of  wrong doing in a letter written by the chief criminal attorney for Pima County Kelli Johnson and released this week.

I realized a letter would be a waste of time. Nobody cares if Border Patrol agents murder Mexicans or other Hispanics. It’s done with impunity.

According to Matas’ report, Arambula was fleeing from his Jeep, which contained marijuana. He was in a pecan grove down in Green Valley.  Arambula had no weapon, but twice turned toward the BP agent, formed a shape of a gun with his hand. You know, they way kids do.

According to Johnson the county attorney’s mouthpiece, Arambula’s mime act, shooting his hand, would persuade a jury that the BP agent was justified in killing Arambula. The jury would, as Johnson was quoted in the Star, “conclude that Agent Marquez reasonably believed that deadly force was immediately necessary to protect himself from Mr. Arambula’s apparent attempt to use deadly physical force.” (Love that phrase “deadly physical force.” It’s so bureaucratically redundant, as though there might be such a thing as “deadly nonphysical force,” maybe “maybe “deadly mental force”?)

BP agent Marquez fired his weapon nine times at the hand jive deadly force exhibited by the fleeing Arambula. For heaven sake, nine times? At somebody’s back? One of the nine shots landed behind Arambula’s ear. Nine shots? For a guy who has no weapon? And a jury will conclude, according to the county attorney, that it’s just fine and dandy — shoot him dead, blow him away, he aimed his hand at you.

None of this makes sense. Wave your gun hand, and you die. The Star story didn’t say whether Arambula was a U.S. citizen or where he was from.

Doesn’t matter. He had dark skin. Nobody gives a shit.

It’s what this country has come to. Just forget about it, and keep your hands to yourself.

Or they will kill you.


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