Marshal shoots passenger Miami airport

Discussion in 'The Study' started by Ping898, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    Thank you for making my point. So often does 'mental illness' become a deflection of who own's responsibility for the event. It becomes "OH NO, we can't blame the poor mentally ill man, because that will make us look 'insensitive'....It must be the fault of those MEANIE police officers"

    The only person that owns this event is the one who ultimately died as a result of it. Anything else is blame deflection in the name of 'sensitivity'.

    When the need to appear sensitive overcomes reason and rationality, then, as Shesula has been saying, 'You've stopped thinking'. I'll look insensitive before I allow emotionalism to do my thinking for me. I really don't know what to say to anyone who is offended by that. I prefer to deal with the world as it is, not as we wish it had been after the event.


    Are you seriously suggesting that if you climbed on a Israeli airflight and yelled "I HAVE A BOMB" and then stuck your hand in a bag, they wouldn't SHOOT you?! I don't suggest you test that theory, unless you've got a death wish. You'll have so many bullet holes you'll look like a spaghetti strainer.

    The Israelis are far more trigger happy when it comes to suicide bombers than we will ever be (Suicide bombings are a daily event). Anyone who thinks the Israelis have tolerance or a sense of humor for someone claiming to have a bomb, is sadly mistaken.

    It's possible that the only people crazy or moronic enought to claim to have a bomb in Israel is someone who really does.

    An interesting side note about Israel, for several years now parents and teachers in schools in Israel have volunteered to go through training to be monitors. In Israel, however, that consists of firearms training. They all get trained to carry concealed weapons, and their job is to patrol the halls of the schools watching for gunmen and potential suicide bombers. There are a great many places in Israel one could get shot for yelling "I HAVE A BOMB!".

    Bottom line, if a man says he has a bomb, i'll take him at his word. Grown adults should know better than to yell certain things and engage in certain acts, especially in public, MOST especially in circumstances where it should be obvious that there will be a quick and certain response.

    If we as a culture are so sensitive as to believe that we should excuse certain obviously dangerous behaviors that end up resulting in, what is more, predictable death or injury, and consider it a tragedy owned by anyone other than the perpetrator, then we have a problem with responsibility as a culture.

    To call this a tragedy makes it appear as though something should be changed to prevent it in the future. Perhaps there should be a warning sign when you get on board the plane. Warning:"Don't yell 'I HAVE A BOMB!'" We've got warning signs for other obviously stupid activities, why not this one.
     
  2. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    But someone who is mentally ill might not be responsible for his own actions (e.g., the insanity defense). Maybe no one is responsible here, and it's just a pure tragedy.

    I've bought the NY Times the last few days and have only noticed one letter to the editor about this issue--and it was critical of the sky marshals' service and its training. I'd like to see more balance.

    I have not seen anyone, anywhere, suggest that the marshals erred in doing what they did. (Marshals, plural, as apparently both fired on the person.) But just as you seem concerned that they not be blamed--it simply doesn't follow that the person who died is to blame. Perhaps he was competent, but perhaps not. It can happen that tragedies befall us that are simply not anyone's fault, even though someone will surely get sued over them.

    It is not yet clear to me that the man who died on that runway was 'responsible' for his actions in any useful sense of the term. We will see.

    No, we have a problem with perceiving mental illness as a 'real' illness as opposed to just a matter of being weak-willed. Some grown adults are mentally impaired. Would you apply your logic to someone with Downs syndrome? Tourette's? Grown adults should simply know better than to engage in the echolalia and profanity of a person with Tourette's?
     
  3. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    Why he did what he did is irrelavent from the perspective of the response. That is my point. The tragedy may ultimately be that he didn't have his medication under control. But that tragedy is not the responsibility of the Air Marshalls. Why he did what he did is in despite, THAT he did what he did is pretty clear.

    I'm not belittling those with mental illness, however, I really don't see how that is really the issue here. If we want to discuss how people can better control their mental illnesses, that's a fine point. We aren't really discussing that so much as the Air Marshall response to the situation.

    Love to see more balance. However, there is an element of our society that responds to issues purely from the emotional. They fail to remotely consider cause and effect in their processes. They see 'Tragedy' and immediately look for someone to blame. That usually ends up being the most competent person involved in the situation.....usually the police. They feel the police should have done 'something' different, even if they can't quantify what they would have been.

    'Blame' in the sense of the word used, is solely in the realm of who owns the event. Who, if not him, owns the consequences of the event? He has sole ownership of the consequences of the event, and hence, his own death.

    Well, it is clear that his actions led to his death. If someone wants to argue he wasn't responsible for those actions, then that is an argument that could be made. Clearly, however, his actions are responsible for his death.


    Ok, bi-polar disorder caused this mans death. No one said anything about this man's weak-will causing his death. His actions caused his death. We can blame whatever you feel is responsible for his actions, if you desire. If you say that is bi-polar disorder, then we'll say bi-polar disorder resulted in his death.
     
  4. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    Im no psych. major, but I dont believe bi-polar disorder allows someone to be non-responsible for their actions.....
     
  5. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    It doesn't. There are a few organic diseases of the brain that can cause someone to be completely non-responsible for their actions, but bi-polar disorder isn't one of them. They may act impulsively when they are manic, but that doesn't equate to psychotic.

    I've heard of some 'delusional' thinking as the result of bi-polar disorders, but i've never actually seen those manifested. Those usually take the form of imagined slights or behaviors by loved ones.

    I've never heard of one involving the mistaken belief that you are carrying a bomb.

    Conversly, the man could have been in a depressive state, and this could have been an act of suicide, I suppose.
     
  6. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    read this ****

    http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=messages&tsn=4&tid=40890&webtag=ab-bipolar

    This is the type of **** floating around out there that Im talking about.
     
  7. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Agreed. The response was appropriate.

    I agree with this. What's less clear is whether he was responsible for his own actions. That's my point, which appears to be orthogonal to yours.


    Of course, it's too soon to know if that's the case. I agree that his actions caused this to happen. But possibly something outside of his control caused those actions...it's too soon to assign blame to him (or his wife, or physician, or what have you). The fact that the marshals acted properly doesn't immediately shift the moral blame to the man who was shot. His actions set this in motion, but responsibility is a strong word, and with the spectre of mental illness in the air, a premature one. I feel.
     
  8. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    http://www.mydna.com/health/mental/bipolar/news/news_20051130_bipolar_case.html

     
  9. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I honestly don't know the answer. Perhaps he was, indeed, responsible for his actions. I wouldn't be surprised to find his estate sued by fellow passengers...we'll see what the courts decide.

    The teacher example is...unconvincing to me. I don't know enough about bi-polar disorder to know what the effects are, so I am withholding judgement. Suicide seems unlikely to me (how would he know a marshal was on board?). Delusion is a possibility, but panic seems to fit to my mind.
     
  10. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    According to what i've read, the wife wasn't even near Mr. Alpizar when he was shot, she was still on the plane. The Air Marshalls were confronted by Alpizar, alone, saying he had a bomb, with his backpack turned around toward the front. He then refused orders to lay down on the ground, and placed his hand in to the backpack (clearly a provocative and threatening jesture, considering he just said he had a BOMB).
     
  11. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    When we say 'responsible' arnis, we are referring to who's actions are responsible for the incident. To the much more complicated and philosophical debate about how responsible someone truly is for their own actions, i'll defer to others. We are debating who's ACTIONS are responsible for causing the event. I think it would do good to split those two issues in to two seperate issues.
     
  12. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    That I can believe and blame on bipolar disorder.
     
  13. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    I'm quite frankly surprised that no one has brought up that possibility. Bi-polar disorder, by it's nature, has a manic AND a depressive state. While his pre-shooting behavior is indicative of a manic state, it's always possible that this was a desperate act of suicide. The behavior itself has every indication of a suicide-by-cop. He claims to have a lethal weapon, and places armed officers in a situation where a reasonable person would believe they would shoot. That he did this with the intent of forcing them to shoot makes far more sense than any other explaination i've heard.
     
  14. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Responsibility is not merely a philosophical issue here. If there is a civil suit, or if he had survived and charges were pressed against him, there would be the issue of legal responsibility as well. It's not an 'academic' issue.

    As to suicide by cop...I know this is a real phenomenon, but given that there was no guarantee that a marshal was on the plane with him, I must wonder if that was his goal.
     
  15. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    IF he survived. As he is not being held responsible for his actions. We are merely judging his actions in proportion to the ultimate impact those actions took.

    Again, you completely misunderstand my point. As the gentleman is DEAD we will never know his mindset, thus it is purely academic. Further, we're not judging HIS mindset, as he is dead, but who is responsible for the outcome of the circumstances.

    As his actions are those that precipitated the events, we are only judging what we CAN know (i.e. what his actions WERE and what his actions resulted in).

    Discussing his mindset is a PURELY philosophical undertaking as it is IMPOSSIBLE to know what his mindset was.

    My only concern are what actions he took and what actions the Marshalls took, and how those converging actions resulted in the situation we have currently. Those are the only perameters we have available to us.

    It is anyone's best guess what his mindset was at the time he was shot, and anyone's guess is as good as another.

    Therefore, we can only judge his ACTIONS not his MINDSET. As his actions were apparently responsible for his death, we have to determine that the fault of his death rests with him.

    What's more, as no adult is responsible for another adult, there is no one to sue in this circumstance. We certainly can't sue him. We also can't sue his wife, unless she could be somehow shown culpable, but I don't know how that could be. His estate is no longer his, it passed to his wife. So, all of this talk of his mindset is purely academic.

    You misunderstand. I never claimed he premeditated suicide. Only that, when confronted by obvious lethal force, he took the two actions almost guaranteed to get him shot 1) Claiming to have a bomb in the bag that he had turned around backwards on his chest and 2) Thrusting his hand in to the bag when confronted.

    Taken together, this appears almost to be an act of suicide.
     
  16. Jonathan Randall

    Jonathan Randall Senior Master

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    Given my unfortunate familiarity with bipolar disorder (family member has it), I think that this is a very possible scenario. Individuals suffering from severe forms of this disease (there are four levels) are in such constant pain that such an ending is very possible. Given the circumstances as reported, this is far more likely the truth than that the Marshall acted incorrectly. In fact, the Marshall is also a victim in this circumstance, IMO.
     
  17. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    What I don't understand is, is how anyone is supposed to know the medical history of anyone just by looking at them?? Its no different than a Taser. We could Tase someone and next thing we know, his family is saying he should not have been Tased due to a heart condition! And I can tell that how??

    Seems to me that the media is playing on this disorder as an excuse to why he should not have been shot.

    Mike
     
  18. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm afraid I can't buy fully into this. Are there links you can post to back this statement up? I dont know about you, but I'm reading all the time in the paper about suicide bombers in these countries.

    I have to agree with Sgtmac on what he said. If this happened there, we would have seen the same results.

    Mike
     
  19. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    Well, you've hit on a public phenomenon, based mostly on the ignorance of the public on the complexities of such situations and a general misunderstanding of cause and effect.

    The general public gets their information via some sort of news outlet. The news outlets examine and tear apart issues like this ad nauseum. The general public, most of whom have absolutely no experience being forced to make split second decisions, suddenly fall under the illusion that these are topics that are debated at length before a decision is made. Most haven't the slightest idea of the extremely narrow period of time that these decisions are necessarily made in.

    Moreover, they are bombarded by irrelavent issues. "The suspect had a heart history, the suspect had a mental illness, the suspect's gun wasn't loaded" all of which are irrelavent because they were unknowable quantities to the officer on the scene. Yet, the media and public opinion uses these irrelavencies to crucify the officer.

    That is why, so often, public opinion conflicts so sharply with what happens following an investigation of the use of force. The force fed irrelavencies only appear damning to those who fail to realize that they have absolutely nothing to do with the officers decision. The investigation, and any legal action, are required to only deal with information available to the officer at the time of the incident. Everything available only after the fact is irrelavent.

    Moreover, when media start using the word 'tragedy', the public is conditioned to automatically start looking for blame. Since we are conditioned not to 'blame the victim' (As we can see evidence of even in this conversation), we can't very well blame the behavior of the deceased as having resulted in his death. Therefore, we start looking for the most competent person who 'should have done something different' and 'failed' to blame.

    Most of this type of monday morning quarterbacking is cured easily enough. Simply place the critiquer in a similar (albeit controlled) situation, and tell him to solve the problem. Most of the time, I see a sudden dawning realization come on the formerly opinion citizen, and they realize 'Hey, maybe I didn't have as firm a handle on this situation as I first thought'.

    Some of the best responses to media criticism of shooting incidents has come from putting media and citizens through F.A.T.S (Firearms Training Systems) Training simulators and other tactical training simulations that put them under pressure to make decisions.

    I've seen many a reporter or citizens find themselves at a loss on how to deal with a situation that they would have formerly felt no compunction generating an opinion on, when placed on the pressure to make split second decisions about 'life and death' in a simulated setting. It's overwhelming for most people.
     
  20. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    You're absolutely correct! The problem is that like many things, is that people with little to no backround in a given situation, make judgement calls on what is right/wrong. Unless they are currently or have been a LEO, people (the meadi and public) should not be casting such a harsh judgement. That will never change though.

    I had the chance to use one of these simulators and I have to say that again, you're correct. The pressure and split second decisions is amazing! Granted, when the 'bad guy' is shooting at you, you're not really going to die, but you need to go in with an open mind, and realize that the feelings of pressure, stress, etc. at 10 fold when a cop is faced with situations like this in real life.

    Mike123
     

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