Monday, September 22, 2014

Something to remember the next time a white cop or vigilante guns down an unarmed young black man

Josh Marshall makes an important point to remember when the next Michael Brown or Trayvon Martin or Oscar Grant, i.e., an unarmed young black man mardered by a white guy for no good reason:

Protecting the White House is a very high stakes proposition. The potential costs of getting it wrong are weighty. So I find it notable that none of these guys who've tried to breach the fence - even this guy who managed to get into the building itself - has gotten shot. No shots fired. (Noted TPM 09/21/2014)
Brad Knickerbocker describes the latest incident in White House fence jumper. How often does that happen? Christian Science Monitor 09/20/2014:

The White House – home and work place of the most powerful man on Earth – is also one of the most secure, ringed by a fence and electronic detection devices, guarded by large, serious men with impressive weaponry.

But at 7:20 pm Friday evening, Omar Gonzales scrambled over the fence, dashed across the White House lawn, and made it through the North Portico doors and inside the building before being tackled.
In another piece, Knickerbocker explains something more about the possible calculations of White House security in this case (How Omar Gonzalez made it past guns and dogs through the White House door Yahoo! News/Christian Science Monitor 09/21/2014):

When Omar Gonzalez scrambled over the iron fence, setting off electronic alarms, and bolted for the White House entrance some 70 yards away, Secret Service officers had just seconds to react.

They had two possible options that might have prevented the intruder from reaching the president’s home and place of business: One of the sharp shooters on the roof of the White House could have killed him. Or a dog handler could have unleashed the Belgian Malinois trained to bring down a target individual. Neither of those things happened.

Mr. Gonzalez didn’t appear to be carrying a weapon, nor was he wearing loose clothing or a backpack, which might have concealed explosives. Fence jumpers are not that unusual (there was one just the previous week), and this one didn’t appear dangerous enough to shoot. The dog is very smart, but could have attacked one of the Secret Service officers racing after

In retrospect that may have been the right decision – right up until the point at which Gonzalez made it inside the White House entrance, setting off alarm signals for a high-pressure agency already under close supervision for recent misdeeds, including carousing by off-duty agents expected to be the highly-professional, real-life "Men in Black."

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