Tuesday, September 28, 2010

State: Case of Arizona deputy's shooting reopened

This AP story details followup on the claims of a Pinal Co deputy that he was jumped and shot by pot smugglers in the desert. Apparently there's some doubt about his veracity in this matter.

The story leaves out what may be an important factor. The deputy's boss is Sheriff Paul Babeau, who's been doing a lot of grandstanding about the new anti-Mexican law, lining up directly behind Joe Arpaio and running for reelection on the issue. The deputy's quite possibly self-inflicted bullet wound has put the sheriff on national TV and got him miles of ink in the local papers.

No one likes to think that a law-enforcement professional might do anything so corrupt and craven as to fabricate evidence to whip up hysteria and win an election. But we always have to bear in mind that any group of humans includes a small proportion of people who are self-absorbed, greedy and evil, so vigilance and caution are called for whenever someone benefits hugely from "happenstance."

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