Police officers face many stresses in their daily work, and naturally they can over-react at times, which unfortunately can have deadly consequences.
Accidents do happen, but the police in the US have become notorious for too often a “shoot-first” policy under highly questionable circumstances. Many of these people who are killed under such circumstances are innocent and the “evidence” claimed against them is later found to be lacking or just fabricated. Yet there is an overwhelming chance that such men who are “murdered by cop”, as the officer will claim he ‘felt he was in danger’, and even if it is proven that there was no such danger and the officer lied, it is rare that he will still be convicted ever of a crime. Such protections are never extended to the common man, who even when he defends himself under clearly legitimate circumstances often finds himself having to justify his defense before the law with difficultly, let alone if the case is not turned into a political show.
It is not surprising that many people, especially those who are poor or have suffered poverty, come to distrust the police, for their suspicion comes from patterns of observable and consistent behavior.
There is also the issue of the ‘prison-industrial’ complex, which Shoebat.com has discussed in how prison is a business whose purpose is to use criminal charges in order to enslave people for the benefit of private corporations, as the 13th amendment did not abolish slavery, but only isolated it to prisoners.
The legal assumption behind the justification for enslaving prisoners is that they can do what they want because prisoners do not have rights, or at least the same “rights” as people, and therefore legal standards do not apply to them as to “non-criminals”. However, this only matters in select cases, because if one has powerful connections or serves the will of those in power, one might get a special exemption from prosecution. A similar situation exists for soldiers, as the US government argues that soldiers are property of the US government and therefore do not have the same rights.
It is known that illegal immigration is a political football used to generate support for various other ideas, many which involve taking away what few rights the people have left. Having noted this, a case in Mississippi involving the accidental murder of an illegal immigrant could, if it goes far enough, have massive implications on how “rights” are applied in the US.
The story begins two years ago when police officers arrived at a Southaven, Mississippi home in the middle of the night to execute a warrant. However, they knocked on the wrong person’s door, and after a brief incident the police shot the homeowner in the back of the head.
The murdered man was Ismael Lopez, and illegal immigrant. Clearly the shooting seems to indicate foul play on the part of the police, something that bears too much of a semblance if not in personal intentions, in actions to the infamous Mississippi Burning murders of civil rights activists by police in June 1964.
Police have contended not only that they are innocent, but that the did nothing wrong because due to the fact that Lopez was an illegal, that he is not protected by the US Constitution and never had rights anyways.
“It is the most absurd thing in the world,” Aaron Neglia, a lawyer for Lopez’s wife, told Insider. “What [they’re] saying is that because this man is undocumented, it’s okay to kill him?”
Attorneys for Lopez’s family have filed a civil lawsuit over the shooting, and are seeking $20 million in damages for Lopez’s widow, Claudia Linares. They have argued that Lopez was the victim of one of the worst police shootings in recent memory — akin to Walter Scott, an unarmed black man who was shot in the back in 2015 while he ran from a white police officer.
But the city, the Southaven Police Department, and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation have alleged that the officers opened fire on Lopez after he pointed a .22-caliber rifle at them — an allegation Lopez’s lawyers deny.
An attorney for Southaven who wrote the legal brief argued that Lopez, due to his immigration status and criminal history, had no rights under the Fourth Amendment or 14th Amendment. The amendments protect against unreasonable searches and seizures, and guarantee equal protection, respectively.
“Ismael Lopez may have been a person on American soil but he was not one of the ‘We, the People of the United States’ entitled to the civil rights invoked in this lawsuit,” attorney Katherine Kerby wrote. “Ismael Lopez had insufficient connections with the United States of the type, dignity, and caliber required to attain standing for Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment protection.” (source)
The “criminal history” that the city of Southaven refers to are two charges from the 1990s, which involved domestic violence and driving under the influence. They also cited a warrant for deportation and being a ‘fugitive from justice,’ but did not provide further details as to either. They argue that these things prevent him, in addition to his immigration status, from having constitutional protections.
“Ismael Lopez was a convicted felon for a crime of violence while in the United States and a fugitive from justice in violation of the his terms of probation with an outstanding warrant for deportation as well as being a felon in possession and an illegal alien in possession of a firearm at the time he opened his door to the knock of the described Southaven police officers,”
People convicted of “domestic violence”, which is at times a questionable charged due to the fact that it can be subjective and tends to favor women’s claims over men’s and even measurable evidence, is something that need to be elaborated on, for as much as it bans a man from owning guns it also needs to be explained case-by-case, including with Lopez. This is likely the “felony” that is being discussed by the police.
Under American law, felons do not by law have the same rights as non-felons. The severity of some laws can vary by each state.
However, what makes this case interesting is not even the illegal aspect, but how the illegal aspect is being used to cover for the stripping of rights of “bad people”. What the argument effectively is, is that it is OK for police to provide a summary execution of the wrong people in their assessment and that they are not subject to law over it.
It is a long-established precedent in the US that the US Constitution applies to all people, illegal or legal, such as with Plyler v. Doe in 1982.
However, as US law notes, there are clear “exceptions” made for soldiers and “criminals”, depending on the crime.
What the police did here, while it need further investigation and without excusing any malicious behavior on behalf of Mr. Lopez, clearly does not seem to be in their favor. Their defense indicates such, that it is making such a strong position as to say that “rights do not apply” to “criminals” and “illegals” is to attempt to excuse what appears to be their own criminal behavior.
However, what would happen if this case was to pass in their favor is that it would be a direct attack on the civil liberties of all people, as it would start to set a precedent for saying that officially there are two standards of law- one for “good people”, and one for “criminals.” It would be a continuation of the exemptions for slavery provided by the thirteenth amendment, except that it would expand them.
There is much to be said about the situation of US immigration law, but no matter what one thinks, one cannot divorce it from the rights of the citizenry, as the attempts to limit or curtain the rights of “illegals”, regardless of the reason being given, is often a cover for more serious assaults on the liberties of “legal” citizens while deceiving them into supporting their own enslavement.
If police can argue that Mr. Lopez deserved to be apparently and summarily executed by police because he was a “criminal” from almost three decades ago and he is an “illegal,” it is not a far jump to say that anybody “charged” with even a misdemeanor crime would not be able to be in his place at some point in the future and the police would be exempt from the justice they claim to uphold and dispense.