TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Weeks after the shooting of Jose Guerena, people on both sides of this debate are digging in and firing off even more heated rhetoric. Many stand behind the SWAT team, saying they are just doing their job. But others say the team went too far, using excessive force which led to the former Marine's death.
And it's not just people in Southeastern Arizona who are saying that.
There's a blistering editorial in the conservative Washington Times titled "Murder With A Badge." It reads, in part:
"The thin blue line frequently finds itself under attack from the left, so it's natural for conservatives to come readily to its defense. This instinct should be resisted when police make serious mistakes and engage in a cover-up instead of asking forgiveness from the public.........Time will tell whether Guerena was a fully innocent victim or not. Yet so long as government-sponsored home-invasion rings are allowed to operate with shoot-first orders more appropriate for a SEAL team hunting Osama bin Laden, more innocent bystanders are going to pay the price."
But there may be more to all of this than anyone can know at the moment.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is leaking out a few more details about what led up to the SWAT raid on Jose Guerena's house. According to the Arizona Daily Star, he told that newspaper's editorial board the raid on Guerena's house and three others related to a homicide and drug investigation that reached back more than a year and a half.
KGUN9 News has been hearing from viewers who wanted 9 On Your Side investigators to dig deeper into a tip that even if Jose Guerena did not have a criminal record, he did have a significant arrest. KGUN9 News did find confirmation of an arrest in Pinal County, and even obtained Guerena's mug shot. However, 9 On Your Side has learned that arrest did not result in charges.
KGUN9 is making a formal request for detailed court records, but a deputy clerk for Pinal Superior Court said the arrest appears to be for drugs and a weapon. But for reasons not clear right now, the case dropped without formal charges.