Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Friday, December 09, 2005

Airport Security

Tonight in the news, the big story is about an airport shooting, but not your typical airport shooting. This shooting involves an air marshall. For those who are not aware air marshalls are undercover law enforcement personnel who are placed on flights to help insure peace and order.

At issue is a passenger who by reports was pacing up and down the aisle of the aircraft announcing that he has a bomb in his backpack. As you may guess this causes air marshall who was placed on that flight to spring into action. Further reports reveal that when the suspect passenger was confronted by the air marshall, he fled from the plane onto the jetway into the airport. The air marshall took chase and upon confronting the suspect in the jetway, the suspect allegedly reached into his backpack for something. Not knowing if the suspect was atteempting to detonate a bomb or reach for some other weapon, the air marshall shot the passenger.

Let me first say that based on the objective details of the event that have been released, I agree with the air marshall's actions. It has been revealed in later days that the suspect may have been suffering from bipolar disorder, like a Jeckell and Hyde disease. While it is a sad consequence for the family that the suspect subsequently died, I'm afraid the marshall's reactions were justified.

Unfortunately we as humabs can't detect motives or mental issues upon an outward glance of a person, I kind of think of this like running into a crowded theater and yelling "Fire!" There are some things you just don't say or do less you face the consequences.

Objecively the air marshall saw exactly what they are trained to look for. A suspicious acting passenger, who later makes a bomb threat. Then the suspect tried to flee the scene, which is not usually a wise move to try to get a law enforcement officers understanding. I mean this is what leads to high speed chases through crowded neighborhoods. While it can be debated that deadly force was unjustified, without knowing what was in the backpack, unfortunately it was the only option to try to prevent the incident from getting very tragic.


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