Another Totalitarian Force

“An Arkansas prosecutor on Friday said a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent was justified when he fatally shot the Little Rock airport director during a raid in March,” CBS News reports. “Pulaski County Prosecutor Will Jones said in a letter to ATF that no charges in the shooting would be filed after reviewing the Arkansas State Police investigation of the shooting of Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport Executive Director Bryan Malinowski.” On the other hand, a group of Arkansas legislators had some questions.

Were they wearing required body cameras?” wondered Rep. Matt Duffield. “If not, why not? And where the hell is the footage? . . . Why the pre-dawn raid? ATF knew where he lived. They knew where he worked. They knew his and his wife’s routines.” Arkansas attorney general Tim Griffin, who had called for release of ATF body-cam footage, suddenly fell silent. The Investigative Journalism Project of the Second Amendment Foundation posed 15 questions for the AG, including:

If it is proven that the ATF agent who shot and killed Malinowski used excessive/improper force, will the Attorney General’s Office prosecute?

If it is proven that the ATF agent who shot and killed Malinowski violated his civil rights will the Attorney General’s Office prosecute?

Did ATF use excessive force during this raid?

What is the Attorney General’s opinion of using a SWAT-type raid to investigate a process/licensing crime, such as failure to obtain a federal firearm license?

What advice does the Attorney General have for Arkansans if they encounter an ATF SWAT team about to raid their home?

What was the Attorney General’s initial reaction when he learned an Arkansan with no criminal history was shot and killed in his home by ATF agents?

The killing of Malinowski, who according to reports was shot in the head

. . . can be blamed on ATF’s leaders who are obsessed with flexing their SWAT teams and have never once cared about the sanctity of human life. Unfortunately, these leaders have demonstrated they are incapable of learning from past mistakes – Ruby Ridge, Waco, Fast & Furious and now Little Rock, to name a few.

Last August, an FBI SWAT team gunned down Craig Robertson, a 75-year-old-woodworker, for threats to Biden he had allegedly posted online. In similar style, the ATF now shoots first and avoids questions later. Like Lon Horiuchi, the FBI sniper who shot dead Vicki Weaver as she held her infant child, it’s a sure bet that nothing will happen to the ATF gunman who took down Malinowski.

Embattled Americans might contrast a famous case from 2020. When repeat criminal George Floyd died in police custody, Minnesota filed murder and manslaughter charges against Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, who was convicted and sentenced to 21 years in prison, after which the Justice Department piled on with federal civil rights charges. Officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng, involved in the restraining of Floyd, drew prison sentences of two-and-a half and three-and-a-half years, respectively. Officer Tou Thao, who held back a crowd of onlookers, was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

As we said in the 1960s, no justice no peace.

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