Two Tours in Iraq Don’t Kill Him – But the Local Swat Team Does

May 26th, 2011 · 4 Comments

A few weeks ago, I learned of the story of former Marine Jose Guerena, who is became a victim of the Pima County Sheriff’s Swat Team as part of an investigation over marijuana trafficking. This story is finally picking up more traction. Jose Guerena had no prior criminal record and possessed no drugs in his home. His wife and four year old son were in the home as well.

As the Huffington Post reports:

“As the SWAT team forced its way into his home, Guerena, a former Marine who served two tours of duty in Iraq, armed himself with his AR-15 rifle and told his wife and son to hide in a closet. As the officers entered, Guerena confronted them from the far end of a long, dark hallway. The police opened fire, releasing more than 70 rounds in about 7 seconds, at least 60 of which struck Guerena. He was pronounced dead a little over an hour later.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Department initially claimed (PDF) Guerena fired his weapon at the SWAT team. They now acknowledge that not only did he not fire, the safety on his gun was still activated when he was killed. Guerena had no prior criminal record, and the police found nothing illegal in his home. After ushering out his wife and son, the police refused to allow paramedics to access Guerena for more than hour, leaving the young father to bleed to death, alone, in his own home.”

SWAT Teams and their ability to barge into homes as a “no knock entry” is a by product of the War on Drugs. As Kenneth Nunn explains:

“The potential danger of allowing police officers to enter homes and businesses without announcing their identity and purpose has been well-known since colonial times. Officers may startle residents who may seek to defend their homes. Officers may inadvertently harm residents or innocent bystanders by the use of force necessary to effect the sudden entry of targeted buildings. Breaking into buildings through surprise and stealth seems like a tactic better suited to an occupying army, then to civilian peace officers.”

And in Arizona where citizens have recently posed as law enforcement to enter homes (see Brisenia Flores case for in stance), I can understand why someone like Jose Guerena would grab his rifle to protect his family.

And all of these resources being deployed for pot?! The irony here is that it wasn’t Al Qaeda or terrorists who killed Guerena but instead government sanctioned militarized police who were on some sort of marijuana hunt. What are your thoughts?

Tags: Crime · drug war · Iraq War

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Anna // May 27, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Re: “What are your thoughts?”

    Things are getting worse under Obama.

  • 2 Chicano future tense // May 27, 2011 at 5:18 pm


    Just within the last 48 hours anti-Mexican forces scored a major victory with the Supreme Court giving a big boost to proponents of stricter state laws against illegal immigration by upholding Arizona’s “business death penalty” for employers who repeatedly hire undocumented workers.

    The 5-3 ruling in effect gives more states a green light to target those who employ illegal immigrants ..(and you can bet your boots there will surely be a whole bunch of other states who will surely take advantage of this Green Light!) ..

    And because it rejected the contention that the state was interfering with the federal government’s authority over immigration, the decision also encouraged supporters of Arizona’s even more controversial immigration law. That law, which requires police to check the immigration status of people they lawfully stop and who they suspect are in the country illegally, will soon come before the court.

    The ruling said Arizona could deny employers a business license after a second violation of its Legal Arizona Workers Act of 2007.
    Also upheld was Arizona’s requirement that employers check with the federal E-Verify program before hiring workers.

    We can thank Obama -that two faced lying treacherous con-man for strengthening-giving impetus to all those various draconian proto-facist,policies,programs and laws which were and are precisely and unequivocally designed to kick Mexican Immigrant workers out of their jobs and replace them with white and black american workers..

    The tacit Tag Team con-game of Good Cop vs Bad Cop Democratic Party vs GOP,Obama administration vs Tea Party is winning-slowly but surely -doing what both parties always truly wanted from the beginning.That is -too kick out Mexican Immigrant workers from their jobs..

    Some groups have expressed these intentions more overtly than others-others have consented more covertly and subtly based on shared racist and xenophobic special interest agendas-mainly white,as well as other minorities,and we should never forget to also incude amongst this bunch-even some sell out vendido Mexicans (and believe there are significant numbers of them out there) who will stab their own people in the back in order to curry favor with thier perceived superiors,they will grovel before them,wilffuly and happily kiss the behinds of other races like shameless lap-dogs,they will go against their own people.Mexican traitors..there are too many of them..

    This tragic characterisic is one of the more shameful and disgraceful legacies of Mexican culture even Mexican people amongst themselves will often recognize and admit.George Lopez did a take on this same legacy once when he pointed out in his act of how whites and blacks upon finding out news of one of their own people getting promoted will say to eachother joyfully..”Way to go! ..congratulations!”..whereas Mexicans finding out the same news of one of their own will say..”So now you think you’re too good for us”.

    These specific disgraceful and shameful characteristics of Mexican culture are rooted in a colonial legacy of ruthless almost genocidal practices which for centuries were carried out on the backs of native Mexicans with unbelievably brutal and violent oppression/repression of the mostly agricultural Mexican peasants.Over the centuries of such savage domination.Mexicans reacted defensively in ways which we would consider pathetic and in many cases pathological.Stemming from a sense of futility overwhelming subservience,blind obedience,reinforced by killings,whippings,torture and beatings,thes things turned millions of Mexicans into a broken people with a broken spirit and will, who in the stifling unbearable pain of their oppression often turned their anger and hatred towards their own people as a means of relieving such devastating psychological spirtual suffering.

    Resultant:Mexicans became through their ignorant,small minded peasant culture,clannish,suspicious,disrespectful,dismissive and considerably uncaring of the plight of those other Mexicans who were not members of their immediate peasant clan.
    In modern American society this is very unfortunate for Mexicans because such renegade type cultural characteristics can become huge obstacles to political Unity and Organization.

    While whites and blacks have qualitatively higher,significantly superior basis and levels of organizational “unity of will”,Mexicans for the time being do not.

    The United States is not Mexico.
    In modern American politics the name of the game is Unity,often manifested in ethnic or racial unity – “Power through Unity”..

    And in that context it is no wonder that black people have a president of the United States sitting in the White House,they are much more organized and unified than Mexicans who have tragically demonstrated in too many cases the attitude that they don’t don’t much “give a damn” about their own people or in other cases will want to tear down other Mexicans who are succesfful or get ahead.

    George Lopez expressed this sentiment well..”So now you think you’re to good for us”’s comdey for sure,but even in comedy we will often find unpleasant thruths about ourselves..

    The big message in all of this is that Mexicans better start defending themselves,getting it together,start organizing themselves into a cohesive unified political power.Because if they don’t or can’t they are going to wind up dead last at the bottom of american society becoming synonymous with “losers”,as the defined “Underclass”.

  • 3 Anna // May 30, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    Re: “designed to kick Mexican Immigrant workers out of their jobs and replace them with white and black american workers..”

    No, laws designed to replace undocumented workers, or illegal immigrants with American workers of any race, including Latino. Stop trying to distort the issue and make it something it isn’t.

    Unemployment is through the roof. What do you expect American workers to do? Migrate to Canada in search of work?

  • 4 Ben // Oct 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Our situation is way out of hand.

    There is no way anything having to do with marijuana should merit guns blazing-
    whether its the police or the cartels in Mexico.

    Mexico is where the REAL Drug War is because of failed US policies.

    I am saddened by this article.

    And my coming here was to seek your help in honest discussion about marijuana,

    I am still asking for your help-
    and I am angry now, having read your articles…

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