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J.G. and the Man with a Knife

(Does it seem that law enforcement officers jump to using their gun too quickly as of late?)


JG and the man with a knife

Lately in the news I see shootings involving police officers that seem, well, a bit premature.  Of course I don’t know what was going through the officers’ minds at the time but it seems that pulling your weapon and firing at a suspect have edged up in necessity over the past few years. 

One story that I remember clearly was about a man with a butcher knife in Sabinal, Texas.  This man, a large individual who was intoxicated and maybe not of sound mind, when found by the Sabinal Police force, decided to hold them off with his knife.  Of course in the small town of Sabinal, the Border Patrol responded for backup. 

The man, remember intoxication plays a huge factor, threatened the officers with his knife.  Well, the officers kept their cars between themselves and the subject.  As he pursued them, they would just circle the opposite way around their cars.  Of course, EVERY officer had their weapons drawn but there wasn’t a need to shoot him. This went on for several minutes with everyone screaming for him to drop the knife or they would shoot him.  But he just ignored them.

A fellow Border Patrol Agent named J.G. Hernandez arrived late to the standoff and his vehicle attracted the attention of the knife-wielding man.  J.G. stepped out of his vehicle and said, “Drop the knife!”  The subject immediately complied and dropped the knife onto the ground. 

The funny thing about this story is J.G. is a fairly innocuous individual being no more than five feet six inches tall and not emitting a tough guy image at all…but in this case it worked and the man was apprehended without being shot…

*****

Another man with a knife story was one involving Uvalde Police Sergeant Don Brown.  Well, Don was more than a solid man and I remember each of his fingers being larger than two of mine!  One day a domestic violence situation occurred in Uvalde and, when the police came, the male individual ended up grabbing a knife and holding the female hostage.  Several officers were there and Sgt. Brown took lead and continued to talk with the individual for some time before he finally put the knife away. 

I have seen numerous other cases in which deadly force was truly justified but in each case the officers ended up backing off and allowing the individual to calm down enough to think somewhat reasonably…

What about knowing where your bullets will go if you miss(which happens more than one would think)????  Just recently I read an article where an armed individual had taken a woman as a hostage…well she ended up shot seven times by the officers trying to take out the armed guy.  And she’s suing.  I, for one, believe she is completely justified in suing and should be paid handsomely…and that the officers that shot need to be punished…but of course, in the law enforcement world, having that opinion is not a good one!

Officers and agents that I’ve known for years have discussed the perception that officers shoot too quickly now.  Some think it’s because of a more dangerous environment that the officers are working in but many of my peers, with me included, believe that the new officers are different from the ones of yesteryear.  Maybe psychologically they now believe that they have to shoot first…






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December 19, 2016,  Richland, Washington.  I received a phone call from my old partner, Don Holguin, who was more than just a little influentiial in my life!, that the Supervisor for the Detention and Removal Program, Mike LaLonde had passed away.  I have to admit that it makes me sad that this man, who was truly a legend has passed away.  SOOOOO many times in my years at the Pasco, Washington office did we find ourselves in a quandary with a few illegals on our hands that we hadn't expected....Don or I would call Mike LaLonde and he would arrange for them to be transported to Seattle!!!  

Mike would always hee-haw around about how we were making his life rough but he always took care of the business at hand.  AND he was a great guy....

God Speed, Mike!  I remember you with all the best!!!!!


Dear CONGRESSMAN NEWHOUSE:

As a Border Patrol Agent who worked more than 25 years in that service and who worked the Yakima Valley for six years and supervised the operation for another six, I can attest that I personally arrested hundreds of illegal aliens in the Yakima Valley during that stint. and that THOUSANDS were arrested by Agents during that same period.  MOST WERE CRIMINALS!

The Yakima Valley has a HIGH DENSITY of ALIENS ILLEGALLY in the United States compared to most other areas.  This is because of the agriculture produced here requires a lot of labor to produce and because farmers like you, Congressman Newhouse, have looked the other way so that your crops could get harvested as inexpensively as possible.  

So what is bad about a high concentration of illegal aliens?  What difference does that make? 

 There's a corridor that runs from Yakima to Moses Lake, looping down into the Tri Cities that is a MAJOR DISTRIBUTION AREA FOR NARCOTICS!  Much of the area is designated as a HIDTA(High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) by the DEA.  HEROIN, METH, COCAINE AND OTHER ILLEGAL DRUGS are brought to this area by lines of distribution originating from MEXICAN CARTELS!  There are few, if any, savvy law enforcement officers that will argue that the Mexican Cartels don't have members living here.
Many of the Gangs in the area made up primarily of first generation immigrants that came across the border with their parents... These gangs have made cities like Sunnyside, Mabton, Granger and other small cities in your district unattractive to live in.  Lots of people that lived in such cities have moved away because of the gangs and the drugs...

​MANY will say that these crops wouldn't get harvested if it wasn't for the illegal alien population.  AND where do I come off talking about such matters?  Well, when I was in school at Sunnyside, a good percentage of the school cut asparagus.  I also picked cherries, thinned and picked apples, hoed weeds and for the four years while at WSU I bailed hops each summer....

So, Congressman Newhouse, how about doing something major about these problems?  It may be unsavory for you to push the enforcement of immigration laws but it'll hopefully make for safer communities for their residents!

Bob Wilson,
U.S. Border Patrol, (RET)
Richland, WA