Gunwalker Update: Arizona To Investigate Fast and Furious; Revisiting Lon Horiuchi’s Manslaughter Charge

Posted: January 22, 2012 by ShortTimer in Barack Obama, Department of Justice, Eric Holder, Government, Guns, Operation Gunwalker, Second Amendment
Tags: ,

Via HotAir:

Congress already has two probes of the ATF and Department of Justice over Operation Fast and Furious, looking into whether federal officials broke federal laws and lied to Congress about the loss of almost 2,000 weapons in Mexico. Some of those weapons got used in violent crimes in Arizona, including the murder of a Border Patrol agent, and now lawmakers in Phoenix want to open their own investigation into OF&F. Did federal officials break state laws in Arizona — and if so, could they be charged with crimes in the state?

This has happened before.

Remember this spokesman for HS Precision?

That’s Lon Horiuchi, the FBI sniper who shot Vicki Weaver at Ruby Ridge.

He killed an unarmed Vicki Weaver while she held a 10-month old baby, while he was shooting fleeing men in the back.  His career was marked pretty much with blasting innocent people.

At Ruby Ridge, Horiuch pretty much blasted fleeing people who did not pose an imminent threat.

Weaver’s back was to FBI HRT sniper Lon Horiuchi. Horiuchi aimed to sever Weaver’s spine for an instant kill. Weaver moved in the last split second as Horiuchi fired and the bullet entered Weaver’s right shoulder and exited the armpit.[10] As the three ran back to the house, Horiuchi fired again at Kevin Harris as he ran away, but this time hit Weaver’s wife Vicki in the head as she held their 10-month-old daughter Elishiba at the door.[11] Vicki Weaver collapsed on the floor, dying instantly with her bloody but uninjured daughter in her arms. Harris was hit in the chest by the same bullet. A Justice Department review later found this second shot was unconstitutional and the lack of a request to surrender was “inexcusable”, since Harris and the two Weavers were running for cover and could not pose an imminent threat. The task force also specifically blamed Horiuchi for firing at the door, not knowing whether someone was on the other side of it, and criticized those who had decided on the special rules of engagement allowing shots to be fired with no previous request for surrender.

For those of you playing at home, that’s been ruled a no-no for a looooong time.  There’s zero excuse for a law enforcement agent who carries a firearm NOT to be familiar with Tennessee v Garner.

In the aftermath of Ruby Ridge:

Following the conclusion of the trial of Randy Weaver and Kevin Harris in 1993, the Department of Justice (DOJ) created a “Ruby Ridge Task Force” to investigate allegations made by Weaver’s defense attorney Gerry Spence. On 10 June 1994, the Task Force delivered its 542-page report to the DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility. The Report stated: “With regard to the two shots fired on August 22, we concluded that the first shot met the standard of “objective reasonableness” the Constitution requires for the legal use of deadly force but that the second shot did not satisfy that standard.”[5]

The surviving members of the Weaver family received $3.1M in 1995 to settle their civil suit brought against the U.S. government for wrongful deaths of Sammy and Vicki Weaver. In the out-of-court settlement, the government did not admit any wrong-doing. Harris received $380,000 in 2000.

The state of Idaho went after Lon Horiuchi for manslaughter in 1997.

In 1997, Boundary County, Idaho Prosecutor Denise Woodbury, with the help of special prosecutor Stephen Yagman, charged Horiuchi in state court with involuntary manslaughter over his killing of Vicki Weaver. The U.S. Attorney filed a notice of removal of the case to federal court, which automatically took effect under the statute for removal jurisdiction[10] where the case was dismissed by U.S. District JudgeEdward Lodge on May 14, 1998, who cited the supremacy clause of the Constitution which grants immunity to federal officers acting in the scope of their employment.[2]

And that’s all they’d need to do in Fast and Furious.  Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s thoroughly politicized justice department and judicial branch, filled with leftist Obama appointees, will never let the state go after the ATF.  If they did, every state could go after every ATF office for basic constitutional violations to begin with – the basic function of the ATF is one that’s inherently unconstitutional.

With Horiuchi, the 9th Circus court, which is famously lefty, decided to reverse that decision, but the new prosecutor in Idaho declined to go after it.  Of course, that was the 9th Circuit Court of more than 10 years ago, not the one of today.  If Arizona can get anything to stick, fantastic, but more than likely, the Obama administration will claim supremacy clause and take the case away.  When it’s transferred off to federal court, away it goes.

As noted here, this case could already be prosecuted by individual US fedgov attorneys… but this is how that would end:

By law, US Attorney John Doe has the judicial independence to do any of the above, to take on anyone tied to a crime enabled by Operation Fast and Furious, and in this hypothetical case, we’re pretending he or she has the cojones to do it.

Why pretend?

Because in the world of realpolitik, US Attorney John Doe would also know that a letter of termination–composed in the White House, but delivered on stationary bearing DOJ letterhead–would at some point make it onto his or her desk, and that simple, administrative ‘personnel action,’ would most probably preclude or end not only the US Attorney’s career, but also any attempt to prosecute a presidential appointee such as the Attorney General of the United States or other highly placed members of the DOJ/DHS/State ‘team.’

One more time. A US Attorney has the judicial independence to empanel a federal grand jury, investigate using the resources of the FBI, or ICE, or whatever entity seems best equipped for the job, to seek indictments, and then to move forward with the prosecution of any individuals whom the evidence suggests may have violated the law. The US Department of Justice also has the power, if the White House gives the nod, to terminate the employment of a US Attorney for ‘administrative’ reasons it will tell you it is under no obligation to reveal.

Who prosecutes the prosecutors, indeed?

  1. […] Gunwalker Update: Arizona To Investigate Fast and Furious; Revisiting Lon Horiuchi’s Manslaugh… ( […]

  2. […] Gunwalker Update: Arizona To Investigate Fast and Furious; Revisiting Lon Horiuchi’s Manslaug… ( […]

  3. […] Gunwalker Update: Arizona To Investigate Fast and Furious; Revisiting Lon Horiuchi’s Manslaugh… ( […]

  4. […] Gunwalker Update: Arizona To Investigate Fast and Furious; Revisiting Lon Horiuchi’s Manslaugh… ( […]

  5. […] Gunwalker Update: Arizona To Investigate Fast and Furious; Revisiting Lon Horiuchi’s Manslaugh… ( […]

  6. […] Gunwalker Update: Arizona To Investigate Fast and Furious; Revisiting Lon Horiuchi’s Manslaugh… ( […]

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