I mentioned this in an update to the Connie Mack post but it’s worth a post of its own given the national interest in the state’s new statute. Which, incidentally, wasn’t being enforced here: It doesn’t go into effect for 90 days, or possibly for much longer if opponents have their way.
The wound is apparently superficial, thank goodness.
Pinal County sheriff’s Lt. Tamatha Villar says the deputy suffered a superficial wound to his abdomen after being shot with an AK-47 assault rifle Friday afternoon.
Villar says the deputy was doing smuggling interdiction work and found bales of marijuana in the desert. He then encountered five suspected illegal immigrants, two armed with rifles, and was shot.
Pinal County is located between Phoenix and Tuscon and has been described as a key transit point for illegal immigrants. Sheriff Paul Babeu told CNN that an estimated 80 percent of illegal immigrants eventually pass through his county along the way to other locations.
Critics of the new law have been demanding a fact pattern by which “reasonable suspicion” might lawfully arise. Well, this one seems promising: A desert search along a route known to be used by coyotes turns up illegal drugs, with further investigation revealing a group of people nearby. Under the circumstances, suspicion of a crime committed by illegals doesn’t seem so wingnutty. And, I emphasize, it’s just suspicion: Could be that these would-be cop-killers are bona fide U.S. citizens. But then, that’s what the law is for — to let cops ascertain status in dubious circumstances. Assuming they were all in a car on a suspected coyote route, were pulled over for speeding, and no one in the car could offer any address of U.S. residence, names of U.S. relatives, etc., shouldn’t “reasonable suspicion” obtain?