Saturday, June 13, 2009

Border vigilantes arrested for murder

Unlike some of the other recent examples of right-wing violence, this one appears to not be overtly politically motivated as such - rather it seems more the case of some predators wanting to score some quick cash, and had a convenient victim from a group they had dehumanized in mind. Here's a few tidbits from various sources, starting with the Arizona Star (linked above):
Three people, including the leader of a border watch group and an officer within that group, were arrested in connection with a May 30 home invasion that left a father and his daughter dead and the mother wounded, authorities said.

One of those arrested, Shawna Forde, is the leader of Minutemen American Defense, a group out of Washington state that conducts operations along the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona. The group is not related to either the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps founded by Chris Simcox, or the Minuteman Project founded by Jim Gilchrist.


Several men and a woman claiming to be police officers forced their way into the home in the middle of the night May 30 and killed the pair. The girl's mother was wounded, and investigators believe she returned fire, injuring Bush, Dupnik said.
Dupnik painted a grim picture of the tragedy during a press conference Friday at the Sheriff's Department headquarters.

Raul Flores was a suspected drug dealer, and the three suspects targeted the house with the intention of stealing money and drugs, he said.

Bush was the suspected shooter, Dupnik said.
They did not plan to leave any survivors, he said. "The plan was to kill everyone. To kill a 9-year-old because she might be a potential witness is one of the most despicable acts I've heard of."

Dupnik said Forde and her cohorts even searched for the couple's other daughter, who had spent the night at her grandmother's, with the intention of killing her.


Forde is executive director of Minutemen American Defense, a border watch group that claims to secure the U.S. Border from human and drug trafficking, according to its Web site.

The Minutemen American Defense group is not associated with the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, said Al Garza, vice president of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps.
Forde was a leader with the Civil Defense Corps a few years ago but was dismissed after a few months because of leadership issues, he said.

Garza did not have a working relationship with Forde, but he met her when she came to Arizona in 2005, he said.

"She showed signs of poor leadership, but I didn't see any wrongdoing," he said.
From Raw Story an additional bit of information about Forde's organization:

The group's Web site, which does not appear to bear any mention of Jason Bush, places the group as actively involved in the "tea parties" which swept right-wing media around tax day.

The group also takes space on its front page to equate the rallying themes which drove the Confederate states to revolt, leading to the U.S. civil war, with today's 10th Amendment protesters.

According to KVOA's website:
"If you look at her history closely, and you know what we know, she is at best a pyschopath," says Sheriff Dupnik referring to Forde during a press conference Friday.
Jeralyn at Talk Left says in regard to Sheriff Dupnik's statement:
The Sheriff is understandably upset at these horrible murders, but he needs to button his lip and avoid prejudicing a potential jury pool and possibly jeopardizing any potential future conviction with statements like these
See also ImmigrationProf, TPM, and skippy. I'm sure in the weeks and months to come we'll learn more about what motivated this particular crime. I'm guessing that once one gets into vigilante behavior, it gets increasingly easy to cross all sorts of lines that one would otherwise not cross.

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