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    Friday, March 24, 2006

    Paramilitary style police squad shoots and kills unarmed optometrist

    "Dr Salvatore Culosi Jr had come out of his townhouse to meet an undercover policeman when he was shot through the chest by a Special Weapons and Tactics force."

    This man, who was non-violent, had been under investigation for illegal gambling. Is it appropriate to use such overwhelming force against a man engaged in behavior that is only really wrong because the government says so?

    Do you have an office betting pool for the Superbowl? Did you know that it amounts to illegal gambling in many, if not most states?

    Does the use of paramilitary police squads to apprehend people engaged in activity that hurts no one strike you as good or bad? Do you feel safer? Or in more danger?

    Did you know that the number of federal laws carrying criminal penalties cannot be counted?

    The gun-wielding thug who shot this doctor needs to be arrested, indicted by a grand jury, and tried -- at the very least -- for negligent homocide.

    An article on this topic can be found online at:

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    The malefeasor who pointed his gun at, shot, and killed Dr. Culosi has been named.

    The paramilitary enforcer is one Deval V. Bullock, who is 40 this year. According to the established facts, Mr. Bullock's .45-caliber H&K handgun was in proper working order and did not malfunction (meaning that the wielder of sidearm had to pull the trigger). Mr. Bullock drew his weapon, deliberately pointed it at Dr. Culosi, and fired.

    The police are calling this matter a horrible accident. Okay, fine. A man is still dead. There was no perception that Dr. Culosi was armed or that any of the police officers were in clear and present danger of being harmed by the doctor. The fact is, Mr. Bullock pointed his gun at Dr. Culosi absent any reasonable suspicion of threat. Anyone familiar with the proper handling of firearms knows that you don't point one at another person unless you intend to shoot that person. If you or I had done the exact same thing, we would be criminally charged -- either with second-degree murder or manslaughter. I expect no less for the people who are lawfully permitted to use deadly force against us. The sauce for the goose rule should apply.

    Yet, according to the county's chief prosecutor, Mr. Bullock will not be charged with a crime. "From the start, Fairfax police declared that the killing of Salvatore J. Culosi, 37, was an accident and that the SWAT officer who fired had done so unintentionally. Fairfax Commonwealth's Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. said that when a person fires a gun without malice and unintentionally kills someone, 'they do not commit a crime.'" Additionally, "Horan said he thought the use of SWAT teams by Fairfax police was appropriate."

    So the county attorney, who is supposed to bring cases on behalf of the People, supports the using of paramilitary troops against the People. That could be an interesting little tidbit for when he's up for reelection.

    The fact is, when you point a loaded gun at someone, you are, or ought to be aware, that you could kill them. This should go double for police officers. It's almost better to have criminals running around with guns -- at least you can shoot them in self defense. What can you do about cops? If you fight back, you are committing a crime, even if you are innocent. Mr. Horan, in what is possibly a rhetorical defense of the decision not to charge Mr. Bullock, states that "[t]his is a good police officer. Fine record, almost 17 years. He's as shattered by this as any good police officer should be."

    In Mr. Bullock's position, I would feel the same way. But if I, in my civilian capacity, had done the exact same thing, Mr. Bullock would arrest me and charge me with a crime with no regard to how badly I might feel. Mr. Bullock needs to be charged as an ordinary citizen would. He needs to pay civil damages to the family (the people in the department authorizing this use of SWAT forces being helf jointly and severably liable). He also needs to be charged criminally and sent to prison if found guilty. We the People are not allowed to make mistakes like this and get away with it, neither should the Government or its agents. But this is just one man's opinion.

    As an afterthought, I would advise all travellers to avoid Fairfax County, Virginia. Apparently, their police can shoot unarmed citizens with impunity.

    To the citizens of Fairfax County, you need to put pressure on your government to either fix this problem, or be tossed out of office.

    The family of Dr. Culosi has set up a web site related to this matter:

    An article on this topic can be found online at:

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    Subject Matter: Police State Tyranny

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