Sheriff Dupnik’s Starting to Pressure

…the local media for reports like this.

What a surprise. The Sheriff’s Department released an accusatory, classic Dupnik statement yesterday

Pima Co. Sheriff blasts media questions concerning SWAT shooting

…PCSD spokesman Deputy Jason Ogan released the following statement Wednesday morning:

“As a result of the need for information surrounding the shooting of Jose Guerena by members of the Pima Regional SWAT Team, the public has received misinformation and emotionally-charged speculation.

The investigation that lead to the service of the search warrants on May 5 is a complicated one involving multiple people suspected of very serious crimes. Sometimes, law enforcement agencies must choose between the desire of the public to quickly know details, and the very real threat to innocent lives if those details are released prematurely. Sheriff Dupnik has made it a departmental policy to be open and forthcoming with information released to the news media. When the decision is made to withhold information, as it has been in this case, there is a legitimate reason for that decision. The day the search warrant was served, we reported to the media that Mr. Guerena fired at SWAT officers. This is what was understood at that time. After a more detailed investigation, we learned that he pointed his assault rifle at SWAT officers, however, the safety was on and he could not fire. This is a clear example of erroneous information being provided without careful investigation. Rather than risking the release of further information, it is imperative that we complete all aspects of this investigation.

Complicating matters is the fact that multiple agencies were involved in this incident. The criminal investigation must be completed, in addition to the investigation by the County Attorney’s office, prior to any administrative review of the actions of the officers involved in the shooting. By mutual agreement, that administrative review will include officials from the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, the Marana Police Department, the Oro Valley Police Department and the Sahuarita Police Department. Each of these agencies had officers involved in the shooting as members of the Pima Regional SWAT Team.

Since the Sheriff’s Department has had such a long-standing practice of open and timely communication with members of the news media, it is understandable that questions are asked about when more information will become available. However, it is unacceptable and irresponsible to couch those questions with implications of secrecy and a cover-up, not to mention questioning the legality of actions that could not have been taken without the approval of an impartial judge. As a law enforcement professional with decades of experience, Sheriff Dupnik will make the decision to release the information when the investigation is completed, the danger to innocent lives has been mitigated, and all agencies involved have been given the opportunity to review the actions of their personnel.”

…that had KGUN-9 “apologizing” for any “misunderstanding”, while slyly suggesting Dupnik stick it in his ear:

On Wednesday the Pima County Sheriff’s Department issued an update on its investigation into the May 5 SWAT team raid that killed Jose Guerena. The update promised that more information will be coming soon, but also chided the media for what the statement called certain “unacceptable and irresponsible” questions – specifically, questions that contain “implications of secrecy and a cover-up, not to mention questioning the legality of actions that could not have been taken without the approval of an impartial judge.”

The statement did not specify which media outlets have been asking such irresponsible and unacceptable questions. KGUN9 News has been the most persistent in covering this story, as judged by the number of reports we have aired and posted on But other media outlets have done some reporting on the issue, too. In particular, on Wednesday morning The Arizona Daily Star printed an editorial pointing out that the public is waiting for answers, and urging the Sheriff’s Department to expedite them.

KGUN9 News has not accused the Sheriff’s Department of engaging in a cover up. Nor do we secretly suspect that any of its employees are doing so on the sly. We have not accused the Sheriff’s Department of doing anything illegal. There is no evidence to suggest that any such illegal activity took place. If anyone has taken any of our questions as an indication that we believe otherwise, let us set the record straight now and apologize for the misunderstanding.

Nor do we read anything in the Star’s editorial indicating that it believes any such thing, either. Perhaps the Sheriff’s Department was directing its criticism at some other media outlets.

Regardless of what news organizations the department had in mind when it issued those comments, it is true that there are many important questions yet to be answered. It’s a bit of a stretch for the department to say that an “impartial judge” approved the legality of what happened. Clearly, no judge could have foreseen that the raid would turn fatal. SWAT operations certainly are dangerous, and the public is entitled to assume that the judge knew that when signing the search warrant. But clearly the judge could not have anticipated everything that would happen when the warrant was served. The SWAT team’s actions may or may not have been fully justified, but whatever that finding turns out to be, the judge’s signature did not constitute pre-approval of the shooting.

In addition, in wagging its finger at the media, the Sheriff’s Department should understand that the media didn’t make these questions up. The family of the victim is raising them.

In KGUN9’s case, we interviewed the victim’s wife, Vanessa, as part of our journalistic mission (as stated in our Viewer’s Bill of Rights) to give voice to the voiceless

We need more voices on this one.

UODATE: The Arizona Daily Star is pushing back HARD as well:

Our view: Press release sheds little light on 60 gunshots that killed ex-Marine in his home

Unanswered SWAT raid questions demand answers – from Dupnik

God bless ’em.

8 Responses to “Sheriff Dupnik’s Starting to Pressure”

  1. major dad says:

    Spin, spin and more spin. Deflect and point finger at someone else, classic democratic tactics. Mr. “decades of experience” is in deep doo doo and he knows it, question is will the press and higher authorities keep him there.

  2. Ave says:

    It sounds like Sheriff Dupnick is still in charge of investigating himself – that needs to be changed.

  3. nightfly says:

    “We would never suggest the Sheriff’s Department did anything illegal; therefore, we aniticpate that they will release all the pertinent information and give prompt and forthright answers to the investigators.”

  4. aelfheld says:

    Interesting that those who have the vapours over, say, listening in on telephone calls from outside the country won’t turn a hair over police-state tactics such as the death of Jose Guerena.

    Then again, for all their complaining about police states, it’s the Left that does everything they can to institute them everywhere.

  5. JeffS says:

    Good job, KGUN9! Push back against that lying bastard.

  6. Winston Smith says:

    Seventy rounds in seven seconds?
    My initial thought was “Were the SWAT teamsters on drugs, or what?”

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  8. Kathy Kinsley says:

    “God bless ‘‘em.” And keep them safe from SWAT raids…

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