Cop shooting drives Republican to threaten Bush w/ impeachment

Joshua Holland: Oh, this is a wacky one.
If the unfortunate task of keeping tabs on the Right-wing Outrage Chamber isn't part of your routine, you may not be familiar with the story of Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean; they've become the latest great causes célèbres among wingnuts everywhere.

In a nutshell, their story goes like this. While guarding the border near El Paso, the two patrolmen saw a suspicious-looking van that later turned out to contain hundreds of pounds of weed coming in from Mexico. The driver, realizing he was in ho water, bailed out of the van and hoofed it towards the border. The two patrolmen later testified that they both looked at his hands and confirmed that he had no gun -- he was a fleeing, unarmed suspect. But that didn't stop 'em from popping off 15 shots at the guy's back. They wounded him -- shot him in the ass -- but he got over the border nonetheless. Knowing they weren't supposed to shoot at an unarmed man on the run, they collected all their shell casings and filed a false report that covered up didn't report the shooting as they were required to do.

They were caught. U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton gave the wounded man, Osvaldo Aldrete-Davila, immunity for the drug charges in exchange for his testimony. Sutton offered the two cops 18 months in a plea deal, but Ramos and Compean rejected it and got themselves 11 and 12 years in prison, respectively, for their efforts.

Bien. A fairly typical story about bad cops getting busted -- happens all the time. In fact, it was one of five incidents of police committing serious crimes around drugs that same week.

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Joshua Holland is a staff writer at Alternet and a regular contributor to The Gadflyer.