Pubdate: Thu, 22 Feb 2001
Source: Denver Rocky Mountain News (CO)
Copyright: 2001 Denver Publishing Co.
Contact:  400 W. Colfax, Denver, CO 80204
Author: Mike Plylar


It appalls me that the Denver media and local officials continue to attack 
the legacy of a dead man, while ignoring the facts in the Ismael Mena story.

The facts are that Officer Joseph Bini was used as a scapegoat by 
government officials to deflect attention from what actually occurred the 
night Mena was slaughtered by an overzealous SWAT unit, becoming one more 
victim of an all too common practice across America. The rest is "he said, 
she said."

Questions remain unanswered. Was Mena really armed the night of his demise 
and did he really fire on the SWAT officers, as alleged?

As I recall, Mena's roommate said the victim did not own a firearm and the 
revolver "found" by police was in such terrible condition that the cylinder 
wouldn't even stay in place. Does this sound like a gun capable of firing 
three shots, rapid fire, in the face of a barrage from modern automatic 
weapons? I think not.

So what really happened the night Ismael Mena became a victim of America's 
war on drugs? We'll probably never know because the Denver media continues 
to attack the victim, while staunchly defending these government policies 
gone awry.

Mike Plylar

- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart