Shooting could have been avoided…

Earlier this month an incident took place in Sandpoint where a law enforcement officer used deadly force in the execution of his duties. Sad to say, but this confrontation was easily avoidable. I’m not for one minute saying the use of deadly force was not justified. Quite the opposite, it was justified and necessary. What I’m saying is that it was easily avoidable if the criminal justice system had done its job.

The perpetrator in this instance was one Casey George Alarcon, a figure well known to the criminal justice system. His long list of criminal convictions for violence should have prevented him from being free in society to not only prey upon the innocent but to endanger lives around him. In days of the past, he would have been considered a career criminal and would have been incarcarated for life years ago. But in today’s “catch and release” attitude of the courts, and the powers that be, Alarcon was granted chance after chance to prey upon the innocent.

Reading his rap sheet is like walking the line of a Sunday buffet. A little bit of everything from robbery, firearm offenses to resisting officers. His four felony convictions should have been ample reason to segregate Alarcon from civilized society. But somehow this social misfit was never required to serve a full sentence and was allowed to continue his criminal lifestyle until our failed criminal justice system forced law enforcement officers to use deadly force.

His case is not unique. Seldom in today’s world is a dangerous, anti-social criminal forced to serve a full term. Alarcon’s last hurrah involved shots being fired not only at law enforcement officers but in a neighborhood environment where innocent people could have been injured or killed.

How many other armed Alarcons are walking free among us?

Bill Litsinger

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