Did Dupnik dismiss Loughner threat?

[UPDATE] Welcome, Instapundit and Hot Air readers.

I have a rule of thumb: if I write a post on a topic, and I get either hate mail or hate posts about it, then I’m onto something. Well, yesterday I wrote a post on Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s rather strange tactical decision to imply that the Chinese were behind Jared Loughner’s attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords*, and I got both.  Apparently, the Left was not too happy at my suggestion that Sheriff Dupnik’s re-election chances have taken a fatal hit; which was perhaps a bit surprising, because I’ve had Arizona political mavens tell me that Dupnik’s typically seen as being fairly safe.

Well, about that: perhaps Dupnik’s not all that safe after all.  You see, reportedly Loughner had a history of making public death threats that been ignored by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.

Let us be clear: it is not a matter of controversy whether or not Loughner made death threats, or at least it should not be.  As was reported by both local sources (via here) and Reuters, Sheriff Dupnik himself revealed that Loughner had made death threats against at least one person who was not Congresswoman Giffords.  This happened.  What the The Cholla Jumps site is alleging – and which has not yet been confirmed- is the following:

Jared Loughner has been making death threats by phone to many people in Pima County including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system. It was also suggested that further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved as Jared Loughner has a family member that works for Pima County.

The question is, is this true?  We don’t know – yet – but it’s certainly plausible.  Again, we know that there were death threats made, because Dupnik himself admitted that they had happened (that’s the NPR link).  And we also know that Loughner was sufficiently unstable to have been thrown out of college as being, frankly, a menace to the local community.  And when I say ‘thrown out’ I want it to be understood that the police were involved, because they were.  But it could be that this is not actually a true report: a violent paranoid schizophrenic with a history of erratic behavior might have managed to restrain himself to making death threats to one specific person outside of the jurisdiction of the Pima County Sheriff’s Office – thus making him not specifically the problem of one Clarence Dupnik.

But if it comes out that the Sheriff’s office was aware of the threats, and did not act on them, then Clarence Dupnik needs to stop blaming the Right for the murder of six people and start blaming himself.  Because Sheriff Dupnik is not in office to, say, fight partisan battles over state immigration policy: he’s in office to keep the peace.  If he’s forgotten that, the voters will be happy to remind him.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

PS: Heh. Great minds think alike.

*Executive summary: Dupnik revisited the ‘foreign countries (read: Chinese) were funneling money to the Chamber of Commerce’ conspiracy theory nonsense that the Democrats tried to throw up in the last months of the 2010 election cycle (and that progressives revisited after the election was safely over, in stunningly typical fashion).  Megyn Kelly gutted him for it, but in a gentle fashion.

26 thoughts on “Did Dupnik dismiss Loughner threat?”

  1. When is he up for election anyway? BTW I had read that the shooters mom works for the Parks dept. Has that been confirmed?

  2. It’s funny that you should say this, because when I heard (read?) something by Dupnik, one of the first thoughts I had was that he used terminology that suggested he ALREADY KNEW Loughner. Was this because he had reviewed the file on him as soon as he was arrested? I don’t know. But Dupnik seemed to be already familiar with Loughner’s situation.

    Also, who was responsible for allowing Loughner to go through the diversion program TWICE? You’d think with the problems at school, the run-ins with the law, etc., that somebody would have stepped in and done something? Don’t want to be guilty of 20/20 hindsight. It’s always easy to say after the fact that someone should have done something. But in this case, there really WERE signs that he was mentally disturbed. Yesterday, I read those text messages from an older woman who was in his class. If those texts are legit, she was exactly right about Loughner’s profile.

  3. I wondered since this started how come we haven’t heard anything about his family. Now I see why.

  4. Sheriff Dupinko needs to resign, not only is he directly responsible by his negligence for this atrocity, he CLEARLY knew that Loughner was NOT motivated by Palin, or the TEA Party but decided to get in front of the TV cameras and lie his butt off anyway.

  5. Jared Loughner previously made death threats against people in Pima County, including staff at Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When the Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, Sheriff Dupnik’s deputies wrongly assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system. It was also suggested that the further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it would solve. Was Jared Loughner’s mother, Amy Loughner, employed as a Natural Resource specialist for the Pima County Parks and Recreation a factor?

    Every victim of his threats must also be wondering if this tragedy could have been prevented if Sheriff Dupnik had been more aggressive in pursuing charges against Mr. Loughner. Perhaps with a felony conviction he would never have been able to lawfully buy weapon he used to strike down the lives of six people and decimate 14 more.

    This was not an act of politics. This was an act of a mentally disturbed young man hell bent on destruction. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department was aware of his violent nature and they failed to act appropriately.

    Sheriff Dupnik FAILED to investigate fully and assure that Loughner did not have access to lethal weapons and see to it that he received the mental health care he obviously NEEDED. This is unacceptable and the Sheriff should answer for it. This tragedy leads right back to Sheriff Dupnik’s gross negligence and all the spin in the world is not going to change that fact.


  6. I suppose it’s not fair to judge by appearances, but I gotta say this sheriff looks like he’s right out of central casting for “boozy old democrat hack.” He belongs here in Massachusetts, where we got loads of them just like him.

  7. Could you please explain the bit about pursuing this maniac’s death threats would cause more problems than it solved because he had a relative in the local government?
    If I were a relative whether in the government or not wouldn’t I want him off the streets?

    Now you have to explain why you ignored death threats because the lunatic has a relative in the Parks Department!!! Lord, what does a relative of the mayor have to do to get a ticket?

    Maybe I’m stupid but it seems like the murderer is not the only crazy one in this.

  8. Dupnik has been considered incompetent and corrupt for years. He’s 75 and should have retired years ago. He’s just an old political hack.

  9. Who are these people that Loughner allegedly threatened and why are they remaining quiet? (Bloggers and talk show hosts are not known for their ability to keep quiet.)

    Something is fishy here. I’ll need substantial confirmation.

  10. I’m popping popcorn!

    bejohngalt.com thinks your name is “Moe Green”, but I guess any bandwidth is good bandwidth 🙂

  11. Yeah, the Sheriff may have known this guy was a nutter, but …
    1) There are a lot of nutters.
    2) Most of them -do- turn out to be harmless.
    3) It is -very- hard to get someone committed involuntarily -before- he has done something violent.

    The Sheriff was playing the same odds all other departments do. This time he lost.

  12. He was able to pass a background check to get a gun. How did this happen? Shouldn’t his record have kept him from getting it? Why didn’t it? What wasn’t on his record that should have been? and Why?

  13. Seems the good sheriff is CHA. Besides the absurd and premature blaming of rightwing retoric on the shootings I also found suspect his very strong assertion early on that they believed Loughner had not acted alone. Then there was his erroneous reporting about Patricia M’s tackling of the suspect. Dupnik should be removed from this case and replaced with a professional.

  14. “Megyn Kelly gutted him for it, but in a gentle fashion.”

    Megyn has such a delicate touch … when she sweet talks you, watch out. The fillets will be tasty.

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