Hat tip to commentor Alison for Colorlines’ “Minuteman Vigilante Shawna Forde Convicted for Brisenia Flores’ Murder“:
This afternoon a Pima County, Arizona, jury found Minuteman border vigilante Shawna Forde guilty on two counts of first-degree murder for killing nine-year-old Brisenia Flores and her father Raul Flores Jr. in May 2009, the Arizona Daily Star reported.
Forde was also convicted of attempted first-degree murder for shooting Brisenia’s mother Gina Gonzalez, along with other aggravated assault and robbery charges.
On May 30, 2009, Forde and two suspected accomplices woke up the Flores family and told them they were law enforcement officers. When Raul Flores Jr. questioned the intruders they stormed into the house and shot Flores and his wife. Gonzalez testified during the trial that after she was shot, she could hear her daughter ask the gunmen why they had shot her parents before Brisenia was shot twice, at point blank range. Gonzalez survived only by pretending she was dead, and then by crawling to the kitchen to find her husband’s gun and shoot at intruders when they returned.
Forde has ties to multiple right-wing groups, including the tea party, the Minutemen American Defense, a border vigilante group that polices the border with their own guns and surveillance equipment, and FAIR, the anti-immigration group that helped design Arizona’s SB 1070.
Her defense downplayed these associations, and instead tried to cast Forde as a boastful eccentric with big plans and little follow-through. The prosecution pointed to a recording of a phone call between Forde and an FBI informant, during which Forde made it clear that she planned the invasion.
“People underestimate me all the time,” Forde said on the phone call recording, the Green Valley News and Sun reported.
Tom Scocca has his own opinion on the media coverage:
The Associated Press and other news outlets are referring to Forde as a “border activist.” While it is true that Forde was involved in various political efforts to restrict immigration, many of those efforts consisted of running around with guns, as part of a self-styled “Minuteman” group.
When people do that kind of thing in other countries, taking up weapons in support of their particular causes, we tend to refer to them not as “activists,” but as “militants.” And then when they use the weapons to murder somebody, sometimes we call them “terrorists.”
You’d think Mr. Scocca would have read the unwritten Media Village Idiot style-sheet: By definition, “terrorist” is used only for other-than-white belligerents. That’s why Rep. Peter King doesn’t have to include the IRA he supported during their more violent days in his new “terrorist” investigations — thanks to our Irish-American ancestors’ service during the Civil War, we’ve been upgraded to Officially White People on this side of the water, no matter what Andrew Sullivan’s Tories may say.