A man is dead over the Sabal Trail pipeline. As the first person to call for protests against Sabal Trail, this is not what I called for.
Summary of news reports: A man shot at and hit Sabal Trail pipe near Dunnellon, Florida, was reported to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, was chased by Florida Highway Patrol and Citrus County deputies, who allege he brandished a weapon at them, whereupon they shot and killed him. The deputies involved “will be placed on administrative leave while undergoing evaluations” per “policy and protocol”. The identity of the suspect is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Update 2017-02-27: Hannah Morse, Bradenton Herald, 2017-02-27, Chokoloskee man identified as suspect who was killed after cops say he shot at pipeline,
James Leroy Marker, 66, of Chokoloskee, was identified by FHP Monday afternoon as the suspect in the incident.
Citrus County Sheriff’s Department, facebook, 2017-02-26, HAPPENING NOW: SABAL PIPELINE SHOOTING LEADS TO CHASE — ALLEGED SUSPECT DECEASED: ALL DEPUTIES ARE SAFE,
… The name of the suspect is not being released at this time pending notification of the suspect’s next of kin. As per CCSO policy and protocol, the officers involved will be placed on administrative leave while the Florida Department of Law Enforcement actively investigates this incident. Names of the officers involved are being withheld at this time due to the pending inquiry by FDLE. “We know that the suspect was armed and extremely dangerous, and pending the examination of the evidence at the scene, we will be able to determine what other weapons he had in his possession at the time of the shooting. Fortunately, none of our Citrus County Deputies, Marion County Deputies or Florida Highway Patrol Troopers were injured as a result of this crime.” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast.
It’s very good that no law enforcement personnel were injured. It’s not good that a man was shot dead. And the Sheriff’s statement makes no mention of safety of the public.
There’s nothing about this on Sabal Trail’s own website, but, as is her custom, Ms. Grover emailed a statement to various news venues, including Carlos E. Medina and Andrew Caplan, Gainesville Sun, 26-27 Feb 2017, Shots at Sabal Trail pipeline lead to chase, fatal shooting,
Spectra Energy spokeswoman Andrea Grover said in an email she is aware of the events that occurred in Marion and Citrus counties Sunday morning and no Sabal Trail workers were working at the time of the incident.
“Our top priority is for the safety of the community and our employees,” Grover said in the email. “We are cooperating with law enforcement regarding the data collection of damage to the pipe and equipment.”
The Gainesville Sun’s second paragraph is troubling:
No law enforcement officers or pipeline contractors were injured.
What about the public?
This one is even more troubling: Jason Mealey, News4JAX, 26 February 2017, Deputy kills man accused of shooting at Sabal Trail Pipeline, pointing gun at officer: Man was shooting at pipeline equipment, Marion County deputies said,
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will be investigating the shooting. No law enforcement or citizens were injured as a result of this incident.
Excuse me? The man shot dead was not a citizen?
Maybe News4JAX got that from Marion County Sheriff’s Office, facebook, 26 February 2017, SUSPECT SHOOTING AT SABAL PIPELINE FLEES FROM LAW ENFORCEMENT, KILLED DURING OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING,
No law enforcement personnel or citizens were injured as a result of this incident.
Law enforcment and news media have succeeded in making Spectra’s Andrea Grover seem more concerned about the public. Of course, if Spectra or NextEra or Duke or FPL were actually concerned about the public more than their private profit, they would cancel their $3.2 billion boondoggle and spend that money on solar power for the Sunshine State.
This event has made news as far away as Minneapolis, although it still wasn’t picked up by national news media. There must be a better way to get coverage.
Someone has organized a a vigil this morning 7-9AM along State Road 200 in Marion County.
The news reports almost all don’t mention that this event happened after permitting agencies, legislators, and law enforcement all failed to stop this unnecessary, destructive, and hazardous pipeline. Those truly concerned about public safety will stop the greed grab of new pipelines by the dying fossil fuel industry. I’ve never heard of anyone shooting at solar panels.
Here are some better ways to stop Sabal Trail.
Meanwhile, a man is dead. I, for one, mourn that.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®
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