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US Air Marshals flee Brazil following arrest saga

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US Air Marshals flee Brazil following arrest saga

Old 23rd Oct 2010, 10:55
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AIR PIRACY FOR DUMMIES

Step 1. If you suspect that there might be covert armed guards aboard, one of your party should flush them out by behaving in a manner guaranteed to do that. There will not be more than 2, for financial reasons.

Step 2. Another member of your party helps the flusher to neutralise the guards who have now identified themselves.

Step 3. All members now carry on with the action, free of interference.

It's not a new idea; it was practised in the 1970's in the Middle East. That's why armed guards are/should be taught not to interfere in or respond to disruptive passenger situations.

As for the CC identifying them by calling for help...words fail me. That's why they should NOT be known to the CC.

But of course awareness of history is a no-no for today's gung-ho leaders.

As with Afghanistan.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 12:12
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Fair point, Sallyann1234. I just don't see how armed marshalls can maintain anonymity
I dont believe they even try.
At any rate, they are known to the crew and are in first class -a bone of contention with the airlines whom would rather roll the dice than pay for a first class seat on an uneventful flight.
Airlines seek to move air marshals from first class - USATODAY.com

My verdict is out on this one.
To those who ask why it takes (or took) 2 armed marshals to subdue 1 drunk woman, think about it.

Kick her ass=1 Marshal
Subdue her without breaking a limb or serious force=2 or more.

A quick show of force is better than a situation that could lead to an all out brawl on the airplane with innocent passengers being hurt.

It IS internal policy to react forcibly to what would seem minor passenger disturbances because the press coverage draws attention to the role (always useful come budget time) and from a security perspective, makes it look like there are more FAM's than they actually are.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 13:18
  #43 (permalink)  
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I am not sure why there are so many Yank bashing posts in this thread!

The issue here is that they were Law enforcement officers who had been asked to intervene by the crew of the aircraft, and by doing so found that they were in effect then held hostage in Brazil! They were then denied the right to return home, see their wifes, family, friends, return to their work and in general get on with their day to day activities. All this for carrying out a duty that I assume they have the legal right to do.

The Brazilian authorities should have simply taken their details, and pursued any action via official channels.

Last edited by JP1; 23rd Oct 2010 at 13:43. Reason: sp
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 14:15
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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If the Brazilian officials were corrupt and incompetent, that could be an explanation in itself. But if they did have a case under Brazilian law, they must have felt a little like the dog that finally catches the car. Maybe cooler heads were winking and nodding about "alternate travel documents."
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 14:36
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Do people actually read the thread before leaping in with their preconceived notions of the world?

JP1, they were not held hostage, a complaint of assault was filed against the two officers, with a corroborating witness statement. The police, even in this "developing third world sh!th@le", have a vague tendency to investigate alleged crimes and as such retained the passports of the two FAMs. In all probability the charge laid by this woman would not have held up, BUT that is for an examining magistrate to decide after reviewing the facts presented by the investigators.

It may come as a surprise to some, but the FBI and Federal Police have a very good working relationship, which I would assume carries over to other US agencies such as FAMs. Guess who would have investigated this case? That's right, the Federal Police, who were also just carrying out a duty that they have a legal right to do.

BTW FIGJAM_SEA, the "non-western legal system" in use here is actually based on the very "western" European legal system with some elements from the USA.

TTFN
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 15:05
  #46 (permalink)  
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Perhaps the Brazilian government will apply to the US government to have the two fugitives extradited if their alleged crimes fall within the terms of the extradition treaty between the two countries? But then again they probably won't bother. The Brazilian constitution prohibits the extradition of Brazilian citizens. This prohibition over rules the 1961/1964 extradition treaty with the USA. While no such constitutional prohibition might protect an American citizen, the Brazilian authorities could hardly expect singular sided cooperation.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 15:26
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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Good discussion, but I haven't heard much about why the Brazilian authorities arrested the US marshals. Why would they believe the woman, and not the marshals? Did the captain or other crewmembers back up the mashals' story?

Regardless of what happened on the airplane, the Brazilian authorities should have listened to the marshals' story, taken custody of the woman, and dispose of the situation from there as they saw fit - either released her and then have the marshals submit a written statement, or other similar action. Ask the marshals to be available for testimony during any investigation, etc...

For the Brazilian authorities to arrest the US marshals on the spot, at the airport, to me doesn't fit the situation.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 15:37
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For the Brazilian authorities to arrest the US marshals on the spot, at the airport, to me doesn't fit the situation.
from further back in the thread the woman claimed assault, which was it seems verified by a witness or two, that undue force was used in restraining her.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 15:56
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from further back in the thread the woman claimed assault, which was it seems verified by a witness or two, that undue force was used in restraining her.
...and as we all know in Brazil police brutality is taken very seriously, right? LOL!!

Let's get real here folks, if in Brazil "a witness or two" is all it takes to arrest 2 police officers on the spot their entire police force would be in the monkey house......

And BTW, those 2 Air Marshals should have witnesses of their own as it's reported that they were asked to intervene by the very plane's crew.

I have a very hard time imagining American(/Italian/British/...) cops arresting on the spot a couple of Brazilian police officers handing them over a drunk disruptive American(/Italian/British/...) passenger whom they restrained after being asked to by the plane's crew...
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 16:47
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The original alleged offence was committed on board an American registered aircraft. Unless things have changed, that aircraft is the sovereign territory of the United States, and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the Brazilian authorities. Discipline on board is vested in the Captain, via various Air Navigation Acts, and delegated to the crew. Normal procedure would be for the Captain to request security personnel to meet the aircraft and take the alleged perpetrator into custody. The crew can give statements to the local authorities without leaving the sanctity of US sovereign territory.

Unless the Air Marshalls manhandled the lady on Brazilian territory, I do not think there is a case to answer.

Perhaps Flying Lawyer could give us the benefit of his counsel?
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 16:56
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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I have a very hard time imagining American(/Italian/British/...) cops arresting on the spot a couple of Brazilian police officers handing them over a drunk disruptive American(/Italian/British/...) passenger whom they restrained after being asked to by the plane's crew...
They would if that passenger filed a complaint of assault, which is what happened here. Whether that complaint could be substantiated by further investigation is a different matter, and the FAMs could have called all the witnesses they wanted to back up their statements. That's a bit more difficult now that they have fled the country without waiting for due process.

FIGJAM_SEA, I'm not sure what your problem is with Brazil, but it's not "my" country. I live and work here for a US company, much as I've done around the world for more than 35 years, so I have seen my share of crap countries. Brazil isn't the best or worst place I've lived, but neither is the USA. Each to their own.

TTFN
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 16:56
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Have not been there, didn't get the t-shirt.........

But my impression(!) is, the marshalls simply overreacted.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 17:25
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Neptunus Rex, things don't appear to be quite that cut and dried, if you are REALLY bored you could have a read through the Tokyo Convention of 1963....

I'm not......I'm off out for a beer or three

TTFN
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 18:07
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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They would if that passenger filed a complaint of assault, which is what happened here. Whether that complaint could be substantiated by further investigation is a different matter, and the FAMs could have called all the witnesses they wanted to back up their statements.
I can speak with absolute certainty only for Italy (but I would be willing to bet not a small sum of money on the USA, UK etc being the same) and they WOULD NOT release the drunken disruptive passenger and arrest police officers operating on a foreign registered aircraft under request of the very plane's crew and seize their passports just because of "a witness or two" UNLESS there were immediate and patent evidence of severe misconduct on the part of the officers AND the physical injuries were serious. Assault, unless the physical injuries are serious AND evidence is deemed by a judge (Giudice per le Indagini Preliminari, "Judge for the Preliminary Investigation") "overwhelming" does not entail the restriction of the personal freedom of movement, in Italy.
Moreover, I would like to know the country which trusts the word of a private citizen over that of police officers... Usually they all tend to lean more or less EXCESSIVELY in favor of the police officers (and once again, I have found that to be the case even more in 3rd world countries).

That's a bit more difficult now that they have fled the country without waiting for due process.

FIGJAM_SEA, I'm not sure what your problem is with Brazil, but it's not "my" country.
I have got no particular problem with Brazil, my problem is with those who believe you usually get "due process" in the 3rd world...

Maybe you could have already understood where I'm coming from if you answered this:
"Just one of the many traits that I have found most "developing countries" around the world have in common despite vastly different geographic location and racial and cultural origins is the fact that when something like a mugging, a rape, a theft happens calling the police is NOT among the first things "the general public" does... Now you either tell me that Brazil is not like that (while in my experience it's a perfect example of that) or you explain us why it's so (which would itself explain why I wrote what I wrote...)."

I live and work here for a US company, much as I've done around the world for more than 35 years, so I have seen my share of crap countries. Brazil isn't the best or worst place I've lived, but neither is the USA. Each to their own.
Brazil isn't the worst one I have lived in either, far from it actually. The worst, by a very long shot, have been the Middle Eastern ones and (mostly for different reasons) the African ones.
In the many Asian ones and the 4 Latin American ones I have lived in I actually had a ball. That has not prevented me to see them for what they are. I would never vacation in any one of them with my wife and chlidren or take there my elderly parents...
Even in the best ones among them where it seems it's all fun and smiles and where many Westerners on 2 week holidays fall in love with the place and keep coming back with the rose colored glasses on (Thailand would be a great example of that) when something serious goes wrong you see the abyss between them and the West...
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 21:02
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AIR PIRACY FOR DUMMIES

Step 1. If you suspect that there might be covert armed guards aboard, one of your party should flush them out by behaving in a manner guaranteed to do that. There will not be more than 2, for financial reasons.

In my experierience; that figure is wrong; but, I'm not going to tell you how many I usually see!
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 22:45
  #56 (permalink)  
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It also appears to contravene international law, surely they should only have one passport.....
Not in the UK, as along as you can give satisfactory reasons. In my case, (had two passports for almost 36 years), I used to specify; "For travel between countries of religious/sectarian difference", where it is important to separate the stamps of countries that disagree with each other, have territorial disputes etc. Bahrain and Iran was the case in point for original issue but there are plenty of other scenarios that fit the bill. I would strongly recommend any pilots that travel to the third world to carry two passports if they can.
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 22:46
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hmmm

First off the incident was occurring in the F galley next to the cockpit door...that alone raises the threat level. Secondly...past reports have shown that if there were 2 then one 'uncovered' during an incident so it very well could be that there were not only 2 onboard. Third...appears this is local politics regarding the wife and judge husband...and thus an embarrassment to other Brazilian gov officials...other wise the issuance of replacement passports and the exit of the 2 would not been as tacitly 'approved' as it appears it was...IMHO senior Brazil officials wanted this over immediately and no official 'resistance' was given to the solution...

Lastly don't feel like refighting the revolutionary war and don't care about who invented the net so won't comment on that....other folks must have a lot more time on their hands....
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Old 23rd Oct 2010, 23:22
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alemaobaiano, these FAM's undoubtedly knew about the aftermath of the 737/Legacy accident. Add in the their detainee was the wife of a federal judge and they were taken, from what I can discern, almost immediately in front of a judge. I don't know about you, but that would not give the warm and fuzzies about my chances. And holding of passports for a misdemeanor?

As for the force used. They were in a small area, dealing with a combative person with many innocent bystanders (or should it be bysitters?). You really can't muck around. Since they were charged with a misdemeanor, they most likely didn't pistol whip her, use a tazer, asp or nightstick on her. If she had any injuries, it was quite likely from the handcuffs and she most likely did that to herself. Since both FAM's were most likely male, they wouldn't have searched her as it is totally against DOJ policy. While the FAMs are controlled by DHS, they are trained by DOJ and DOJ has most likely laid down a lot of ground rules. I have run it many that were in the U.S. Marshal Service and transferred to the FAM program. And they tend to be quite calm when dealing with detained persons.

Last edited by rick1128; 24th Oct 2010 at 02:51.
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 02:57
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To say they were "spirited" out of the country for their own sake is incredibly patronizing to Brazil.
**** Brazil, whats more patronizing than contravening common and international law, treaties and proper procedure and common law enforcement etiquette? This is nothing less than pandering to the elitist relatives of the corrupt Brazilian legal system and placing folks who are doing nothing more than their job protecting the likes of YOU from harms way. Hell yes they left the country.

I suppose your attitude carries to those pesky Yanks helping you all out after Neville sealed your fate? I thought not. Carry on, and God save the Queen, because guys like you sure won't.

Last edited by 42...; 24th Oct 2010 at 06:46.
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Old 24th Oct 2010, 08:28
  #60 (permalink)  
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In order for that precedent, even if there were one, to be regurgitated the precise crime with which the two marshals were charged by the Brazilian authorities would have to fall within the purlieu of the USA/Brazil extradition treaty. Money laundering, for example, is not covered by the extradition treaty whereas trafficking in wild life is.

It does seem rather, reading through back issues of Pprune that it's a particularly British preoccupation to scrabble around in the dirt and dust looking for pebbles to chuck at the Americans. In Germany Britain is sometimes called Ape Island but that's really very rude and of course entirely born from jealousy derived from a lack of military supremacy among other differences in style, isn't it?
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