LOS ANGELES - Regarding the recent news that Paul Ciancia, LAX shooter who killed one of our Officers and wounded two more Officers, would be entering a plea agreement and not be eligible for the Death Penalty as a result, is disheartening and unjust. While AFGE Local 1260 respects the hard work from all involved in ensuring this killer received some form of justice--it simply was not just desserts. Not only was a life literally taken on November 1, 2013, but a husband, father, son, friend, coworker was taken from those who loved him. Officer Gerardo Hernandez's family and friends continue to bear the pain of loss, while Mr. Ciancia cowardly decides to live. Two other Federal Officers were wounded in the blatant attack specifically against Federal workers at TSA. The physical and mental trauma, that has arisen from this nonsensical tragedy, to the Federal Officers who have ensured no more catastrophic--events have occurred since September 11, 2001--only adds to the loss. The decision by the U.S. Attorney's Office to accept this plea deal does not bring closure, instead it opens additional wounds and brings into question the price it was willing to sell for in order to save monetary resources. Unfortunately, this is not unusual; just last year, the U.S. Attorney's Office accepted a plea deal from BOP Correctional Officer Jose Rivera's killer to serve a second life term instead of facing the Death Penalty--this is a killer who already is serving a life sentence. The message this sends to those who would attempt to harm Federal employees is, "Don't worry, you can always take a plea deal." When the U.S. Government refuses to prosecute crimes against Federal employees to the fullest extent of the law, it only serves to remind us that we may not be its most precious resource.
Bobby Orozco Jr., President
AFGE TSA Local 1260, LAX