Police Take Man’s Word Who Brought Bomb to Abortion Clinic
On Monday, August 17th, a young man walked into the only abortion clinic in central Kansas with a backpack full of knives and a small, homemade explosive device. When the materials were discovered by the clinic’s security personnel, the authorities were contacted. The building was evacuated, no staff or patients were harmed, and, eventually, the clinic reopened and services resumed.
Most abortion clinics now operate behind massive walls or fences, where windows are frequently constructed with bullet-proof glass, where doors are locked until ID is provided and a visitor or patient must first walk through a metal detector before approaching a front desk, which often has has security monitors displaying footage from cameras all around the building. Potential threats inside a clinic are virtually nonexistent. Instead, it is far more likely to be a firebomb on the premise, some property lit ablaze, an ax through a door or the complete destruction of a clinic in the middle of the night.
But, according to the police investigating the incident at South Wind Women’s Center – the cite of the former clinic owned by Dr. George Tiller before he was murdered in his church – the suspect arrested for his bizarre arsenal of dangerous materials had no intention to cause any harm at the clinic itself. He just happened to have a bag full of all of his worldly possessions that he had brought with him when he came to interview for a job as a canvasser for the political arm of the organization.
“A homeless man who showed up for a job interview at a Wichita abortion clinic with a small bottle of gunpowder and a wick in his backpack didn’t mean any harm, police said Tuesday,” reports the Associated Press. “The 19-year-old man had everything he owned in the backpack when he arrived for his interview Monday at the South Wind Women’s Center, Wichita police spokesman Lt. James Espinoza said. Although the device could have blown off someone’s fingers had it exploded in their hand, it was too small to damage the clinic, he added. ‘It was just him having all his personal items,’ Espinoza said.”
Police appear very willing to take Trevizo at his word. While he is being charged for illegally carrying the device itself, they agree with his story that he had no ill will towards the clinic, and that apparently he would have taken knives and explosives to any job interview, regardless of what type of building it was. Luckily, he wasn’t going to an interview at an airport, school, military base, government building or police precinct, since something tells me those wouldn’t have been treated with such as lax “error in judgement” dismissal.
According to CNN, Captain Doug Nolte’s response to Trevizo’s explosive devise was, “It was dangerous. Don’t get me wrong. But it was the size of a salt shaker.” If only police had given the same benefit of the doubt to 12 year old Tamir Rice before he was gunned down by the authorities for playing with a toy gun in a local park.
While the Wichita police are convinced that there was no bad intent, clinic owner Julie Burkhart isn’t quite as certain. “The fact that somebody would come to the clinic bringing an explosive device is quite unsettling,” Burkhart told KWHC TV. “God forbid something happen when patients are here and staff are here. Maybe he didn’t intend to harm us, but the sheer fact that he had an explosive device means that his intentions certainly weren’t pure.”
Obviously, everyone hopes that Trevizo is being genuine and that he really had no nefarious motivation for attempting to enter an abortion clinic with knives and explosives. But it has to be acknowledged that should this arsenal of materials have been found on a person trying to enter any other secure building, police aren’t likely to find the subject’s story of innocence so easy to accept.
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