Maybe it’s not insanity after all

Regarding Omeed Aziz Popal, the Asst. DA in Alameda said something fascinating:

Also Thursday, Alameda County prosecutors charged Popal with one count of murder and an enhancement alleging that he used a car as a deadly and dangerous weapon in the hit-run death of Wilson, who was struck on Fremont Boulevard near Decoto Road.

Witnesses said the driver of the SUV that hit Wilson appeared to do so intentionally, “without even pausing or applying the brakes,” said Assistant District Attorney Colton Carmine of Alameda County.

Carmine said that although statements by Popal’s relatives could lay the foundation for a defense based on mental illness, “it’s fairly beyond dispute that this person went to two universities in the Bay Area and had a large circle of college-educated friends.

“So this notion that this is a horrible American society is just infuriating to me. All I know is that he took advantage of this society, used the resources we make available and did this horrible thing where, only but the grace of God, there weren’t additional murder victims in San Francisco.” (Emphasis mine.)

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  1. says

    Incredible Daughter #1 said that someone on one of the on-line forums she participates in is raising the insanity defense. The guy knows Popal’s family and blames pressure brought on by the arranged marriage.

    That may be (I doubt it), but if that’s the cause, we still have the question: What sort of religion, what sort of society, still imposes arranged marriages on its children? An unenlightened, unreformed, uncaring one. No wonder such a religion breeds people who do the sort of vicious things Popal did.

  2. Lily says

    One of my friends was injured during this rampage, I have no intention of defending Popal the individual in any way, shape or form. i cannot speculate on his motive until the case is properly heard. But I am beyond horrified at the ignorance and racism of the speculation going on solely based on the accused having an arabic name. If his name was Timothy McVeigh,or David Koresh, would we be having this discussion? D.A. Carmine’s comments that Popal “went to two universities in the Bay area”, and had “college educated friends” are irrelevant to the accused’s mental status. Mental illness affects people of all education levels, and background period. Whether or not mental illness is a factor in this case remains to be determined. What should be questioned is the sanity of such statements as the blog comment from Laer “no wonder such a religion breeds people who do the sort of vicious things Popal did”. History is packed with examples of the most vicious atrocities commited in the name of many religions including Christianity. To suggest that the average citizen of any given faith is prone to such acts based solely on religion is ridiculous. It is a deep injustice to the victims of this brutal crime to incite racial, religious, ethnic hatred with such frightening cartoonish ignorance supposedly on their behalf. Anyone with compassion and common sense would laugh if the tragedy of it didn’t make them weep first.

  3. says

    Lily, history may be packed with examples of Christian atrocities, but we don’t live in history. We live in the here and now, and the here and now is packed with examples of young Muslim males acting out their religious belief by slaughtering people. Under those circumstances, it’s entirely appropriate to speculate about possible motives when a young Muslim male is involved in the slaughter of innocents. To do otherwise is to deny the world as it is, a foolish and fatuous exercise.

    I hope, by the way, that your friend’s recovery is swift and complete.

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