At times it appeared Valentin Tachiquin struggled to maintain his composure. Standing in front of a candlelit memorial to his 32-year-old daughter, who had been shot to death three days earlier by a Border Patrol agent, the stocky man with a crew cut stopped and started as he addressed a gathering of supporters who shared in his grief at the corner of Oaklawn Avenue and Moss Street.
We’re taught early in life that men don’t shed tears. Crying is for the weak and the broken.
It’s an unfair expectation.
That men should not be able to express their grief through weeping would seem an unreasonable demand when a man loses his daughter. Or his wife. Or his mother or sister.
It’s also unfair to expect that simply because Valentin’s daughter Munique had brushes with the law — and, according to Chula Vista Police and Border Patrol agents, attempted to run down a Border Patrol agent —she should not be mourned.
Likewise it would also be unreasonable to not mourn in some way for the Border Patrol agent responsible for taking Munique’s life. While an initial investigation by law enforcement officials indicates the agent was acting in self defense, the decision to use deadly force cannot be an easy one to make. The weight of that burden must be crushing at times.
The events of last Friday evening are slowly falling into order as Chula Vista Police complete their initial investigation:
Border Patrol agents arrived at an apartment to arrest someone. Munique Tachiquin-Alvarado, who was not named in the warrant, left the apartment.
Authorities say Munique ran into an agent with her car and carried him a long distance on the hood. Fearing for his life, he opened fire. And killed her.
The investigation continues.
And so does the mourning. It started that Friday afternoon when the family learned of Munique’s death through media reports and continued on through the weekend as family and friends held a fundraising car wash for the family.
It carried over into Monday when the family attended a press conference and vigil for the woman that was known as a daughter, a mother, a wife and a sister.
The tears that fell that night, from men and women, were for a person who is no longer with family and friends.
But for those who did not know Munique or the agent, the tears that fall might be a response to the tragic events that fill an unpredictable life that can, in the blink of an eye, turn from mundane into tragic.
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