Reno: Show of Force Necessary
MICHAEL J. SNIFFEN
Apr. 27, 2000
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Attorney General Janet Reno said today that agents seizing Elian Gonzalez had to have a ``show of force, not a use of force, to show we were in control.'' A psychiatrist who examined the 6-year-old Cuban boy said it's likely he suffered no lasting harm from the armed raid.
Reno said the pre-dawn hours of Saturday were ``the most appropriate time with the least crowd'' for immigration agents to conduct the raid. ``This appeared to be the safest time possible to effect the transfer,'' she told reporters.
Elian, she said, ``has had a lot of bad luck along the way. He's still resilient, he's still strong, he's still a smiling little boy.''
``My hope is that the pieces of Elian's life can come together in a way that will be most positive for him, most enduring, and so he will look back on this time with as little pain as possible,'' she said.
Reno sidestepped a question on whether the Justice Department would intervene to set up a meeting between Elian and the Miami relatives who cared for him after his rescue from the Atlantic Ocean on Thanksgiving Day. Elian's great-uncle Lazaro Gonzalez and cousin Marisleysis were the main caregivers.
``I can't imagine that Marisleysis will be out of his life,'' Reno said. ``You could look at them and see a connection.''