:: Wednesday, August 17, 2005 ::

Police Execution in London

The Guardian

Martin nails it over at Wis[s]e Words: "What is clear from this (and see also the Channel 4 report (WMV file)) is that the Metropolitan Police have been lying about this killing from the start. None of the initial statements, apart from the bare fact of his killing, were true.

Menezes wasn't killed because he behaved in any way suspicious or even looked suspicious: none of the excuses made for the officers who shot him are valid. He wasn't wearing bulky clothing, he didn't run into the station, but used his travelcard and even picked up a free Metro, ran to catch his train than sat down. When an officer shouted 'police' he stood up and faced them, at which point he was pushed into his seat and murdered.

In other words, this wasn't a man chased by police, but a man whose first awareness that he is chased is with the bullet entering his head! He wasn't a criminal, did nothing wrong and still was killed. The moral? In the UK today, anyone of us can be killed without warning because some police officer gets jumpy and there's nothing you can do about it. Even if you comply with all police directions you can and will be shot: Menezes was."

The Met lied. They put out deliberately false information to make themselves look less bad. It worked in the short term, I was down South at the time and many people were prepared to give the cops the benefit of the doubt, rattled as they were by the bombings. Even Ken Livingstone went along with them 100%, not quite the line he took on the execution of IRA suspects in Gibraltar. But in the long term? Do tube passengers need to be scared of the police as well as bombs? Or only tube passengers with dark skins?

Now we need to know who lied, how high up did the decision to lie go? The 'shoot to kill' policy needs to be stopped. It's effect is to alienate ethnic minorities and spread more fear and alarm. It will serve as a recruiting agent for some sections of radical Islam. It serves no useful security purpose and can't possibly form part of a solution to suicide bombs.

:: Alister | 10:25 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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