Sunday, July 24, 2005

Great! So now it turns out trigger-happy police can't tell the difference between asians and Brazilians.

Some points.

The police chasing the guy were plainclothes. What would you do if chased by a non-uniformed guy with a gun on the tube? (Particularly if you're from Brazil with allegedly 40,000 "gun related homicides" a year? Of course, in Brazil something like 7000 people a year are shot by police so, you wouldn't necessarily hang around if they were in uniform, either.)

We also know police were watching Jean Charles de Menezes's apartment block or street and followed him up several roads. So, we presume (hope?), that they had a specific suspect in mind. But that still seems a fairly longish period of time in which they could have been trying to establish whether they had the right man. Do they do this while trailing someone? Or is an initial mistaken target going to be followed until the end? After all, how do they check the real suspect wasn't nipping out the back way at the same time?

Witnesses were also talking about wires coming out of Menezes's belt. What did these turn out to be? His iPod? Tools to do with his work as an electrician?

I am, more or less, in favour of shooting-to-kill someone who may be on the verge of blowing up a carriage full of people. But this is a damning mistake. It's the first application of this policy and it got things 100% wrong. We're now in a situation where more lives have been lost in mistakes with this policy than saved by succesful executions of it. I wonder if that state will ever get reversed.

Finally. How the hell am I going to explain this when I get back to Brazil?

More analysis at BBC


Rup3rt said...

I'm keeping a low profile
:-/ but i think everyone is going through the classic stages of shock, disbelief and... I'm not sure about the anger and acceptance bits yet. There has been much more detail and quicker reporting on local news, Fox/Sky and BBC Brasil website than CNN and BBCWorld.

Hope is nice otherwise, Ph1L!



Scribe said...

The standard popular response is often "why was he running if he had something to hide", so congratulations on working out what most people would do if having guns waved in their faces and terrorist scares running about.

The police have apologised, but the guy who brought it in says the principle remains correct. I, for one, am sick of people talking about things "in principle" (the same happens with ID cards). We can all be for things in principle. Nobody seems to be dealing with things in reality.

You may have seen to that Brighton station has (at least) 2 officers patrolling it, armed with extremely large machine guns (German bought, I am told).

About the only good thing to come out of this incident is that people are actually questioning the amount of powers the police now hold.

Rup3rt said...

And of course a terrorist wouldn't think of hopping on at Preston Park, London Road or principle