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First off, lets make one thing clear. If this thread degenerates into mindless flaming, or stupid / immature comments then I will move it to the enhanced forum. I really hope the maturity of the members here will mean the topic can stay available to all.
With that out of the way, onto the topic.
On 22nd July, a Brazilian man was shot dead in a crowded British tube station in London. Police said he was acting suspiciously, and the long and short of it was they shot him multiple times in the head at close range. (In a crowded train). ((For those that didnâ€™t know, two weeks prior 4 suicide bombers attacked London))
Now, Police at the time said, the man was wearing a big "puffa" jacket, and was acting suspiciously around an area where a bomb was planted (that failed to go off a few days before). The report then say the man jumped over security barriers, and undercover armed police asked the man to stop, he ran, they shot him (Eight times in the head / upper body).
At first glimpse, a pretty straightforward scenario. Whatever your opinions on Police having "shoot to kill" powers now, they did what they had to do.
Now it gets interesting...
ITN (Independent Television Network) have managed to get hold of leaked police reports that tell a different story.
These reports stat that the mans house had actually been under surveillance and they thought the guy living there was a terrorist. (Again, pretty straight forward)
The man left his home, and TWO elite surveillance operatives said during the course of the mans travels that they could NOT get a positive ID on the man.
The man gets on a bus, then on a train... and is shot.
Leaked photos show the man to be wearing a light "summer" denim jacket.
Independent civilian eyewitnesses state the man in question did NOT jump any barriers.
Police reports state the man was NOT acting "suspicious"
The man did run, but the train on the platform he was on was just about to leave (a normal action then... your train is leaving, you run to try and catch it)
Civilian witnesses say undercover police gave no verbal warning they were going to shoot, the police officers opened fire as the man started to run.
So, does anyone think this is an absolute disgrace? Personally I think its appalling that Police officers have been given a shoot to kill order, although I understand its necessity in these turbulent times. However, this incident really highlights the failings of the police on the whole. So, what are everyone elseâ€™s opinions on the matter in the light of this new "evidence"?
R.I.P Jean Charles De Menezes, Murdered by British Police, July 2005
I am skeptical of the 'leaked' information and other witness testimony.
Far from giving police a straight pass on this I am in favor of offering an 'innocent until proven guilty' attitude to both the police and this individual that lost his life.
Is there an independent inquiry being conducted by your country?
If so, wouldn't it be prudent to offer the police the benefit of the doubt temporarily while the pieces are put together?
Yeah there is an independent enquiry into the matter occuring. I too am all for the "innocent until proven guilty" attitude however did the police give that option to De Menezes? This is one of the reasons I dislike the shoot to kill order, mistakes will happen we are all only human after all and the current law makes the police Judge, Jury and provides no "Inocent until proven guilty" morality.
Regardless of the circumstances, any accidental death is a tragedy.
I'd like to think that the cops do their very best, but like all of us, they are only human. We all make mistakes.
Consider not only the feelings of the family and friends, but also the cops who have to live with the knowledge that they killed an innocent man. I think that for those men, that will be a hard thing to live with.
When you can't run, you crawl. And when you can't crawl, find someone to carry you.
Hmm, it's a difficult one.
If all is true, it must be asked why the facts reported we're distorted to make them more favourable to the police? We though have the magical gift of hindsight, we can leisurely analyse their actions from a nice safe perspective. However if we put ourselves in the shoes of the police that day, convinced that the man was a suicide bomber attempting to detonate his bomb....can we truly say we would do a better job?
We may be missing the larger picture here and that is that it ultimately is the responsability of the terrorists that this man died.
Whether he was one of them or not I hope the independent query will bear out.
If he isn't a terrorist, than sadly he just another victim of the London bombers, and not a casualty of police incompetence.
The terrorists created the mindset responsible for police officers to make these hard split second decisions, it isn't their normal policy I'm sure, and that has to be kept in mind during the inquery.
The man who was shot, seemingly his visa had expired over two years ago. If you were working illegally in a country and approached by armed police, your first instinct might be to run away. This in itself is a stupid thing to do. Secondly he decided to run into a subway station where only two weeks previously terrosists had set of bombs.
I personally think that the poor man made some very bad choices, which lead to his death. I still don't see why police had to shoot him in the head eight times, there is a arguement that they could not take a risk if he had a bomb, but surely one shot would do the job just as well as eight.
In light of the "leaked" information. Why would the police want to kill a man who was running for a departing train, unless they were convinced that he intended to detonate a bomb. As there was no such thing found on him it goes back to the fact the the victim made some very bad choices to give the police the impression that he was a bomber. Either way i think we have to trust the police to make hard decisions in tight spots, that is what we pay them to do. Sometimes things don't turn out too well, but as been pointed out before we are only human and make mistakes. The other side of the coin is that if he had actually been a bomber he police would have been hero's for saving so many people......................
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I agree by and large with Chemical Caveman.
The info I have seen/heard is that the police were watching a house in relation to terrorist activities, the person left the house, they followed him, they could not clearly identify him, jwhen he approached a tube station, they became concerned that he may do what 4 other had done and a further 4 had tried to do, so they challenged him, the challenge is a standard one, and is commonly used by armed police as well as members of the security services (I have used it myself), and warns the person that you are armed and tells them to stop, the person then chose to run towards and try and enter the tube, the police then took what action they could to prevent another incident.
The guy made some bad choices, the police took action in a difficult possition to protect the public, if the guy had been wearing explosives and detonated them on the tube, how berated would the police have been if it transpired they had a team following but took no action and as a result many pople had died.
It would appear to be a very sad situation brought about by an unusual series of events and some poor choices.
peoples views of what happened will always be subjective, I am sure you can find 2 eye witnesses that say contradicting things, most of what I have sid above is subjective. The facts of the matter should be discerend as far as possible, objectively.
I'm not sure if the police do this, but we have "scenario" training in the military for these kinds of situations.The other side of the coin is that if he had actually been a bomber he police would have been hero's for saving so many people......................
For instance, we set up a fake roadblock on a street one day and had some Air Force service members come up with some scenarios for us while they came through our roadblock. Our goal was to find 100% of the IED's (Improvised Explosive Devices) that might be hidden in the vehicles and also to diffuse any other situations that might arise.
I worked as a translator for the "good" guys and when we found something suspect I was supposed to interrogate the detainees and find out what they were doing.
In one scenario we had a guy stop his minivan and he looked suspicious so we got him out of the minivan pulled him to side and started questioning him while we searched his car. When one of the people searching his car started to take off one of the hubcaps that didn't match, he broke and ran. I put three shots into him before he could take two steps. When we searched his body we found a "detonator" device for a bomb.
I was later questioned as to why I shot him for running, and I said: "Well, running is a sure sign of guilt" It turns out that this time I was correct, but they informed me that sometimes people just run for odd reasons, so sometimes you are a hero and sometimes you are a monster. I just depends on what comes out in the investigation.
In another scenario we had a guy with a bomb strapped to him jump out of a car with a civilian hostage and start approaching our checkpoint while yelling at us. I told him to stop three times, including in his "native" tongue. After that I grabbed the M249 Light Machine gun and shot them both.
At the debriefing they told me that in todays society there's a good chance that I would have gone to jail for shooting the civilian. My reply was that, hey, I killed one innocent bystander to save the lives of about 20 soldiers and civilians at the checkpoint. If I had to go to jail for it, I would do so with a clear conscience. All of my buddies agreed with me too. They said that they would have done the same in my position to save each others lives.
So point after this whole bit of rambling on, is that a hero is all in the eyes of the beholder. My buddies would call me a hero for keeping them from getting blown up, but our American hating media would have lambasted me as a heartless soldier on President Bush's secret payroll.
EDIT:The key word here is THEY. Multiple police, multiple firearms = eight shots. I know that in the military we are trained to put at least two rounds into someone before moving on to our next target. Usually three rounds. In fact we are trained to do this so much that it becomes a quick, natural, methodic instinct.they shot him (Eight times in the head / upper body).
You don't even have to think about it anymore. The weapon goes up in a fluid motion and you let the air out of your lungs at the same time. As soon as the sight picture is lined up with your target you squeeze two rounds off and then breath in and out quickly and line up your next target. This all takes less than a second after even a few days of training.
If you have multiple police officers that have an order to shoot, then it is very likely that they all drew their weapons and fired. Why is this significant? Because one cop putting 8 rounds into someone is excessive. A couple cops putting two rounds each in the same person at the same time is just procedure, not excessive.
Last edited by H0urg1ass; August 17th, 2005 at 11:25.