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Monday, July 25, 2005 

"a personal disaster"

For Jean Charles de Menezes, the innocent Brazilian man shot seven times in the head by London police on Friday morning, it surely was.

"Outside Stockwell station, police claim that they challenged him and ordered him to stop. Instead, Menezes ran. Eyewitnesses reported that up to twenty police officers in plain clothes pursued Menezes into Stockwell station, where he jumped over the ticket barrier, ran down an escalator and tried to jump onto a train. He was pushed to the floor of the carriage. Two officers pinned him down, while a third shot him seven times in the head and once in the shoulder with a handgun. He died at the scene.[5]

There are conflicting reports as to whether the undercover police properly identified themselves, attempted to restrain the man on the floor, and if any verbal warning was given before the man was shot. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair later said, during a press conference, that a warning was issued prior to the shooting and that an air ambulance was called afterwards; however, the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mark Whitby, a passenger on the train Menezes had run onto, said: "one of [the police officers] was carrying a black handgun—it looked like an automatic—He half tripped... they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him." Another passenger, Dan Copeland, said: "an officer jumped on the door to my left and screamed, 'Everybody out!' People just froze in their seats cowering for a few seconds and then leapt up. As I turned out the door onto the platform, I heard four dull bangs."[6] Police have since stated that eight shots were made into Menezes' head. Another witness, Lee Ruston, who was waiting on the platform, said the police made no efforts to identify themselves. Police policy toward suspected suicide bombers had been revised, instructing officers to fire directly toward the head. The claim had been that based on experience abroad, shooting at the chest would possibly explode a bomb belt.[7]

Menezes' cousin, Alex Pereira, who lived with him, asserted that Menezes had been shot from behind: "I pushed my way into the morgue. They wouldn't let me see him. His mouth was twisted by the wounds and it looked like he had been shot from the back of the neck.""

(From Wikipedia)

The glee on the right-wing after this killing was fairly predictable (Dick O'Brien has more). The facts are that an entirely innocent man was butchered by police. This was manslaughter. Perhaps some right-wingers are now thinking of covering their own asses (after spending all Friday gloating over his death) when they insist on the utter blamelessness of his executioners.

The header quote is from a commenter on the FI's blog. Who have, it must be said, fairly outdone themselves in joining in the scummery after this man was shot dead. From Friday:

"London police make the right call
This morning's shooting of an attempted suicide-bomber before he could detonate his explosives is a success for the London police. Already the criticism has begun, implicit in this Guardian report, an explicit, in criticism from Muslim groups.


Critics of the police actions are arguing, and there are no two ways about this, that the police at that point in time, amidst the uncertainty of the situation and the possibility of an explosion at any moment, should have given someone they presume to be attempting to commit an act of terrorism the benefit of the doubt. That is not a reasonable argument. If this wasn't a good time for the use of lethal force, there never is one.
posted by Richard Waghorne"

The FI douchebaggery continues in the comments to that post. One particular FI comment:

"I just think the answer to the question they asked was pretty self evident on this occasion - i.e. - Yes, the police were right to shoot the guy.
Keith Mallon"
Another is here:
"Oh, and I don't think every use of force requires an investigation. Not every car crash or every industrial accident requires an investigation. Where nobody raises good grounds for an inquiry, having one anyway is a waste of time and resources and gives the impression that there is something wrong when there been no reason to suspect so.
Richard Waghorne"

Our final FI Thought for the Day is a real gem:

"When journalists get the idea that all authority and all state action should be questioned regardless the rot sets in."

Viva la Freedom Blogger Revolution!

"Libel"-Richard Waghorne
"Attack blog"-Damien Mulley

About me

  • An early-thirties male Irish technologist living and working in Dublin, I'm a former (recovering) member of both Fianna Fáil and the Roman Catholic Church.

    I'm not a member of any political party these days, but my opinions can be broadly categorised as 'lefty' and republican. I am also a former member of the Irish Defence Forces.

    Please feel free to check out the FI Fie Foe Fum group blog, where I was once a regular contributor, and the Cedar Lounge Revolution, where I can usually be found in the comments.

    (This blog and its contents reflect only my own personal opinions as a private citizen, and not those of any other person or organisation.)



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