De Menezes. Now we need to know the lessons the police have learned.

Some reflections on the de Menezes verdict which cut in both directions. Let’s begin by stressing the fact that dealing with suspected suicide bombers was new and terrifying. The Telegraph analysis of the chapter of disaster is as good as any. The fact of two different unconnected units, one for surveillance, the other a firearms team to deal directly with the suspect was likely to end in tears. Why didn’t the surveillance unit stop the suspect from getting on a bus, then a tube when a suicide bomber was likely to kill progressively more people?

What a tragedy that one surveillance officer went behind a bush to have a slash at the crucial moment, fatally breaking the chain of surveillance and ultimately, control.

On the Met versions at the inquest , how worrying that the hit squad stuck to the story that they shouted out a warning “Armed police” that nobody heard.

How can the “gold commander “ Cressida Dick conclude at the inquest:
“If you are asking me did we do anything wrong or unreasonable, then I don’t think we did.”

-People fasten on anomalies when they lack a convincing narrative.

Would shouting “armed police” have averted the tragedy?
How can Commander Dick say that nobody did anything wrong? Is she blaming communications that don’t work underground – ( even in the fictional Spooks where the comms are amazing, they don’t work underground.)

How was it that accident-prone Commissioner Sir Ian Blair was just about the only man on the force who didn’t appear to know that an innocent man had been shot? Was he set up for failure by his own cadres?

How ironic that Ken Livingstone, the old supporter of the war-time Sinn Fein sticks up for the police he got to know at close quarters.

The Independent’s editorial sums up sums up the deficiencies in the wider culture of police evasion.

…what the case reminds us of is the fact that the no police firearms officer has been convicted for shooting a member of the public in the past 15 years, despite some 30 fatalities, many of them in questionable circumstances. It reminds us that the police saw fit to introduce the Operation Kratos guidelines for dealing with suspected suicide bombers (shots to the head and no verbal warning) in secret. There was no public consultation or political consent. We found out about this radical change in operating procedure only when it had claimed its first innocent casualty in the form of Mr de Menezes.

If there is a next time, how will it be handled differently? No one has told us. The Independent Police Complaints Commission report must offer pointers. New procedures are already well overdue.

A final concern. More publicity has been given to the de Menezes killing than to the issues of 7/7 itself. For conscientious critics of the police and their ideological enemies alike, the de Menezes case was like shooting at an open goal. Dealing with the undertow that produced 7/7 is even more complex and difficult.

  • I think the main lesson for the Met when they shoot a totally innocent chap of colour is that they should also shoot all of the witnesses.

  • Brian Walker’s final paragraph goes with my flow. So I guess the following is out-of-touch with the modern stress-counselled generation.

    Yes: it was tragic for the De Menezes family, and haven’t they been given opportunities to tell us just that often enough. I once innocently asked my mother how, as a nurse, living and working through the London Blitz, she and others coped. She merely shrugged, continued with her potato-peeling and said, “We just got on with it. There was nothing else to do.”

    The catalogue of those thousands of NI casualties, compiled by Malcolm Sutton and complemented by the work of Martin Melaugh, crosses my mind, too. Can’t think why.

    Might I throw in David Aaronovitch in today’s [London] Times as another striking point of view, worth the visit? —

    … when the jury said it couldn’t decide whether the pressure on police following the suicide attacks, was a contributory factor, that was a conclusion that no historian or psychologist could possibly accept. Take away the bombs of 7/7, take away Hussein Osman, and Jean Charles de Menezes would almost certainly still be alive. The police may have made mistakes, and may even have given false evidence, designed to make them appear less culpable. But I – and I suspect many Londoners – believe that the young Brazilian was the 53rd victim of the London bombers.

    As Aaronovitch says, we cannot eliminate the one element we can “least deal with – fallibility”.

    By the same token, we have today other bleeding hearts braving a foul London day:

    Campaigners have marched to Downing Street demanding that no other child should suffer the fate of Baby P.

    How, for crying out loud, can that be achieved?

    A pattern has been established where we are invited to blame and shame the professionals who strove to avoid the event aforehand. Fallibility is a crime more heinous than culpability.

  • Rory Carr

    Take away the bombs of 7/7, take away Hussein Osman, and Jean Charles de Menezes would almost certainly still be alive.

    So says David Aaronovitch, so you say, Malcolm, with it seems some measure of agreement. I do not agree. My passionate argument is that, given the opportunity to fire upon any selected target, experience shows that armed response units of UK police forces will open deadly and devestating fire, whatever of any of any likliehood of risk to anyone other than themselves. If there is the slightest possibility or suspicion of danger to the armed police themselves then experience shows that they will allow innocents to be killed or indeed shoot hostages themselves rather than act selflessly and bravely as the fiction of literature, cinema and television indoctrinates us they instinctively do.

    The Independent‘s editorial recognises the common knowledge of the comon Londoner at least rather more than does the straining of Aaronivitch for balance.

    A good test would be for someone to dig up a couple of cases within, say, the last 30 years, where a really good case could be made for the Met, say, gunning down a body or two. We could start with the set-up at the India High Commission way back in the day when they riddled some kids clearly armed with cap-pistols and set the tone for The Sweeney and all the PR spin bollocks that went on to justify more and more of the same.

    But then, as your granny says, we’ll just have to put up with ’em. Otherwise the bastard rozzers might pop a cap in all our asses.

  • 6countyprod

    Thoughtful comments, Malcolm. Thanks

  • runciter

    More publicity has been given to the de Menezes killing than to the issues of 7/7 itself.

    Do you have any evidence for this assertion?

  • The Menezes murder just goes to show that if officials delay long enough, prevaricate endlessly, complain bitterly about bleeding hearts who are allegedly out of touch with reality, and feed disinformation to their hacks in the press long enough, they can get away with anything.

    At the very least, the police should have been found guilty of unlawful killing aka manslaughter, but the coroner prevented this by withholding the identities of those who actually killed poor Jean Charles from the jury – what led to it failing to come up with a cause of his death.

    And when was the last time a British copper was ever found guilty of unlawful killing by any jury? I can find no record of it, and if the Menezes killing wasn’t one, there never will be one.

  • Guppy

    Why if the Met’s Sir John Stevens approved a shoot on sight/shoot to kill policy was it wrong in Northern Ireland?

  • stephen

    An innocent man was killed by police officers who it is quite clear from testimoy at the inquest did not identify themselves, lied on oath about the circumstances and are now free to return to work.

    I am sure that those police officers were terrified, sure that another atrocity was about to take place and did what they thought was necessary.

    They were wrong. They alowed their fear to dictate their actions and they then lied to cover up their guilt. They should be dismissed and held to account.

    Mistakes are understandable, lies and back covering are cowardice and pathetic.

  • 6countyprod

    More publicity has been given to the de Menezes killing than to the issues of 7/7 itself. Evidence?

    On Slugger over the past couple of years, how many blog posts have there been on de Menezes and how many have there been on the people or the issues of 7/7?

    I do not know one single name of the 7/7 victims. I have been bombarded with Charles de Menezes’ name and photographs of Charles and his mother. Sad, absolutely, but no sadder than all the mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and children who lost loved ones on 7/7.

    Runciter, do you recall a name or a picture of a grieving relative of the 7/7 atrocity?

  • runciter

    6cp,

    I was hoping for a more objective measure than that. I’m not saying Brian’s claim is wrong, but it is easy to be mistaken about such things.

    Also, even if the claim is correct, it is not really that surprising.

    It is naturally more controversial when our supposed protectors attack us than when our enemies do the same thing.

  • Rory Carr

    One compelling reason why we might take more time to dwell on the circumstances of the killing of Jean charles de Menezes is that he was killed in our name by a force accountable to our government and hence to us. In short – we did it, insofar as we had a duty towards an innocent visitor to see that he was not shot down without warning or having the opportunity to demonstrate his innocence. We also at least had a responsibility to call to account those who killed him and to insist that safeguards are in place to prevent any future such killings.

    So far we have signally failed in exercising the first part of that responsibility. And I doubt very much, on past form, that any “lessons will have been drawn” – that glib phrase that allows all to be swept under the carpet – until the next time.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘On Slugger over the past couple of years, how many blog posts have there been on de Menezes and how many have there been on the people or the issues of 7/7?’

    Well naturally discussion surrounding the ‘the people or the issues of 7/7’ would have to encompass analysis of the british govts foreign policy and behaviour in the middle east, and as this is a site concerned with more local issues, the answer to your question seems self-evident, wouldn’t you say?

  • Rory Carr @ 11:07 PM:

    I bet that made you feel better; but there is absolutely no basis for Jean charles de Menezes … was killed in our name [sic].

    Well, no more than the kid at the wheel, who wipes himself out tonight, was “killed in the name of Ford or Vauxhall”.

    The Stockwell Tube episode was an individual personal tragedy. The coppers involved were doing a job: they were not working from some preconceived malevolence. Unlike some. To quote a previous occasion: Today we were unlucky, but remember we only have to be lucky once. You will have to be lucky always. Now transfer that view from Limavady or Lurgan to Luton.

    That’s a holistic thought I bear with me every day mine or me have to use London Transport.

    Read Andy Hayman on Shoot to kill is still only reqalistic strategy and explain why that rationale is wrong for the rest of us.

  • RepublicanStones @ 11:29 PM:

    … naturally discussion surrounding the ‘the people or the issues of 7/7’ would have to encompass analysis of the british govts foreign policy and behaviour in the middle east, and as this is a site concerned with more local issues, the answer to your question seems self-evident, wouldn’t you say?

    In the context of this thread, …
    for heaven’s sake,

    no!

    and

    why?

  • Harry Flashman

    I can accept that Menezes was not “murdered” in the sense that the officers who shot him knew who he was and with malice aforethought decided to shoot him. What did happen was that overhyped coppers, and there seems to be a hell of a lot of them about these days, under sloppy and slapdash management, of which there also happens to be an awful lot these days, killed an innocent man.

    The appropriate response from the Met, as soon as it was known a mistake had been made, was to put their hands up and admit their error and apologise profusely. They did not do so. Instead they lied and covered up what had occurred, not only did they do this through the media but unforgivably they continued to do so in court. Coppers who lie on oath are criminals, plain and simple, the jury said they lied they should be dismissed from the police forthwith along with all their “managers” who assisted them in their lying.

    Policemen are not above the law, despite them increasingly seeming to believe that they are.

  • Secret Squirrel

    So, who carried out that Seven Seven thing anyway ?

  • Harry Flashman

    “So, who carried out that Seven Seven thing anyway ?”

    Common Purpose, just ask Cressida Dick.

  • runciter

    The coppers involved were doing a job: they were not working from some preconceived malevolence.

    Murdering suspects is form of malevolence.

    Read Andy Hayman on Shoot to kill is still only reqalistic strategy and explain why that rationale is wrong for the rest of us.

    The problem with Kratos is that it appears to have created a situation whereby the belief that someone might be a terrorist is enough to justify executing that person.

    There was no reason to believe – despite the lies that were consistently presented by the police – that De Menezes was about to detonate a bomb and had to be killed to prevent him doing so.

  • RepublicanStones

    ‘There was no reason to believe – despite the lies that were consistently presented by the police – that De Menezes was about to detonate a bomb and had to be killed to prevent him doing so.’

    Unfortunately runciter me ‘aul flower, it seems havin a dark skin tone is justification enough, in which case we’ll expect to see marksmen outside tanning salons forthwith !

  • With some respect, Harry Flashman @ 12:13 AM, I ask this:

    We’re you in London during July, 2005?

    Did you, in that month, experience one horror and a “near-miss”?

    Can you appreciate the pressure on those “overhyped coppers”, most doing double-shifts?

    Have you read the whole material, listing the technological and communication failures (which could not have been anticipated, and went a long way beyond Brian’s simplistic “one surveillance officer went behind a bush to have a slash at the crucial moment”)?

    Meanwhile, despite your asservation, we have had umpteen “apologies” from every superior level of the Met. Nobody among the affronted classes was listening. Can’t think why.

    Nobody giving evidence to that Coroner’s Court was shown to be lying, merely telling what they believed happened. The jury was asked to answer on the balance of their assumptions. Ever given/heard evidence, Harry? Curiously, most people tell their versions of the truth. Only armchair Sherlocks have the opportunity to interpret second-hand and journalistic accounts and declare a falsehood. Which is why so few cases of perjury come to trial.

    Nobody, but nobody, in this sad saga comes out unsullied. That’s a pity, because on Monday morning I’m depending on those gals and guys in and out of uniform, their morale, and their observation, protecting me on the Northern Line into the West End.

  • Harry Flashman

    Whether I was in London or not that day is entirely irrelevant as to whether I believe cops should lie on oath three years after the event Malcolm. They did lie, they said they shouted “armed police” before opening up, the jury said they didn’t believe them. The cops lied, they lied about him vaulting the turnstile, they lied about him wearing strange bulky clothing, they lied about him behaving suspiciously.

    The liars were senior officers and spokesmen sitting in nice air conditioned offices in the days and weeks after the events. Like I say the cops who did the shooting were under stress and they didn’t deliberately decide to murder Menezes, but they did deliberately decide to lie about it after the event.

    It’s really rather simple Malcolm, even for you.

  • Harry Flashman

    By the way I have given evidence in court, and I have seen and heard coppers lie, they do it frquently, despite your touching faith in them.

  • Actually, no, Harry Flashman @ 12:51 AM. None of that, however emphatic your assertion, is demonstrable “lying”. It is, most likely, somewhere between “wishful thinking” and “rationalising”. That is what most of us do in the aftermath of a trauma. Try it some time: your alter ego did, rather well. Which was why I miss the writing and the diatribes of George MacDonald Fraser, who was a greater humanist and psychologist than either of us.

    A long while ago I made a decision: I preferred the “cock-up” theory of history to the “conspiracy” theory. It’s what kept me sane all these years. Emphasis optional.

    Good night, and may you sleep soundly.

  • Harry Flashman

    It is not a cock up when several people get together after an event and decide to concoct a fabricated version of what happened; that is a conspiracy. Note I am not referring to the events on the tube train themselves, I fully accept that was a cock-up, of monumental proportions, I can almost just about forgive that, but the cover up afterwards? No, that was criminal.

  • runciter

    Nobody giving evidence to that Coroner’s Court was shown to be lying, merely telling what they believed happened.

    It is strange that this innocent mis-remembering of facts only affected the police and not the civilian witnesses.

    It is also strange that the mis-remembering began almost straight after the killing happened, that in every case it favoured the policemen’s position, and that so many of these mis-remembered facts were unquestioningly accepted by the media.

    Nobody, but nobody, in this sad saga comes out unsullied.

    I would agree that the coroner, the police, the media and the political establishment do not come out unsullied.

    But De Menezes? His family and supporters? The civilian witnesses? What has sullied them?

  • Harry Flashman

    “But De Menezes? His family and supporters? The civilian witnesses? What has sullied them?”

    And don’t forget the honest jury.

  • runciter

    And don’t forget the honest jury.

    Indeed.

  • Thanks, Harry Flashman, for making my task much easier, though I won’t hold it against you for turning out to be another conspiracy theorist.

    For those who are unaware of my connecting the 7/7 bombings with the 21/7 ones, and the murder of Jean Charles, thanks to all the Whitehall cock-ups when it comes to counterterrorisim, see these links:

    http://codshit.blogspot.com/2005/07/perfect-conspiracy-london-bombings.html

    http://codshit.blogspot.com/2005/07/just-who-is-lord-stevens-of.html

    http://codshit.blogspot.com/2005/08/why-there-is-no-inquiry-into-london.html

    While it is clear that the Whitehall securocrats are not working for Al-Qaeda, they might as well be, given all their cock-ups which they end up converting into conspiracies of their own.

    And they generally just get promoted because of it! What’s next in this totally screwed-up world!

  • bollix

    If the police shot him in self defence or defence of another, then they are not guilty of murder. This is so, even if it wasn’t actually self defence, but they believed it to be so. It will still hold even if their belief is unreasonable, just so long as it is genuine.
    However, the more unreasonable their actions, the less likely that their belief was reasonable. In addition, the more lies they tell around it, the less likely it is their belief is genuine.
    For the police to collaborate and concoct a story that they shouted “armed police” is self-serving tosh, which the jury, having heard the “neutral” witnesses didn’t believe.
    The thing is, the cops didn’t need to lie (a classic cop / bouncer mistake in court). All they needed to say was – “we genuinely thought he was a suicide bomber, we aimed to kill him”.

  • I take it on trust from Harry Flashman @ 01:24 AM and from runciter @ 02:29 AM that no witness, no jury member felt damaged, felt emotionally soiled by the experience of the Coroner’s Court. I pause to wonder, then, why it was necessary to have, as at the Derry Guildhall, somewhere between a posse and a phalanx of stress-counsellors and trauma consultants on hand. But I defer to those with, presumably, greater personal involvement and intimate knowledge than myself.

    Equally, I am sure that codshit.blogspot is exemplary in its search for truth and clear reason, despite having a lengthy encomium to the late (and generally unlamented fascist) Jörg Haider — who was, as far as I can gather from the wordy piece (by, err, a certain T.H.Ford) taken out by Mossad.

    Oh, and look here: a piece on the Mumbai terrorism has a “that funny ‘mossady’ type smell to it.” Do you imagine it could be the same smell that inspires a commenter on the original posting to declare: “Everything CRIMINAL that the Nazis are accused of was LEARNED FROM THE ISRAELITES” [sic. sick]

    And, oh again: a “shadowy military group” was somehow involved in the De Menezes killing. All this from a web-site with hot-links to Robert Anton Wilson.

    So, Trowbridge H. Ford, was it all part of the great Illuminatus plot? Is the Queen of England the real Israelite machinator? Does Mossad control President-elect Obama? Because all of those suggestions, and much, much more, come from links to your recommended site.

    However, as I said previously, I’m a “cock-up” theory man, and don’t seek conspiracies under ever privet bush.

  • Manny

    “An innocent man was killed by police officers who it is quite clear from testimony at the inquest did not identify themselves, lied on oath about the circumstances and are now free to return to work. ”

    Compare and contrast with an incident in LA where the CHP stopped a motorist and he repeatedly refused to behave properly. One of the women officers decided it was a perfect case for deliberately shooting an Afircan-~American.

    4 more experienced LA police officers came along (as they were now within LA the LAPD had to deal with it) and the senior officer to the CHP officer with her weapon drawn to put away her gun. She did so.

    They then repeatedly asked him to be prepared to be handcuffed. He constantly refused. The then used non-lethal force on him to get him to submit.

    This is the only 45 seconds of the video that you see on the news.

    At the trial the whole 10 minute incident was shown and the officers were correctly acquitted.

    Which force has more credibility?

    (Hint: It is NOT the test word!)

  • Balljoint M. Minor (Sr)
  • “Nobody giving evidence to that Coroner’s Court was shown to be lying.”

    Malcolm

    This is simply untrue, the jury made it clear they did not believe the officers who claimed a warning had been shouted; and witnesses made it clear this did not happen.

    These officers should now be charged with perjury, after all if Archer can be sent to jail for lying so should a police officer.

    The question that was not satisfactory answer in the juries judgement, due to the disgraceful restrictions placed upon them by the coroner was this. Did the police panic when they shot de Menezes {Understandable given the situation) Or was a shoot to kill policy in force that day. If so we need to know, as no such law has passed through parliament.

    On Livingstone’s comments, he is wrong, even if Dick and co were fine officers, fine officers make mistakes and they must pay for them in the same way as an incompetent officer. Otherwise there is no purpose in having rules and regulations in place, let alone laws.

  • Mick Hall @ 02:32 PM:

    No, the Jury was not asked if the police witnesses were “lying”: they were asked specifically about the warning shout. The police confusion there indicates just how little collaboration of evidence had happened. The only answer is there was no shout. There could not be. Those police officers believed they were dealing with a terrorist suicide bomber. It is generally agreed that such a target can only be dealt with in one way: summary execution. Sad but true. If you disagree, tell the world’s security forces what is the practical alternative. Even then, armed with all that precious hindsight, I doubt that being inside a metal container in a tunnel (which is what a train in either Stockwell platform amounts to), on the day after four known attempted detonations, is the proper time and place to experiment with humane alternatives.

    If you are suggesting that action and decision should wait on a “democratically-arrived-at” consultation, I cannot accept that as a realistic and pragmatic alternative to the Gold-Silver-Bronze command structure. Nor to the assumption that the Police have the prime rôle in most emergency situations. Which means that someone is in Cressida Dick’s unenviable position that and every minute of every day.

    You and blasted Boris may want to purge all those officers whom you deem, in your wisdom and without any proper process, to be unreliable or politically incorrect. That was tried and proved not to work too well in the Red Army of the late 30s/early 40s. If the approved alternative is the Dixon of Dock Green approach, politely enquiring, “Are you a suicide bomber, sir?”, one question: will that adequately protect me and mine, as we daily use the Piccadilly and Northern lines?

  • Malcolm

    You can splash about in a puddle of mud all you like, but it will not alter the fact the Met shot an innocent man, and have yet to face up to the consequences of this act. What the red army, Boris and poor old George Dixon has to do with it, only you know. No where in my post did I attempt to heap the blame on the officers who pulled the trigger, beyond that is telling lies under oath. Indeed I went as far as to write the following. “Did the police panic when they shot de Menezes {Understandable given the situation) ”

    The fact is we live in a country in which by and large the rule of law prevails, thus when a man has his life stolen by the authorities, it is only correct they are called to account.

    You may be happy to live in a society in which the police can gun down anyone they think may be a terrorist, but I do not. History has taught us where that slippery road leads and it is the innocent who mainly suffer, not the terrorists. If Guantanomo has taught us anything, it is that.

    If, as you seem to be saying there is a shoot to kill policy for suspected terrorist who are about to act, it makes Dicks neglegence even worse, because she was not in possession of definite info on the man we now know to be Menezes. Thus she had no real knowledge that he was even a terrorist, let alone was carrying a bomb which he was about to detonate

    Thus she set loose on the streets of London armed police in pursuit of a man whose identity she was unsure.

    It is not enough to shrug ones shoulders and claim these things happen, the purpose of inquests, enquiries etc is partly to see they do not occur again; and unless those who perpetrate them, in this case the police, admit they made a grave mistakes, they will simply dust themselves down, hand out a medal or two and do the same thing again at a later date.

  • Mick Hall @ 03:57 PM:

    the Met shot an innocent man, and have yet to face up to the consequences of this act.

    Not an assertion I can wholly swallow:

    23 July 2005: de Menezes family reject an official apology and offer of compensation by the Met.

    24 July 2005: Sir Ian Blair apologises: this also is rejected.

    9 March 2006: de Menezes family reject an apology from the Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

    There have been four external inquiries (to my quick count), two legal proceedings, and internal reviews beyond number. Quite how many times Police faces have popped up on my TV to issue yet another regret and apology I cannot recall.

    You insist on the word “innocent”, but fail to explain how de Menezes was, in July 2005, working as an electrician when his permit to enter the UK as a student expired in 2003. The visa stamp in his passport appears to be fraudulent. Jack Straw’s statement that he was entitled to be in the UK derives from Éire immigration admitting him to the EU. So, in that context, how was Cressida Dick supposed to be instantly “in possession of definite info” on someone who had gone to considerable efforts, including dodging between the two countries, to disguise his movements and status? All the “definite info” she had indicated the man entering that tube station was Hussain Osman.

    Above all, how can one tell, without dispute, without endangering life and limb, which backpack or clothing contains explosive and detonator?

    Moreover, don’t be wet. Of course, I’m not “happy to live in a society in which the police can gun down anyone they think may be a terrorist”. I am, however, anxious that terrorists are taken out of the location where I and mine may want to be. Just tell me how we achieve the latter, and we’ll be in total agreement. You are quite right in one respect: it is “the innocent who mainly suffer, not the terrorists” (in another jurisdiction, they end up with estates in Donegal). In the case of 7th July, 2005, the innocent were 52 dead and 700+ injured, many of them maimed and dismembered. Should we be grateful it was not the scale of 11th March 2004: 191 dead and 1,755 injured? That is a serious attrition of the truly innocent, who do not seem to figure in this equation.

    Finally, that inquest. Are you arguing for a verdict of “unlawful killing”? In other words, are you blaming the firearms officers (because otherwise there could not be such a verdict)? Do you seriously accept the Jury’s inability to decide whether “the suicide attacks and attempted attacks of July 2005 and the pressure placed on the Met in responding to the threat” were a contributory factor? Oh, come on!

    Bottom line: the Met’s officers that day were not negligent or ineffective. They were doing their job very well. Faced with a suicide bomber, I appreciate that effectiveness. The problem was they were working from false information (for which, see above).

  • runciter

    You insist on the word “innocent”, but fail to explain how de Menezes was, in July 2005, working as an electrician when his permit to enter the UK as a student expired in 2003.

    Amazing.

    In the case of 7th July, 2005, the innocent were 52 dead and 700+ injured, many of them maimed and dismembered.

    How can you be sure that they were all innocent?

    After all, some of them may have committed some minor crime in the past.

  • runciter

    Those police officers believed they were dealing with a terrorist suicide bomber. It is generally agreed that such a target can only be dealt with in one way: summary execution.

    Who agreed with that? What consultation was there?

    When did we all suddenly ‘agree’ that executing suspects was a good idea?

  • Harry Flashman

    Malcolm the many straw men you throw up here means it’s hard to actually get to the core of what you are saying. Read again what has been written above, nowhere does anyone say that the individual officers who shot Menezes were deliberately trying to murder him, we accept that they genuinely believed him to be the suspected terrorist that their superior officers told them he was.

    In that case it would be perfectly legitimate to bring in a case of unlawful killing and direct it against the senior officers responsible for what you rightly describe as a cock up. In civilian life if someone dies as a result of another’s negligence then it frequently occurs that criminal prosecutions are brought (I seem to recall a case last week where a father was prosecuted for the deaths of his children in a car accident because of shoddy repairs that he had carried out on his car). If it’s good enough for Joe Bloggs it should be good enough for PC Plod.

    As to Mr Menezes’ immigration status well I wasn’t aware that there was a death penalty for overstaying one’s visa, can you enlighten me some more about that aspect of the issue?

    You talk about how well the police officers did their job (odd seeing as how you earlier accepted they cocked up). They didn’t, the entire scenario proved to be an unmitigated and monumental balls up by the anti-terrorist branch from start to finish. Consider; on July 7th in the middle of a G8 summit when the UK should have been on absolute top security alert, four suicide bombers (some of whom had in fact been under surveillance by the police) walked on to three tube trains and a bus and killed 50 innocent people, the police were caught absolutely flat footed.

    How did the police respond? Well precisely two weeks later four more suicide bombers carried out an identical carbon copy attack without the police being able to do a damned thing, only for the grace of God the bombs failed to explode, yet still the would be attackers all managed to escape from the stations without being apprehended, one even got out of the country and had to be arrested by Italian police, the next day a detachment of policemen blow the head off an entirely uninvolved Brazilian!

    You call that a good job by the police? What would be your definition of a complete and utter dog’s breakfast?

  • Ms Wiz

    As far as the police are concerned the only downside to the whole ‘operation’ was the fact they killed the wrong man. And that’s the really disturbing thing. Even if it had been Hussein Osman, you can’t just go around summarily executing people you want to arrest.

    From the way Jean Charles was dressed it was fairly obvious he wasn’t concealing a device of any sort, nor were there ‘bomb wires’ hanging out about his person. Unless of course he was planning to detonate said device with his penis.

    Somewhere a decision was made to make an example of a would-be suicide bomber, unfortunately for the cops they got the wrong man.

  • We’ve had the lot: bleeding-hearts, the conspiracists, the sockpuppets, the fellow-travellers of Asad Rehman. The agenda of the latter is political:

    to campaign against the rising tide of racism and the attack on civil liberties in the UK.

    Fair enough, but be frank about the anti-police, anti-authority bias.

    Factuality went out of the window some time back (for examples: the previous legal process found Cressida Dick bore “no personal culpability” — but, of course, that’s not good enough; clothing evidence remains disputed; unsubstantiated personal opinion from as far away as Australia is treated as firm “fact”; de Menezes’ status in the UK remains unclear, which is why he was “below the radar”).

    In the above offerings, we have one assumption that an event in Scotland should provoke total security, including measures against unforeseen and previously uncountenanced events (in this case, “home-grown” terrorists) across the whole Kingdom. I reckon that the frequency of such situations means total lock-down for London for several months each year. And all on a budget that the supermarket promotion teams would consider piffling.

    The same contributor deems screening every passenger through any rail terminal or tube station to be a practical proposition.

    Then we have several of these contributors who want to rewrite fundamentals of English law, invoking possible double and triple jeopardy.

    Enough.

    There’s the anecdote about the English tenor singing La Bohème at La Scala. At the end of Che Gelida Manina the house went wild. The tenor did the encore. Again, pandemonium. A second encore. A third. Still hysterical applause.

    The tenor stepped to front stage, and thanked the audience for their appreciation. However, only the great Gigli had been awarded a fourth encore; and the tenor felt he should not be presumptuous.

    A voice from the back of the Gods called down: “You will do it again, and again. Until you get it right!”

    That, alas, is the view of the campaigners who want this issue picked over until their version stands. Meanwhile, the Met and other forces have the problem of what is the alternative to the Stevens measures (wrongly characterised above as “Operation Kratos”) for dealing with a suicide bomber. At no point in this thread has a reasonable alternative been suggested.

  • sockpuppets

    Sockpuppets Phewww. Poor old Redfellow how the mighty fall. Who owns you Redfellow because we now see clearly after all your fine posts that you are not your own man.Sad any way I thought you were of to bed nite nite now go on of with you old man.

  • Harry Flashman

    “The same contributor deems screening every passenger through any rail terminal or tube station to be a practical proposition.”

    When did anyone suggest this? Do you simply make stuff up as you go along?

  • Compare and contrast:

    1. Harry Flashman on Dec 16, 2008 @ 03:01 AM:

    “The same contributor deems screening every passenger through any rail terminal or tube station to be a practical proposition.”

    When did anyone suggest this? Do you simply make stuff up as you go along?

    2. Harry Flashman on Dec 15, 2008 @ 03:09 AM:

    “Consider; on July 7th in the middle of a G8 summit when the UK should have been on absolute top security alert, four suicide bombers (some of whom had in fact been under surveillance by the police) walked on to three tube trains and a bus and killed 50 innocent people, the police were caught absolutely flat footed.”

    The Circle Line train bombed between Liverpool Street and Aldgate, and the Edgware Road Circle Line train had both departed King’s Cross at 8.42 a.m. The Piccadilly Line train, bombed between King’s Cross and Russell Square (and my regular route), departed a few minutes later.

    Do you know King’s Cross at 8.30 a.m.+ on a working day, Harry? Well, I do, from years of experience. Since you force me to count, it has been my unavoidable resort these forty-two years. The London Underground, where you are truly at one with your fellows.

    Do you regularly use a number 30 bus, Harry? I find it very convenient coming up from the West End, don’t you?

    And, since so many are so concerned about one particular death, it wasn’t 50 “innocent people” rendered to mincemeat that day. It was 52. Those odd discounted two must have been my neighbours or acquaintances of acquaintances, who obviously are irrelevant to the issue. On another day, they could have been my daughter on her way to college, my wife or me going to an appointment.

    Can’t think why armchair theorists on another continent gall me.

  • Getting away from Malcolm Redfellow’s increasing diversions, and back to the thread’s subject – what had have police learned from the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes – I think nothing, if one means anything positive.

    The police now have a precedent that they can kill anyone with impunity in their counterterrorist activities, as long they don’t knowingly conspire to murder – what seems almost impossible.

  • Harry Flashman

    Why so fascinated with my location Malcolm, is it a smokescreen because your argument is as full of holes as poor Menezes’ head?

  • Harry Flashman @ 05:18 AM:

    Still admirably in character, a touch of the true Flashy self-obsession and arrogance.

    I believe I was referring, allusively, to variants and embroiderings of the events of 22 July 2005. In the case of some “facts” cited, the entire provenance derives from the Sydney Morning Herald or the New Zealand Herald. To be fair, it isn’t just Antipodean journos possessed of such amazing local knowledge: Chicago has also contributed its bit.

    In passing, I thought the adjective “poor”, normally employed convincingly and intimately in the expression “poor Jean-Charles” (with or without the optional hyphenation), was © the Socialist Workers Party and its fellow-travellers.