The Lava Trolley: UK Police in Firing Line

The Lava Trolley

Or is it the lavatory???

...Either case, this little nook on blogasphere is the natural dumping ground for the sort of crap that erupts
when you find a wee Chink in the Britworks...

But hey, I promise you this is steamingly hot shit...which is probably why it's all looking a bit brown!


16 August 2005

UK Police in Firing Line


...Damme...what a shit time for this to happen!

Security has already been compromised because of the terrorist attacks in London, and now we have a huge question mark hanging over our law enforcers because of the Menezes shooting. Survivors, such as Davinia Turrell (an ex-classmate of my cousin, whom I've heard is now doing ok) and the loved ones of the bomb victims have barely recovered, and already we have another crisis at hand, on top of other threats from Al Qaeda. Can no one get anything right these days???!


Ok...perhaps that was a bit harsh...I'll take it back...

...After all, emergency services did a brilliant job during the rescue mission...No easy task, given the horrors that had taken place...And kudos to everyone else who put on a brave face, especially Londoners and tourists. We were understandably wary, but determined to carry on with our lives, refusing to be intimidated...My dad and I went shopping right in the heart of London (via tube) a couple of days after the attacks, and the capital was teeming as usual...The terrorists have done nothing but achieve the opposite of what they have intended - The British are not cowering in terror.

Most commendable of all were the British Muslims who condemned the fanatics, and even the government deserves some credit for immediately pointing out that the bombings were not a true reflection of Islam (that was perhaps lacking in 9/11 when 'Jihad' seemed to be the buzzword of that time), and anyone who takes this out on the Muslim community would be relegated to the same ranks as the terrorists themselves.

My friends and family were very lucky to have been largely unaffected by the attacks. I have two cousins living in London, and one of them would normally take the tube on the Aldgate line to work...It so happened that he left home early that morning to attend a meeting at work. We didn't know that, and panicked a little when he didn't return our calls. But he let us know he was ok as soon as the meeting was over, so everyone could breathe a sigh of relief. Phew!!!


The news that day came as a bit of a bombshell (I'd only just got out of the shower, and was planning a nice shopping trip down in...guess where?!!!), though I have to admit no one was entirely surprised...As Sir John Stevens, Head of Metropolitan Police has said about terrorism in Britain, "it's not a matter of if but when"...

...But what I was completely unprepared for was the shooting of an innocent man by, of all people, the police.

"Leaked documents appear to contradict the official account of how police mistook a Brazilian man for a suicide bomber and shot him."


...This puts a completely different spin on things.

Don't get me wrong. I was all for the 'shoot to kill' policy when I'd first heard of Menezes death, and I still am. However, 'shoot to kill' (why else would anyone be waving loaded firearms about???) is very different from 'shoot first, ask questions later'.

According to news from the last couple of days, the police have lied to us.

I saw a recently released picture of Menezes' body on the floor of the train carriage, and it was blatantly obvious he did not have on a thick padded jacket which could have concealed a bomb. So the police are definitely short of one excuse. And if the reports leaked to the press are true, they have even less reason than that to open fire on the poor man.


Behold the discrepancies.

Their case is looking decidedly shaky, isn't it?

"Scotland Yard 'initially resisted' the investigation into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has said."

I can appreciate the reason behind a cover-up, since the last thing we need right now is lack of confidence in police integrity. Think of all the damage that could do to National Security...However, the attempt to hide their blunders from us only makes the very system we're supposed to trust seem all the more sinister. Perhaps less damage would have been done if they'd simply admitted the blunders from the outset and tried to make amends. This whole issue would probably not be dragging on for as long as it has been. Why make things worse?

I believe the fault lies mainly with the police, and the public deserves an explanation. However, I also have to point out that these allegations are just that - allegations. Since the inquiry is still going on, nothing has been confirmed...yet.

Should it come to light that the police were telling the truth, then I am with them every step of the way.

"'This is causing shock and dismay in the Muslim community,' said Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain...'We believe it is absolutely vital that the utmost care is taken to ensure that innocent people are not killed due to over-zealousness.'"

Let's put it this way...If armed policemen were pointing their weapons at me, and asking me to stay put, I don't know about you but I jolly well would!!!

Come on, London has just been attacked by suicide bombers, tons of people have been killed and injured, more attacks are on the cards, and a shifty-looking suspect starts running away when approached by ARMED police, what do you think they were to make of it? Of course they'd expect the worst.

It's not like police go out and about with guns blazing ALL the time? I think you'll agree that this sort of situation calls for a temporary change of protocol.

Under the circumstances, I think our police had no choice but to open fire. Anti-war protesters can chant all they like, but the fact remains that there was no other alternative. Had Menezes been a REAL suicide bomber, there would be nothing quicker and more effective in preventing him from setting off bombs than a bullet through the head. If he didn't want to get killed, he shouldn't have tried to run away...What did he think those guns were? Super Soakers???!

Sure, maybe the police could have stopped him while he was on the bus...But has no one thought that perhaps the officers trailing him were trying to work out what he was going to do next? If police accounts are right, then they DID try to stop him without resorting to violence, but he ran from them, even went so far as to vault a ticket barrier...What if he HAD a bomb on him, and no one tried to put him down?

I leave that bit to your imagination.

No one who is entirely innocent of crime would have tried to run, which leads me to believe that someone doing this has something to hide.

But...all this is now academic, since doubt has recently been cast on evidence provided by police, and with good reason. As I have already said, the 'shoot to kill' policy can only be justified if the ones in charge of protecting the public were given no alternative, and that all events pointed to possible guilt.

Unfortunately, it appears that there is every likelihood we should begin to fear the very authority that's meant to be keeping us safe...

...and the big blast that's about to shake up police ranks looks set to cause far more damage than 7/7.

Related Articles:
London Bombings
Indepth - London Attacks
Police Admit Tragic Error
UK Muslims Alarmed
Major Defends Police in Shooting
Leak Disputes Menezes Death Story
Met 'Resisted Tuve Death Probe'

Sign the 7/7 Book of Condolence.


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  • At 23/8/05 05:51, Anonymous eponine1971 said…

    Okay, now I'm not trying to accuse here. I'm reallly just asking a question as a non-british person. It is my understanding that the police over there don't carry guns all the time. Is this true? And do you think that the uncustomary practice of being armed along with the hieghtened gotta-blame-someone-for-this agenda contrubuted to thier over-zealousness and the shot man's urge to flee?

  • At 23/8/05 14:34, Blogger Charme said…

    The man didn't try to flee...The police were lying...The police don't normally carry guns, but since 7/7 they've been on 'red alert'. As far as I can make out, the man was a 'suspect', so there were surveillance teams keeping an eye on him. Of course, we now know that he was completely innocent. But certainly, I believe that one of the reasons the police were so trigger-happy was the need to show to the world that something was being done.


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