Friday, July 21

The end of week quote

Below is an extract from The Daily Telegraph today:

Clearly there can never be a fully satisfactory outcome in the tragic and shocking case of an innocent person being gunned down by armed police. But the formula on which the CPS has settled - which has been variously described as a "fudge" and a "cop-out" - seems peculiarly disturbing. There is clearly something faintly absurd about defining the shooting of a man seven times in the head as being a failure of a "duty of care."
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Too many critical questions have been left unanswered. The death of Mr De Menezes was not a simple accident: it was a mistake of disastrous proportions for which someone in the Metropolitan Police chain of command must ultimately be responsible. The marksmen who committed the act believed themselves to be following instructions: those instructions were presumably either misconceived or seriously ambiguous. The accusation of "institutional Islamophobia" may be less to the point than one of "institutional incompetence."
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If it is genuinely impossible (as the CPS has alleged) to determine which individuals were definitively culpable, then the final responsibility must lie with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair. The Home Secretary, to whom the Commissioner is ultimately answerable, must see to it that Sir Ian is made to answer for the actions of his force.
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End of quote
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Peter Troy adds:
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To discribe the shooting as a failure of a ''duty of care'' under the 1974 Health and Safty Act is not only absurd it is also a very British (tragic) understatement. Two days after the killing of Mr De Menzies I was amongst the first to call for the resignation of Sir Ian Blair (On BBC Radio Cleveland).
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That resignation is needed now not as an act of revenge but because the British Public needs to have confidence in the Metropolitan Police Service. British Subjects have a deep sence of fair play and justice, Sir Ian Blair needs to satisfy that need. If the Home Secretary or the Prime Minister won't tell him to go his colleaguse should, if they won't or can not then the council tax payers of London should.

3 comments:

Kelly said...

I am, indeed, sorry to hear about this continuing problem. I can understand how it happened in the wake of the bombings that a man was killed. The higher ups should have accepted responsibility and come up with a plan or several plans to make sure that this didn't happen again. Also, and while I know this is NOT a popular idea, the victim had a hand in things concerning his being shot at and shot. I know he didn't want to be killed but if police were shouting at me to stop and/or were chasing me I would drop to the ground so fast that i would leave a dent. We NOW know why he was running but doesn't take away that at that precise moment his actions were in question. And the police are humans who like the rest of us acted and reacted as they THOUGHT was best.

The police are not omnipotent and neither are doctors or nurses or teachers or anyone. We all make mistakes and they need to be corrected. If having Sir Blair resign will correct this problem, great. You need confidence in your police forces on all levels. I don't feel they need to be restructured into larger more genral forces but to be better educated and prepared or trained to handle these new situations that are cropping up.

Good luck. Those of us in the US have the same problems. We are also looking for ways to deal with them.

To Mr. de Menezes family, please accept my most hearfelt sympathies. I don't have any idea what you must be going through except that I have also suffered great losses in my family. May God bless you all with strength and comfort.

Peter Troy said...

Kelly writes:

''Also, and while I know this is NOT a popular idea, the victim had a hand in things concerning his being shot at and shot. I know he didn't want to be killed but if police were shouting at me to stop and/or were chasing me I would drop to the ground so fast that i would leave a dent.''

This is nort correct Kelly. The unfortunate victim was followed to the underground station by a surveillance team who assumed he was a terrorist who lived in the same area. On the confussed orders of a Police Commander an armed squad of COI9 Police were called in to kill De Menezes in the mistaken belief that he was a terrorist about to blow up a train. He was not chased nor did he jump a barrier nor was he in any why acting suspiciously.

The hadling of events after the killing are still the subject of an investigation (Stockwell 2).

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