Friday, August 19, 2005

Breathing while black

I think we can all understand that the police who shot Jean Charles de Menezes were scared and panicing, their procedures had fallen apart, and that they made a terrible mistake. It seems clear that the protocol they were acting under are fundamentally flawed, but then we don't know the details of the shoot-to-kill policy (not the first time this has been adopted by a UK government - I remember John Stalker's enquiry into executions in Belfast) - let's just hope no terrorists have ever been train drivers and used a dead-man's-handle, and that none of them are old enough to remember when war films had a standard sequence involving the hero holding two hand-grenades with the pins pulled defying the villains to shoot him.

Sir Ian Blair should resign. I appreciate he has stuck up for his officers, but this is now a big enough failing of procedure and protocol to warrant it - it's effectively a random execution by the Met of someone they think is vaguely suspicious. When I hear in the news about the security plans for the Labour party conference involving large numbers of armed police I feel like saying we'll all stay in for the duration. I don't want me or anyone else to be executed just because the police fuck up again.

And then, and this is worst of all, they have lied about it and tried to cover it up: when you cover up an honest mistake, it turns into a dishonest act. Jean Charles' memory and family deserves better: after the Met executed him, they tried to portray him as a suicide bomber: that is a despicable act of cowardice, a disgrace. RESIGN!

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