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Well, the final verdict is in over in London, in regards to the police shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. And it's a clear verdict: the police screwed up and should not have killed him.

But there were no individual screwups, apparently. No one did anything wrong, but somehow he got shot anyway.

I can almost buy this. But there is still one matter that bothers me about this whole atrocious situation: the initial reports from the police about the shooting were utter lies. The first response was NOT to tell the truth, but to engage in a massive CYA move that smeared the innocent dead guy -- who didn't have the opportunity to defend himself (either before or after he was shot).

I'm an American citizen, not a British subject, so I have no standing to demand answers. But I'd still like some.


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Comments (8)

The response by the head of... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

The response by the head of New Scotland Yard was especially disturbing. That "I have to get back to work" line is the callous sort of disregard for human life I would expect in a RoboCop flick, not a high official addressing an inexcusable blunder by his office which cost an innocent man his life.

From my experience with the... (Below threshold)

From my experience with the Canadians system, the UK must have similar information control by the government.

In Canada, laws which may have originated to prevent the jury pool from being poisened by the media, give blackout powers to the government for all things criminal.

They're abused to create the impression of Utopia Now!

For the longest time serial rapists could not be mentioned in any detail, if at all, on the media so there were often no warnings given to the public. Later, they started sending police door to door in the affected neighborhoods to give warning. You'd imagine with a serial rapist about, their time might be better spent.

This "Utopia Now!" manipulation of information applies to all aspects run by the government. Therefore I'm alway suspicious of Canadian & European government statistics on everything from crime to health care to tax rates.

And along with CYA, there's also national pride and political pride driving the manipulation of information.

And before some tool says the US government does it too, they don't even qualify as amateurs in this game even if all the BDS motivated stories were true.

cops - both brit & american... (Below threshold)

cops - both brit & american - have now demonstrated conclusively why they can't be trusted *at all*: because in a crisis, their instincts are **precisely** those of any OTHER bureacrat suckling off the public teat.

1) never EVER allow themselves to be blamed for ANYthing
2) never tell the truth when a lie will do better (had menzies been shot in the USA, cops would no doubt have announced that his "computer had child-porn images in it", as they do with every innocent guy they shoot.)
3) always put the blame on other people ("mr. menzies should have read the officer's mind and laid down on the ground and groveled at his feet. his failure to do so makes his death his own fault".)
4) protect their sacred pensions at all costs.

sounds pretty cynical, don't it. it also sounds pretty "correct", too. ah, well. at least menzies didn't suffer - as those 4 guys did that the FBI, pensioned bureaucrats all, that the FBI allowed to rot in jail for *decades*, KNOWING they hadn't done what they were convicted of. the FBI had to 'protect their sources', you see. (the FBI also announced they couldn't say this sort of thing wouldn't happen again, if they should require it.)

the wonder is they didn't shoot they guy's dog, too. (see radley balko, "puppycide".)

STOP!...BLAM!...OR I'LL SHO... (Below threshold)


This is what happens in a c... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

This is what happens in a climate of fear.
Good grief...the United States Senate will be debating "water boarding" as part of the AG confirmation. There will be a debate on torture.

President Bush talks about Iran and World War III.

When fear is unjustly created and pandered to, what do we expect?

By the way..what security alert are we on now?
Remember those? (usually around the elections of 2002/2004/2006...)

So what if an innocent man, father, is gunned down?
In a time of "war" isn't it better to err on the side of caution?

Speaking of caution..At least the dictator in Pakistan is cracking down on extremists.
You know..those extremists that hate Pakistan by visible opposition?

Nogo war, a "climate of fea... (Below threshold)

Nogo war, a "climate of fear" ? That is amazingly stupid nonsense. When Menezes was killed, there was not a "climate of fear" but a "climate of bombings". There were ongoing actual bombings that were killing people on the subway and bus systems.

In this case, the Metropolitan police screwed up, as happens across the world weekly and it was again their coverup of their screwup that was most embarrassing. If there was any actual fault, it is my opinion that the relative unfamiliarity with firearms among the Met resulted in their improper use.

But to play this "climate of fear" horse manure is just ridiculous. And your insinuation of politically motivated security alerts is just stupid, bile-filled slander tied to this case.

You really are disgusting.

Then why do they bother giv... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Then why do they bother giving those bobbies those guns when they wont allow them to shoot a potential danderous crinimal i mean england is fast becoming wussietardland

I congratulate you Jay for ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

I congratulate you Jay for following this to the bitter end. It was where I first became acquainted with you and your site. When one of the policemen following Menezes described Menezes'as having 'Mongoloid' eyes,(It is too bad he didn't find out what accent he had) I realized this had all the hall marks of another royal 'screw up'. With regards to terrorist suspects, I am probably prejudiced because of what had happened with the Guildford Four and Maguire Seven

Not all news is bad..The Met and other British police forces seems genuinely more 'professional' now, and the real bad Islamic terrorists, in the Tube bombings, which led to the Menezes tragedy were recently convicted.






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