The Electric Commentary

Monday, July 25, 2005

The London Shooting

Based on the facts that we have so far, I believe the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by London police officers was justified. I base that on this account from the NYT:

Having found the address in a backpack left behind by one of the bombers in the failed attacks on Thursday, the police were watching the building where Mr. Menezes lived. But they failed to realize, apparently, that there was more than one apartment there. So when Mr. Menezes left the building to go to a job on Friday, they followed him. They trailed him onto the No. 2 bus, bound for the Stockwell subway stop, a little more than 10 minutes away.

When Mr. Menezes began to enter the station, witnesses said, he was surrounded by plainclothes officers who shouted at him to stop.

According to the police accounts, the officers identified themselves and were suspicious partly because he was wearing a bulky jacket in the summer weather, suggesting that he was concealing something. Mr. Menezes ran. He jumped over the turnstile, ran down an escalator and stumbled into a train, where he fell face down. Witnesses said the police then shot him five times in the head and neck, killing him. (Emphasis added.)

Assuming that this account is accurate, can anyone fault the police for their actions?

4 Comments:

  • Why did they let him get on the No. 2 bus if they thought he was planning to commit an act of terrorism?

    By Blogger MDS, at 3:30 PM  

  • OK, that's actually a very good question. I hope someone asks that question.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 3:48 PM  

  • Police accounts of officers "identifying themselves" is not NEARLY enough to call this justified. Eyewitness accounts would add much more to this along with camera footage - if any.

    "Fausto Soares, another Brazilian friend in London, said that perhaps Mr. Menezes ran because a confrontation with an English gang several weeks earlier had made him especially worried about being chased."

    That excerpt is enough to make me wonder exactly how the police "identified" themselves and whether they were in uniform or not.

    By Anonymous Rashid Muhammad, at 4:49 PM  

  • Oops:

    "When Mr. Menezes began to enter the station, witnesses said, he was surrounded by plainclothes officers who shouted at him to stop."

    A question for me is can we blame Mr. Menezes for his actions? Need more data.

    By Anonymous Rashid Muhammad, at 4:52 PM  

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