Friday, December 12, 2008

Met Police Just Dont Get It on Menezes Death

I caught most of Sir Paul Stephenson's press conference following the Open Verdict on my way home and he just doesn't get it. (See it here).

There is some justification to the "fog of war" argument. No matter how much you plan and train for these things something can, and usually does, go wrong. I have have some sympathy for the policeman on the front line, none of them go to work wanting to kill anyone, let alone an innocent person, and I am sure that they will lose sleep over it for the rest of their lives.

What was unacceptable, and still is, is the way the senior ranks colluded to hide the truth. The way they tried to smear him is beneath contempt:

Lawyers for the Met questioned whether the Brazilian’s cocaine abuse and illegal immigration status could have contributed to what happened on July 22.

They said the suspect's "threatening and aggressive" behaviour was like that of a suicide bomber when confronted by police.

Asad Rehman, the family's campaign spokesman, hit back at the claims about the 27-year-old.

He said: "We have been taken aback by how the police decided to defend this case, and the line that they have taken in terms of trying to muddy Jean Charles's name and diminish him as a person and make the shooting more acceptable.

"He [the defence lawyer] was literally saying he was asking for it, which I thought was pretty sickening."

There was also a leaked rumour just after the shooting that he was an illegal immigrant and that it was therefore somehow his own fault, as idiotic blogs like this one attest.

If Sir Ian Blair had put his hands up immediately and accepted it was a complete fuck up we could have had more respect for them, paid compensation had a very quick inquiry in to what went wrong and hoped that we wont be the victims next time.

Sir Ian Blair's belated sacking resignation was too little, too late, and anyone involved at a senior level in the events should be barred from applying for the promotion of any sort, at least.

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