Dada is the sun, Dada is the egg. Dada is the Police of the Police.

7/23/2005

Wrong place, wrong time part 2

My initial reaction to the London shooting was to regard it as a tragic accident. But Blake at The Next Left seems to think it is more likely a clear-cut case of murder.
It seems that many in the media are acting as apologists for murder: this man ran from police, so he got what was coming to him. However, these were plain-clothes police officers. The man was South-Asian (or perhaps Brazilian - the London police seem to have trouble distinguishing between the two), and it is unclear if he spoke fluent English. But regardless of one's language ability, if people wearing everyday clothing chase someone, that person should run to where there are other people who can help defend him and diffuse the situation. That is exactly what the suspect did. He didn't run away. He ran onto the train.

Here's how one witness described the scene:

"He looked like a cornered rabbit, a cornered fox, absolutely petrified ... They pushed him onto the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him. I saw it. He's dead."

If that account is accurate, this is murder in every sense of the word. The case not only highlights the need for police to use restraint and non-lethal methods of subduing people, it also highlights the need for plain-clothes officers to have a way to show they are police. The man likely thought he was being attacked by thugs rather than plain-clothes officers.
The fact that these were non-uniformed officers is crucial. If someone pulled a gun on you, and you didn't know it was a police officer, you'd probably run away too.

And I'll be interested to hear their justification for shooting him after he had been subdued.

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