Exploits of the Frictionless Man as it wanders around the world like some kind of slippery hydra. Music, words and pictures a speciality.

Friday, July 29, 2005

The death of Jean Charles de Menezes.

A man is held on the floor of a train and shot eight times, seven in the head one in the shoulder. This man is shot because the men with the guns suspect that he is going to blow himself up in a train full of people.

This is the reason that the man died, because a number of men from a government agency were of the opinion that this individual was about to murder those around him.

They had watched the young man walk from the communal entrance to his home, a three-story block of flats containing nine separate apartments in Tulse Hill in the London Borough of Lambeth. This building was under surveillance apparently because the previous day an unexploded package had been recovered containing a written address within this block of flats. This package had been found under a bush in north of White City and Shephard’s Bush. Four other packages had been found in targets around London, thought to be part of a failed attack of the kind that had happened thirteen days earlier on July 7th 2005. The attacks on the 7th of July had cost the lives of more than 50 people.

As Jean Charles de Menezes left his home he was followed by a number of plain-clothes policemen. They were suspicious of him because they thought he “looked like a Muslim.” He was wearing a jacket deemed unseasonably warm for the temperature of 17°C. This combined with his darker skin was thought sufficient reason to follow him. He walked to a bus stop, caught a bus, rode the bus for between 10 and 15 minutes and got off at Stockwell Tube station.

At this point the police allege that they challenged Jean Charles de Menezes, who did not stop and continued into the train station, where he was shot eight times, seven in the head and one in the shoulder.

Looking at this sequence of events, this is what warrants a killing by armed government forces in our capital. Living in an area that is being watched by police. Not looking Anglo-Saxon. Wearing a coat that is deemed unseasonable. Running when someone tells you to stop.

It does not matter whether he was afraid or not, whether he understood or not, whether he was running for a train because he was late for work. He was marked, he ran and he was murdered. Is this a country we want to live in?

Questions:

1. Why are police officers who mistook a Brazilian electrician for a Islamic fundamentalist allowed to work on the streets of London armed with guns and supported by a “shoot to kill” policy that translates as “shoot in the head”?

2. Why is a man who is suspected of being a suicide bomber, under enough suspicion to warrant being killed, allowed to get on a bus?

3. Why, if the situation is as dire as we are told, was the address found in the abandoned package not immediately searched?

4. Why, when another innocent man is shot dead on the streets of this country do the majority of the population turn away thinking “accidents will happen”?


A man is held to the floor by trained men working for the government who shoot him eight times; seven in the head and one in the shoulder. The justification for their actions is insufficient. The police apologise, the politicians roll over and say “it is very difficult” and the story of an innocent man quietly slips from the front pages.

The police are raiding houses. They are taking guns with them. Accidents will happen.

4 comments:

Voice of Satori said...

Worse still, he was only wearing a jean jacket, he didn't jump the barrier (he actually used his ticket) and alot of other people ran as well.

I've had a lot of conversations with friends about this incident; many have said that they would still prefer a "shoot to kill" policy because of the following scenario;

Armed police deliver a critical head shot to a suspected terrorist who IS about to detonate a weapon, thus saving innocent lives.

This is a persuasive scenario but i'm still unconvinced, I'd rather take my chances without having hyped-up police added to the violent equation.

If the state begins to exercise its ability to use deadly force (for which it has the monopoly) then we grow more like the terrorists.

We need to get to the roots of the problem; better race relations, better education, wider prospects and training for British youths, a more responsible attitude to news reporting and AN ACTUAL STRATEGY FOR SOLVING OUR FUCK UP OF IRAQ!!!!!

Pepole are going to say "why worry about Jean de Menezes when fifty people lost their lives to terrorists; they are the guilty ones".

Problem is; we made the terrorists and the responsibility rests with me and you. We allow this to happen because we allow our government to get away with it.

Protest time, I think.

Anonymous said...

It's not so much the issue of wether police should or shouldn't be allowed to use head shots so much as why did they shoot quite that many? I mean talk about trigger happy...

Doesn't this just show how badly our armed police services are? Back in Nottingham - the only place bar Brixton that police are allowed to patrol with guns - it seems like a total liability having these guys on the streets. The gangs are better equipped and have had more experience, surely it should be left to them.

Seriously though, I can't see how 7 an be justified at all. Or how 1 can be really. Randal said that they might have shot him more times because if he was running with a detonater, he could still twitch and set it off in his dying spasms. To which I say - he's going to have spasms one way or another; does it really make a difference how much of a pulp you make in the process?

Anyway, that's me - Pete x

Anonymous said...

It's not so much the issue of wether police should or shouldn't be allowed to use head shots so much as why did they shoot quite that many? I mean talk about trigger happy...

Doesn't this just show how badly our armed police services are? Back in Nottingham - the only place bar Brixton that police are allowed to patrol with guns - it seems like a total liability having these guys on the streets. The gangs are better equipped and have had more experience, surely it should be left to them.

Seriously though, I can't see how 7 an be justified at all. Or how 1 can be really. Randal said that they might have shot him more times because if he was running with a detonater, he could still twitch and set it off in his dying spasms. To which I say - he's going to have spasms one way or another; does it really make a difference how much of a pulp you make in the process?

Anyway, that's me - Pete x

Anonymous said...

I thought that message was so good I'd leave it twice, just to share it with you that one little extra bit.