Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

I Just Do Not Get It

A quick trawl of the blogs this morning suggests that hardly anyone seems to care* that it’s legal for the police to kill innocent people, but I do, so I’m going to say my piece.

I suppose I have to admit that I’m no expert in inquest procedures or the circumstances in which coroners can direct juries. Moreover the media's coverage and and explanation of this decision has been pityful, so I can't get a lot of detail on it. Even so, what happened at the de Menezes inquest yesterday seems utterly perverse to me.

The coroner said that a verdict of unlawful killing could only be available if the jury “could be sure that a specific officer had committed a very serious crime, murder or manslaughter”.

Why the need to be sure about a specific officer ? Could not both the officers who fired shots be guilty ? And if a police officer shoots an innocent man, can it never be murder or manslaughter ? If I get shot by the Plod because they thought I was someone else, why can that never be unlawful ? Can the police just pick out anyone they don’t like the look of, and shoot them, without accountability ? If I were Damian Green, I’d be on the look-out…

If I were at my most charitable I’d say that I just don’t get it. At worst though, this looks to me like a Sate stitch-up, and it stinks.

* The Wilted Rose is an honourable exception

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