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Controversial - Her Most Regal Majesty, the Queen of Snark
void where prohibited, except by law
A man, possibly wearing bulky clothing, leaves a house under investigation in connection with terrorist bombings of the underground. When he enters the station he is warned by armed police to halt. He jumps over a ticket barrier and onto a train. He is shot dead.

Without knowing the full set of circumstances, it is impossible to know for sure what happened. What we do know is that the British police licensed to carry firearms operate under extremely paranoid firearms regulations and are all extremely rigorously trained.

I'd have shot under the circumstances as they appear to be. Proper process is a lovely idea in wishy-washy land, but it's almost certain they had good reason to believe he was about to blow up that train. He ran away from armed police who told him to halt. It is regretable that he died but his actions seem to have been pretty much indistinguishable from those of a suicide bomber. He was, it would appear, killed by his own stupidity.

This tragedy could easily have been prevented. All the man had to do was get down on the floor when the armed policemen told him to. I want to live in a world where we don't give the benefit of the doubt to people who appear to be about to commit mass murder. It's better than one where we have to explain to thousands of families and friends why the police saw the bomber getting on the train and didn't stop him.
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angusabranson From: angusabranson Date: July 25th, 2005 02:31 am (UTC) (Link)
According to his cousin the Brazillian in question had excellent English. Also being restrained can still give you use of your fingers and all he would have needed was a split second to press the detonator/click the battery into place for the whole carriage, police and civilians, to go boom.

It is a very unfortunate incident but in this case I'd actually support the police in their actions. The man ran when challenged (whatever his reasons) and the police involved had enough suspicion that he was a clear and present danger to life that they took the threat down before others could be harmed.

In the light of recent events I feel most people would have done the same. If he'd have detonated and it came to light the police were present there would have been a shitstorm bigger than the one now.

If there's one thing that I learnt from living in the States is NEVER run away from armed police - regardless of your innocence or guilt.
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: July 25th, 2005 08:35 am (UTC) (Link)
Even with poor English, policias is close enough to police to be intelligible either way, I feel. I've had 'polizei' shouted at me and the non-German-speakers with me understood it well enough to stand still for the Stasi(!).

My feelings on this one are roughly the same as sesquipedality's. I grew up around guns, which is unusual in Britain, and I know that the first thing to understand is that if someone is pointing a gun at you, they intend to use it if provoked. You don't run from armed men, whether they're criminals or police. It turns a possibility into a near-certainty, whatever their motive for shooting might be.
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bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: July 25th, 2005 09:40 am (UTC) (Link)
Or guilty, of course. (About anything, not specifically what they shot him for.)
owdbetts From: owdbetts Date: July 26th, 2005 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, sounds like he was guilty of not buying a tube ticket...
owdbetts From: owdbetts Date: July 26th, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
If he'd have detonated and it came to light the police were present there would have been a shitstorm bigger than the one now.

This is the argument that Tony Blair is pushing, but I think it's completely bogus. It's the means we're interested in, not the ends.

If, for sake of argument, they had no reasonable reason for suspecting him, and failed to adequately warn him, then their actions would have been no more acceptable if they'd just happened to shoot a terrorist by sheer chance.

On the contrary, if they really did have good reason to suspect him, clearly identified themselves as armed police and told him to stop, then that makes their actions more acceptable. If their actions really were necessary and appropriate to protect the public, then they don't become any less appropriate just because the police were unlucky and got the wrong man...


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