Thursday, July 28, 2005

Worse and Worse

I was willing to give the British police a break on the whole "we shoot dusky people" thing. Really, after two bombings anybody can get twitchy. Then, while I was at the cottage, I heard the reports come out. Specifically, this one:
Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder, at Stockwell Tube station, south London, on Friday.
Ah, the picture starts to emerge. As more and more details have come to light, it looks like a) he wasn't wearing the bulky jacket the police say he did, and b) there was no good reason for him to have been suspected in the first place - except for the aformentioned dusky skin. My first reaction to the reports of Menezes being shot in the head 7 times was simple - he was dropped with the first shot to the shoulder, and then executed by an overzealous cop. That doesn't seem to be quite what happened, but in any case it looks like the police have screwed up badly. Some trigger-happy cop was put in a tense situation, and an innocent man is dead.

So what now? My vote is we do what we always do in murder cases - prosecute the offender. Cops are part of the system too, and frankly, I don't care what stress he was under. He's a cop, and stress is in the job description. The law makes allowances for these kinds of things, but we still have to apply it equally.

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