I doubt I’m the only one more than a little disturbed by the police shooting dead that Brazilian bloke last week.
Three things stuck out:
1) He had nada to do with any terrorist activity, as was suspected by the plain clothes officers who shot him down. However, he was undoubtedly pursued on account on him having a near-matching hue of skin to the Villains of the Moment. Are the "security" measures so arbitrary as to immediately have anyone who bears a passing resemblance under the banner of suspect or prospective terrorist?
2) According to eyewitnesses on the train, the police had restrained the bloke before filling his head full of lead – for me this is probably the most creepy element of this whole incident! They’d rendered the poor bastard immobile – a non-threat – before killing him. If they’d shot him whilst he was still a "threat" (i.e: running away), their actions may well have had more in the way of logic and rationality in their favour. However, as things stand, I’m having a real problem grasping the rationale behind the murder – a bloke restrained and shot down for what? Jumping over a fucking ticket barrier? So much for the abolishment of state executions!
(Pondering this disturbing incident I just had to wonder – is this in fact London Transport’s new secret initiative to clamp down on fair dodgers? If not, Ken Livingstone must be kicking himself right about now!)
3) Even with all this, some may yet take allegiance with the cops on this one, on the grounds that the guy was resisting arrest or whatever; from the police perspective, certainly, but – if the earwitnesses are to be believed – the officers had not in fact identified themselves as such in any form during the incident. So, from the perspective of snuffed-out Jean Charles de Menezes, four dodgy looking blokes were chasing him for reasons unknown.
I’ve nowt against stopping the terrorist cells in our midst, and recognize the validity of shoot-to-kill measures against such terrorists "controversial" as they may be. However, this rather arbitrary and uncalled-for implementation seems does much to make the line between protector and predator harder to discern…..