Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Riding While Non-White 

So as reported this morning on BBC, and by ITV, who came into possession of the leaked documents via the Independent Police Complaints Commission, and later in CNN, we see that the boy shot by London police for a terrorist was actually a commuter with the bad luck to be non-Anglo. And not only was he not wearing a big heavy coat, he was not running, didn't jump over anything, took a slow escalator to the subway, and was sitting down when they repeatedly shot him to death. The description of the video paints a picture nothing like the "ticking bomb" that supposedly led to an unfortunate, frantic split-second decision to kill him. In fact, it looks as thought there had been plenty of time to verify his identity, or at least apprehend him without gunplay:
"ITV News, citing documents and photographs, reported that de Menezes was not carrying any bags when he entered the Stockwell Tube station and was wearing a denim jacket, rather than a bulky coat as police had previously said.
De Menezes walked at a normal pace, did not vault any barriers and even stopped to pick up a newspaper, ITV News reported.
He descended to the train slowly on an escalator, then ran toward the open subway car and took a seat, according to ITV, which based its account on a document outlining what was captured on surveillance footage.
At about the same time, armed officers were provided with positive identification that de Menezes was either Hamdi Issac, also known as Osman Hussain, one of the suspected bombers from the day before, or another suspect, at which point he was shot, ITV News reported."
And when did this fatal misidentification occur?
"According to the network, the crucial mistake that led to de Menezes' death may have occurred that morning as he left his apartment, when surveillance officers spotted him and he was misidentified as a possible terrorist.
London police were authorized to shoot and kill suspects they believed might try to set off more subway bombs. Shortly after de Menezes' death, police justified their actions by saying he was acting suspiciously and tried to run from officers, forcing detectives to make a split-second decision to shoot him."
So they had a considerable amount of time to verify their identification, but didn't, then covered their fuck-up over with a thin layer of fine bobbie manure. Well done, lads. Worthy of L.A. and New York's finest. And to the defense that was raised earlier, that the cops risked the possibility that he could have been carrying a bomb and would have had time to blow up himself and those around him if they had confronted him, I'd say, if he was carrying a bomb, how likely would it have been that shooting at him could have set off that bomb? I mean. Please.

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