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Triggerhappy Bobbies

May 8, 2006

First, they shoot an innocent electrician.Then they shoot the messenger.

According to British newspaper The Sun, none of the cops involved in shooting Jean Charles de Menezes on a Tube train will face charges. Menezes was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot eight – 8 – times at Stockwell Station, South London, on July 22 last year — the day after bombes went off on several London Tube train and a bus.

Following orders

An authoritative legal source told The Sun:

– Mistakes were made but they do not amount to criminal misconduct. The firearms officers were acting under orders. Those in charge of surveillance believed he was a suspect. There is no realistic prospect that they will be prosecuted.

It has been thoroughly established, most notably at Nürnberg, that following orders is NOT an excuse for murder. Also, I can think of nothing whatsoever that will excuse the senior police officers ordering their subordinates to shoot a man eight times at close range without any evidence that he was guilty of, planning or even vaguely contemplating any crime at all.

Neither can I find any excuse for changing the log after the murder, thus hampering the following investigation. Nevertheless, the sources quoted by The Sun believe that all officers involved in this brutal, if not cold blooded, slaughter of an innocent man will get away with murder.

Shooting the messenger

The only person facing any sort of punishment following the murder is Brian Paddick. Paddick, a high profile Scotland Yard officer, gave evidence to the official inquiry into the shooting that challenged claims by his boss, the Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Ian Blair. According to The Guardian, Paddick is now in danger of losing his job for making a crack in the blue wall of silence.

Scotland Yard chiefs have told Mr Paddick they want to move him to a role where he does not come into the force’s central London headquarters and has little contact with the public until later this year when he reaches 30 years’ service and can retire on a full police pension.

Jenny Jones, a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority which oversees the force, said to The Guardian:

– It does look like a punishment for the IPCC statement and the alleged leak. We will be asking questions about this.

Asking questions is mighty fine, and certainly required in a case like this. But it is only the beginning. Someone really SHOULD lose their jobs over the Menezes case. And it’s NOT Brian Paddick.

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