Police: Fatal Subway Shooting Was Mistake

The man shot dead by police at Stockwell Underground station yesterday morning had nothing to do with Thursday’s abortive London bomb attacks, Scotland Yard said tonight.

The rest of the sad story…timesonline.co.uk/article/0,22989-1706021,00.html

Scotland Yard said Mr Menezes, who lived in Brixton, south London, was completely unconnected to the bomb attacks and added: “For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets.”

I wonder why he ran?

Police also said a suspect package found in north-west London on Saturday may be linked to Thursday’s attacks.
… interesting…

I think it is a stretch to say that the shooting was a mistake. The man was running. He was told to stop by large group of police with guns drawn. He refused and jumped over the paystiles and into a full train. If he were carrying a bomb he could have killed many people. Under the circumstances, the head shot was called for. The shooting was unfortunate but not a mistake.

[quote=Ani Ibi]I think it is a stretch to say that the shooting was a mistake. The man was running. He was told to stop by large group of police with guns drawn. He refused and jumped over the paystiles and into a full train. If he were carrying a bomb he could have killed many people. Under the circumstances, the head shot was called for. The shooting was unfortunate but not a mistake.
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The shooting was a disaster in practical terms. It gives those on the other side an issue they can use against us.

The man was already in custody – they had him down when he was shot. In the US, we’d call that murder.

[quote=vern humphrey]The shooting was a disaster in practical terms. It gives those on the other side an issue they can use against us.

The man was already in custody – they had him down when he was shot. In the US, we’d call that murder.
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I think you go to far when you say that the man was in custody.

This is defined as, immediate charge and control (as over a ward or a suspect) exercised by a person or an authority.

As far as I recall, they did not have him under control, he was still running and not following lawful commands.

In the US we would call that a justified shooting but then the bleeding hearts would cry and the officers would end up being charged with something.

[quote=ByzCath]As far as I recall, they did not have him under control, he was still running and not following lawful commands…
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He had been tackled, and had two officers on top of him when the third shot him in the head at contact range. He was in custody.

[quote=vern humphrey]The shooting was a disaster in practical terms. It gives those on the other side an issue they can use against us.

The man was already in custody – they had him down when he was shot. In the US, we’d call that murder.
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In Britain they call it avoiding detonating a possible suicide bomber. As for issues to be used against us: all issues are used against us.

[quote=vern humphrey]The shooting was a disaster in practical terms. It gives those on the other side an issue they can use against us.

The man was already in custody – they had him down when he was shot. In the US, we’d call that murder.
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In Britain they call it avoiding detonating a possible suicide bomber in proximity to potential vics. As for issues to be used against us: all issues are used against us.

[quote=vern humphrey]He had been tackled, and had two officers on top of him when the third shot him in the head at contact range. He was in custody.
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The problem is that the police were not uniformed, but plainclothes. In the chaos, with people yelling “GET OUT”!!!, how many would stop if they did not recognize the police?

I was listening to Rush Limbaugh stand-in Roger Hedgecock Friday extoling the acumen of British law enforcement and denigrating American cops. He said something like, and I’m paraphrasing, they took only 5 shots and put them where they needed to go while American cops would fire about 900 rounds and not hit anything.

I wonder if we’ll get a retraction or apology from Mr Hedgecock, or whether this story will get flushed down the memory hole.

[quote=vern humphrey]He had been tackled, and had two officers on top of him when the third shot him in the head at contact range. He was in custody.
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I wasn’t there. I know the police have asked witnesses to come forward. I gather an internal investigation is to be expected. It’ll come out at the investigation. The man was first seen on the street. He was already running. A large group of police gave chase. He ran into the Tube entrance, down the stairs, jumped over a turnstile, ran onto the platform and entered a train full of passengers.

This obviously happened over a period of time with police shouting ‘Handsup.’ I believe when the police are shouting at a person ‘handsup’ the person is required to surrender. This person did not. This person ran straight towards hundreds of potential vics who were scrunched together in a confined space.

Yes, in ordinary circumstances, the man would be in custody once the police jumped on him. However, the man’s actions were suspect and a decision was made in the heat of the moment, much weight being given to the proximity of large numbers of potential vics. In the heat of the moment the man’s bizarre behaviour could have meant that he was carrying explosives. That’s why the headshot was taken and not the usual body shot.

The police explained that, in a situation like that, if the person is conscious a detonator can be triggered, even by accident. Therefore ‘unconscious’ meant headshot, given I am assuming the weapons which the officers had on them at the time. And headshot resulted in death. Used to be that London bobbies only carried sticks. Times have changed. I doubt if these were bobbies anyway.

It is a sad thing to have happened. Why did the man run? Could have been guilty mind. Could have been mental illness. Could have been lack of cultural acclimatization combined with lack of English language familiarity.

[quote=gnjsdad]The problem is that the police were not uniformed, but plainclothes. In the chaos, with people yelling “GET OUT”!!!, how many would stop if they did not recognize the police?
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I have actually heard two versions. One is that the police were plainsclothes. Another is that they had flack jackets. What’s the final story?

I would agree that if there were only plainsclothes officers, the man would have been extremely confused and terrified, causing him to run.

Is there not a set thing the police have to say before shooting, like ‘Handsup, police’?

[quote=Ani Ibi]IIt is a sad thing to have happened. Why did the man run? Could have been guilty mind. Could have been mental illness. Could have been lack of cultural acclimatization combined with lack of English language familiarity.
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Or, he didn’t recognize the police. I understand they were plainclothes. I’m not too familiar with British law enforcement, but I think bobbies don’t all carry guns. Plainclothes cops probably do over there.

The suspect had to stop and not run, if he didn´t, is normal, shooting him. You have to listen the police and make what they´re saying.

I thought this story was really really strange.

Why would he run, the only option I could think of is what was stated, that he was confused and scared. No polie officers carry guns in Britain, only a special division of police, and as they were in plain clothes, he probably would have been very scared.

I also thought that the fact they shot him 5 times in the head was a bit extreme, was that really necessary.

[quote=Libero]I also thought that the fact they shot him 5 times in the head was a bit extreme, was that really necessary.
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Not that I’m saying the shooting itself was justified in its particular circumstances, but shooting someone is always a bit extreme. When a police officer shoots someone, the intention isn’t to get that someone to surrender. The intention is to kill, and so any well-trained police officer is going to fire several times.

As a cop friend of mine has said: “I’d rather be tried by twelve than be carried by six.”

The number of shots isn’t relevant. It is the circumstances that are, and I don’t see enough information in any news reports to form a sensible opinion one way or the other.

– Mark L. Chance.

This is a very sad day and there will be a lot of people wondering what to do next. Police shooting people in UK is rare indeed. The majority of Police Officers here don’t even carry guns. Detectives do not routinely carry firearms - special orders and permissions have to be sought. And of course, Police can only carry the weapon they have been trained to use.

It is far too early to speculate on what happened and why. I guess that information will seep out over the next days and weeks.

There is an internal investigation which will run parallel to an investigation which will be carried out by another Police Service. This latter will be, in all respects be a murder investigation if the Coroner agrees that this man was killed unlawfully. At the end the officers will be charged with murder and they will stand trial for murder. Again, this is standard process in UK. Two firearms officers are going to stand trial in the Autumn for a shooting that occurred 5 years ago - another case of mistaken identity. Over last ten years there have been 5 such trials - in all cases the officers were aquitted btw.

Plains clothes officers do now wear Kevlar body armour. Didn’t use to but two detectives were murdered (1 in 2003, another in 2004) trying to arrest suspects who stabbed the officers. Of course they put it on ‘last minute’ before getting up close and personal.

Under British law I doubt this man was ‘in custody’ when he was shot. It was all ‘heat of the moment’ stuff. He was down on the ground, and officers were ‘all over him’ I guess but that isn’t ‘in custody’. Not 'til they read him his rights and put the cuffs on. No, this was a scrum, and panick was setting in (my speculation).

I think that last 7 July, in the COBRA meeting (the Government emergency committee) a decision was taken to issue police ‘shoot to kill’ instructions. I believe that they were acting for the good, having been advised by the Israelis about suicide bomber tactics. The Police officers were ordered to aim for the head. I will not comment further, isn’t my place to.

I would stand by the Police Officers who, of course have been suspended with immediate effect until the inquiry and trial take place. I think it was such a hard decision to make. Sure they are trained for that but training doesn’t make it easier.

For its part, the government will be doing some re-thinking about the tactics to use to ensure safety and still continue the major investigation.

[quote=Cockney Clive]Not 'til they read him his rights…
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Do the Brits have an equivalent of Miranda?

It is amazing that the man was running. He could have been scared and jittery by the previous weeks of terrorist alerts, but all the more reason to stop for the police. Did he understand English? That is the problem with people living in a country and not uderstanding the language. It may still happen that we find out that he did have some ties. He was a person of interest to the police, so there may still be more to follow. His manner of was suspicious so it still does not add up. Considering that terrorist are still finding targets for suicide bombers, then this type of thing may happen again. Is is very sad.

[quote=Fitz]Is is very sad.
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I agree that it is sad. I am good with waiting for the results of the internal investigation. Since there are so many plain clothes police officers on the streets, the public will need some additional instruction as to how to respond to them if stopped. Surely there are certain things which the officers have to say and surely they have to flash a badge or some other form of identification.

As a Brit who uses a lot of public transport in Manchester (probably number 2 target for terrorists in Britain), i hope the shoot to kill policy remains, and if they saw someone suspicous wandering about Manchester Picadilly station who had just come from a flat suspected of containing terrorists, then asked him to stop several times, and he ran onto a train full of people, i hope theyd shoot him.

Also, a lot of us brits are whining about the police (its what we do best) but thered be more of us moaning if theyd have hesitated and the guy had blown up a train carriage.

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