E Mullah الیکٹرونک مُلا: Argh! …. Police Brutality? …. Innocent Victim? … War on terror! ...OR ... Asian Muslim Watch hysteria? .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Argh! …. Police Brutality? …. Innocent Victim? … War on terror! ...OR ... Asian Muslim Watch hysteria?


When I read the news of unidentified man shot to death with five bullets in Stockwell Subway Station, London I was shocked to read the reportage of killing.

London Police Kill Suspect in Subway: "'They came flying onto the platform and these guys just threw this man into the open doors of the train,' Martin said, according to the Guardian website. 'Then I heard the shots". It sounded like a silencer gun going off, and then there was blind panic, with people shouting and screaming and just running away.'"

Plainclothes police engaged in the frenetic hunt for fugitives involved in London's transit bombings pursued a suspect into an Underground train Friday and shot him to death in front of screaming and cowering passengers.

In the moments before he was shot, the suspect "looked like a cornered fox," Whitby said. "He looked petrified."

If they had him down why they had to shot five bullets in his head and torso. If he was linked to terrorist attacks he could have been a good source of information. However the way he was killed it appeared like a trigger-happy culture. Finally today British police’s anonymous sources are indicating that he was Jean Charles de Menezes, 27 a Brazilian and was not linked to terrorism attacks in any way.

Collateral damage?


Racially profiled?

After four successful blasts and four failed attempts London’s hysteria for Asian-Muslim-watch and hyped frenzy for the terror suspects is understandable but what is not understandable is that if he was almost caught why they riddled his body with five bullets.

Hours after the shooting, Police Commissioner Ian Blair said the victim was "directly linked" to the investigations into attacks Thursday and July 7. In the latter, suicide bombings on trains and a bus killed 56 people, including four attackers.
Police initially said the victim attracted police attention because he left a house that was under surveillance after Thursday's bungled bombings, in which devices planted on three subway trains and a double-decker bus failed to detonate properly. Stockwell is near Oval station, one of those targeted.
"He was then followed by surveillance officers to the station. His clothing and his behavior at the station added to their suspicions," police said Friday.
But Saturday, a police official said on condition of anonymity that Menezes was "not believed to be connected in any way to any of the London bombings."
"For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets," a spokesman said on condition of anonymity, which is police policy.
However, police did not explain what went wrong or say whether Menezes had done anything illegal.
In Brazil, the Foreign Ministry said it was "shocked and perplexed" by the death of Menezes, whom it did not name but described as "apparently the victim of a lamentable mistake."
The ministry said it expected British authorities to explain the circumstances of the shooting, and Foreign Minister Celso Amorim would try to arrange a meeting with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw during a visit to London.
"The police acted to do what they believed necessary to protect the lives of the public," he said. "This tragedy has added another victim to the toll of deaths for which the terrorists bear responsibility."

Civilized socities cannot blame a single person or group or event for such a lopsided police performance. There is a need for some decent explanation.
Livingstone drew a hard line before the mistake became clear, declaring that anyone believed to be a suicide bomber faced a "shoot-to-kill policy."
The question is whether he was "believed" or "appeared" to be a suicide bomber. Everyone knows about police brutality in my country Pakistan. However, when it comes to war on terror they do their best to catch them alive so that they can solve the riddles and uncover hidden paths. They do however kill when they have to cover up something. Being an ex-colonial state Pakistan police has a huge pandora box of inhereted brutaility culture. It may be possible to draw some perallels between Pakistani and British Police.

By the way! Britian is a very well known police state. So this definitely needs lot of explanation.

Update: (July 25, 2005 5:35 pm) Recent news indicate 8 bullets instead of five. It seems like purpose was to kill in rage not to disable or catch the suspect. So far, no news on what he was hiding under his coat.

Earlier, Prime Minister Tony Blair apologized for the killing of a Brazilian electrician mistaken for a terrorist as officials confirmed that undercover police shot him eight times — one in the shoulder, seven in the head. Blair also urged Britons to come forth with information on the fugitive bombers.

Update: July 27, 2005

In Britain, a Divide Over Racial Profiling: "Beyond the killing itself, what shocked many Londoners was the discovery that Menezes had been killed under instructions that had never been publicly articulated, which allow officers to shoot in the head someone they believe is about to commit a suicide bombing. Code-named Operation Kratos, the policy was put in place after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

'Shoot first and ask questions later is what we've heard happening in Iraq,' Masroor said. 'It's not what we expected to happen here.'

Former police commissioner John Stevens stunned many over the weekend when he wrote in a newspaper column that the policy had been imported from Israel, where the authorities had drawn a stark conclusion: 'There is only one sure way to stop a suicide bomber determined to fulfill his mission: destroy his brain instantly, utterly.'

Ian Blair, Stevens's successor as police commissioner, further fueled the debate when he told a Sky television interviewer that, despite his deep regrets over Menezes's death, the same thing could happen again.

The ensuing debate has not followed the usual political divide here. London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who usually is far to the left of Prime Minister Tony Blair's government, has urged understanding for the police. 'Consider the choice that faced police officers at Stockwell last Friday -- and be glad you did not have to take it,' he wrote in Monday's Evening Standard.

But Tim Hames, a conservative columnist for the Times newspaper, urged a reexamination. 'There is a world of difference between a plainclothes policeman finding himself riding on the Tube and spotting a man with a large bag behaving in a manner that makes him a potential suicide bomber and shooting him, and chasing a person onto a train carriage and firing at him," Hames wrote."


  • Not to make fun of the situation, but if I was a Pakistani or a brown skinned person living in London, I would stop wearing a jacket, and stop using public transport.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wednesday, July 27, 2005 4:19:00 PM  

  • I understand your anguish and fears. The only thing we can atleast do is that try to raise awarness about the situation. Engage youth in dialogue to prevent these acts and at the same time work with public organizations to ensure the safety of those who can come under fire for no reason.

    By Anonymous Emullah, at Wednesday, July 27, 2005 4:44:00 PM  

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