Adam Ash

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Friday, July 29, 2005

Blogger on London cops' shoot-to-kill policy

Hey Una - A lot of people seem to be outraged that policing isn't a logical, binary and mathematical discipline of triaging out the psychos from the innocents.
Not me. I expect the police to make A LOT of mistakes. That's exactly why they shouldn't be running around with weapons.
Using hindsight we are all getting outraged that extreme force is now being used by the police and spewing out what the police should have, shouldna' have done at the moment of truth.
I wasn't using hindsight when I first heard about the Stockwell incident. All I knew was that a single man had been brought down by police and that while he was already on the floor had been shot five times. Even before I knew they had the wrong guy I was shocked at what sounded like an execution. The moment of truth came (I hope) many hours later when the police realised they had fucked up. Now suddenly we are supposed to overlook that an innocent man was killed because he COULD have been carrying a bomb. That simply doesn't wash with me.
A line has been crossed now in that locals, Brits, are doing suicide missions, and so how we respond to that risk needs serious quiet thought by us all before reflex outrage.
I've been giving this serious quiet thought since the initial blasts and not once did it occur to me that the best way to deter future attacks was to arm the police and give them a shoot to kill policy. The threat is slight and does not justify that kind of response.
I don't think Mike you can turn a blind eye and continue in a Jerry Cornelius like daze oscillating between work, rest and espresso blogging as if nothing has happened.
Ohhh now I'm all horny for a dart-gun. Where is my blind eye again? Yes something happened - something very similar has happened in London MANY times. These attacks knock the bombings in London up around the 120 figure. I can carry on working, resting and blogging for the next ten years in London and the only way that this new wave of terror will affect me is by offering me plenty of fodder to write about.
If we were looking at a constant wave of attacks like the poor bastards in Iraq then I'd probably be more afraid, but at the time of writing 8 easily lead fuckwits with crappy bombs are about as scary as Paris Hilton flavoured horror movies.
Lord Stevens admitted last week in the NOTW that the police have taken training from Israel on new policing techniques, and that training played out at Stockwell. Only a matter of time before CAT heavy machinery arrives too no doubt.
Well that's the fucked up thing. Israel should have been coming to us for advice on how to sort out its problems and not the other way around. All that Israeli training has led to is one dead guy from Brazil - sending the bulldozers into Leeds is on the same level as armed police swarming the tube.
New York has not yet to cross this line as their enemy is foreign, their closest experience is the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, a loner with a bomb. Now we have Egyptians killing Egyptians, Brits killing Brits, and so on ... this new mindset hasn't been written in to the Eastenders and Corrie scripts yet.
Oh give it time. I'm surprised no Americans have realised how easy it would be to blow up a bus or subway yet, but the fact that it hasn't happened only points to how SMALL the threat is. If there were really so much to worry about from homegrown terrorists there or here we'd be numb to this kind of thing by now. The FEAR far outweighs the numbers.
I don't like the idea of my police force killing my citizens because they acted in a rash manner. With hindsight (which I HATE using because it's silly) we would NEVER have gone into Iraq in the first place and given these guys the motivation to come to London two weeks or so ago. I think you'll find the EASY option is simply to let the police and politicians do whatever the fuck they like. I hold the terrorists responsible for their actions, but I also hold the police responsible for theirs. Perhaps more so. The terrorists were doing their 'job' while the police were doing quite the opposite.
I find it easier to live with terrorism because it's rare. I find it difficult to swallow extreme police measures because that kind of shit will be around long after the terrorists are gone.


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