Scotland Yard will allow two firearms officers who shot and killed Jean Charles de Menezes to return to frontline duties, even though an inquest jury fundamentally rejected their account of the shooting and criticised almost every aspect of the police operation, the Guardian has learned.
Thanks to our frequent commenter Tom for the heads up. I had missed this story, interestingly it does not appear on the BBC, but if you remember we had discussed it before. At that time I referred to these cops as "trigger-happy," and questioned if it was right to only punish their superiors. It now seems clear that is exactly what's happening. But, given the public uproar, and the international attention, the police officers involved may not escape unscathed.
Crucially, the jury did not believe the testimony of C12, the specialist firearms officer who fired the first shot. He said he had shouted the warning "armed police" at de Menezes, and that the Brazilian had stood up and moved towards him aggressively, as if to close down the distance between them. They also rejected the testimony of officer C2, who said he shouted "armed police" as he put his gun to de Menezes' head and fired. None of the civilians in the carriage heard the warnings.
It sounds to me like this is just another example of people abusing their power. I understand the heat-of-the-chase factor and the incredible stress associated with pursuing a possible terrorist, but that's exactly why police officers have to be held to a higher standard. These cops are more culpable than many of the killers we enjoy discussing and dissecting.
What's your opinion? Do you think this has something to do with the general tyranny which is taking over the U.K.? That seems to be Tom's point in commenting yesterday.
If you told people in the UK 20 years ago that their entire lives, from emails to phone conversations would be monitored, down to having the highest number of CCTV cameras per capita of any place on earth after having been forcibly disarmed by their government for "their own good" they would have laughed at you. Where are they now?
I've yet to meet a British person who feels that way. What do you think?