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Panic In the Streets of London

July 24, 2005

Well, I’ve been reading and participating in a few political discussions over at several groups I belong to at Flickr.

I certainly don’t wish to create yet another heated debate here BUT – was it entirely neccessary to pump five bullets at close range into the head of a man who as it turns out was innocent? I’m surprised that most people I know think ‘yes’ it was. Personally, I’m not so sure.

I am also ashamed to admit that I have had my random moments of fear and un-founded suspicion. Like a week a go I saw a man with a new black rucksack waiting to get on my train – I chose not to get on the train as I judged him and judged him wrongly. I felt incredibly stupid for doing that. Last Thursday I had a second of heart-stopping panic as again, in a packed train I saw a man fiddling with a black wire. He was de-tangling a mobile phone charger cable which was not attached to anything at either end – but I had to check first.

Apparently, the Brazilian man that was shot dead by the police at Stockwell had changed his normal route to work as he was afraid of further terrorist attacks. How ironic is that? A friend I was talking to about it reminded me that we are ‘at war’ (well, no we are not officially but I see what he means) and in war innocent people get killed. I’m not so sure I agree with that but I know there are alot of people that would.

Personally, I think the police over-reacted at Stockwell. Seeing as they had caught up with their suspect and had over-powered him enough to pump five bullets into his head, it surely wouldn’t have taken a second more to immobilise him safely, search and take him away to investigate further? The ‘wires’ that were seen coming out of his coat were probably nothing more than headphones but my point is that sometimes people see what they want to see – re: my phone charger wire above. It takes less than a second to check.

I know, I know – his big maistake was to run away when cautioned to stop but there must have been other reasons for that – and why we’ll probably never know. Sad and occasionally depressing that we have to live in such increasingly Orwellian times.

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  1. Ivan permalink

    My theory, FWIW and not very original, is that the guys who shot him were some very secret and scary army undercover unit who should never have been allowed anywhere near the public. Being trained only to kill, that’s what they did. And being a secretive sort of nation, we’ll now never ever reveal their existence. The entire UK police force would rather be tainted by association with assassins than reveal that we were using dodgy soldiers on the streets of London.<br/>I mean, look: the police who’ve now arrested several _real_ ers, have managed to do that without letting off a single bullet. They have used various gas and electrial devices, but on the whole they have behaved like vaguely decent british bobbies. The type who would generally rather sit on a man’s head than shoot him seven times in it.

  2. Jag permalink

    The number of times I’ve had to de-tangle a mobile phone headset wire – makes me wonder why they haven’t invented a tangle-free way of managing these things.

  3. Sarah Bull permalink

    i was forwarded this the other day and I thought that it totally encapsualated the feelings in London. It is so wierd that this film is coming out so near to the attacks when everyone is feeling so strongly:<br/>

  4. rockmother permalink

    The excerpt that you sent on the link is pretty indicative of the prejudiced bigots that seem to exist in this country. Awful. I can’t believe people can be so thick.

  5. rockmother permalink

    Ivan – as always (despite you are currently injured by a cobblers last (!) phnaar) you have a valid point. Def a case of pumped up officer over-doing it, losing it and not acting according to training.

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