13 December 2008

Now We Know, The Police ARE Above The Law.

It is pretty clear from this judgement that the jury did not believe a word the police officers said.

Obviously the police did not go out to kill an innocent man and were under tremendous pressure on the day in question, but that does not excuse their trigger happy behaviour in shooting Jean Charles De Menezes.

From the court case, it is clear that the police will not be prosecuted for unlawful killing or perjury even when the evidence suggests overwhelmingly that that is precisely what has occurred. One law for the police, another for us mere plebs has to be the conclusion we take. Nothing much changes there then.


  1. This one, I believe would have been an ideal opportunity for jury nullification. What, I wonder, would have happened if the jury unanimously defied the coroner and found for unlawful killing - because let's be clear here, that's exactly what it was.

  2. Longrider,

    it's a shame they didn't do that. Juries need more power, like under the American system.

  3. Longrider, TT: I think it was a 8-2 majority on the jury - so you wouldn't get your unanimity, but I like your thinking. Wouldn't the jury be in contempt or some such if they defied the judge?

    You will also be pleased to hear I disagree with Ken on this one.

  4. Neil,

    that last line made me chuckle.

    I've no idea what the judge would have done or could have done, and I don't understand how he could block the jury from deciding it was unlawful, which seems to be exceeding his authority. Clearly he thought there was a good chance that the jury would rule this, otherwise why block it?

  5. I agree, I disagree with Ken, too. I don't really understand where he is coming from on this, unless perhaps he has got too emotionally identified with support for Ian Blair to take an objective view.

    I heard him and Gareth Pierce on the Today programme. The one reservation Ken did express was that maybe there should have been more public debate about the fact that there was, and had been for some time, a shoot-to-kill policy in relation to suspected terrorists, but this was not widely known among the public. But Gareth Pierce pointed out that the police talked a lot about commando structures and what not but were absolutely unfitted for such a military-style role. There was an interesting piece in the Independent the other week by John Rentoul who said that the police are totally out of control. I don't think that is new, actually. We who were active in the NCCL in the 1960s were saying that then.

  6. What I have been trying, (and failing), to find is any clear report on why the coroner ruled "Unlawful Killing" an unreachable verdict, (I have been assured by a friend with considerable experience with Coroner's Courts that he was within his powers to make such a ruling provided the basis was sufficient).

    The ruling looks dodgy as hell and I expect it to be appealed.