24 January 2009


Wednesday night's drama 'Stockwell' on ITV1 brought together two of my biggest prejudices - my hatred for rubbish ITV and the incompetent arrogant police that we have. Prejudices which my wife would tell you make my judgement on this not worth much.

I am sure we can all agree that in the aftermath of the tube bombings and the failed bombers that were still on the loose - the police were under impossible pressure to deliver 'something' and that a catalog of failures by the police led to a tragedy - firearms officers late for work and faffing around wasting time, inadequate procedures to ensure proper surveillance, woeful communications, poor ID photo, an order 'from above' to 'shoot to kill' without clear guidelines of how to apply it. All of this could be forgiven by myself - we all make mistakes and hopefully learn from them.

What I cannot forgive though is the sense that the police were in any way 'protecting us' with their actions or that any of this was unavoidable or that individual police should avoid prosecution - all the officers involved are back in the same jobs (or promoted).

If De Menezes had been shot outside his flat - I could have understood how it maybe protected the public. If De Menezes had been carrying a bag I could understand him being shot dead on public transport - even though it was clear they gave him plenty of time to detonate any device if he had of been a terrorist .

What is clear to me is that this was a 'revenge' killing - a take that for the events of the previous week - an officer with anger in his eyes and a sense of needing to do 'something' murdered a member of the public who clearly was not carrying a bomb. Even with the right man - this operation would have protected no-one and coupled with the incompetence of the police it was almost bound to end up with an innocent man's death.

ITV have typically let the police off the hook with this poor examination of events and no real mention of the ensuing attempt at a cover up, yet alone the outright contradictory evidence from eyewitnesses present.

1 comment:

  1. Well said.

    It's just as unclear now as the day it happened why the police (if it was the police - for all we know the shooters may have been military) killed de Menezes.