Jul 22, 2005

South Asian Man Shot 5 Times in London

Things are getting pretty crazy in London. Two weeks after the first attack in London, and 1 day after the second attack, the london police have shot a man near the tube for "wearing a large coat" and fleeing when pursued. They shot him 5 times, apparently at close quarters, once he fell down.

The developing story can be tracked here and here. There's an eyewitness report on BBC here. This is pretty crazy, and if he was truly trying to blow something up, that's one thing, although this seems pretty gruesome, and to my knowledge, London police were famous for not carrying guns, so this is indicative of a much more aggressive, and perhaps extremely dangerous, approach towards Homeland Security. We haven't even had a shooting by officials in the United States in 4 years since September 11th, so, this is pretty severe.

Not to mention that if it ends up that he was not a bomber, or up to anything wrong, then this is a new level of state-sanctioned violence that has to be stopped. I am not very familiar with the British system of justice, but I do hope that this is sorted out soon, and that we have more news about this dreadful development.

I just hope that commuting while brown isn't the new terror in Britain, and I hope that copycats don't have a field-day with this example. Let's sit and wait for more news.

But regardless, this feels eerily reminiscent of the Amadou Diallo case, with multiple shots to take down a suspect, though this was in the middle of the day, in front of witnesses. Actually, we'll have to wait for the facts on this one, but I don't want to make the mistake of drawing analogies that shouldn't be drawn.

13 comments:

someone else said...

This is the part that scared me:

"One of them was carrying a black handgun - it looked like an automatic - they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him."...

Officers would be trained to aim for the head as shots to the torso could trigger a hidden explosive device, he added.


But, although I am sad for this man, I'm going to withhold judgement about the specific act until I find out exactly what the officers were doing; if they were trying to avert a bombing, then it would be a little more explicable, if still tragic.

That said, I also expect a full accounting of this incident--you don't sanction police officers jumping on top of someone and kill them and being traied to shoot people in the head without serious accountability measures.

Rage said...

I agree whole-heartedly. I anticipate this to be blogged to death, but the ramifications could be quite bleak for folks around the nation. Apparently, the officers were plain-clothes, and the take-down seems fortuitous (if he really tripped). I tremble to think if he was actually loaded, but... let's see.

Manish said...

If in fact this guy was carrying explosives, it's strange that he was carried out in a body bag. You'd expect a bomb robot to strip him first, looking for a belt.

Manish said...

One report says he was unarmed:

Initial examinations though, said Brunt, did not discover any explosives on the suspect.

someone else said...

Yes, I was watching BBC earlier and I think they said that the police said that he didn't have a bomb on him. Which further raises the question as to why they shot him in the head four times at close range. I should probably go read some more about this before making up my mind though. You would hope (perhaps fruitlessly?) that British authorities would be more sensible than Americans. Perhaps they're not as used to having guns ;)

Rage said...

I haven't seen any news since the morning, so I'll take a look before writing anything else - but I do hope that this isn't a case of the "eccentric man gets killed execution style in london" blues...

Manish said...

So far it's been reported the guy came out of a surveilled house, so he probably had some connection with the bombers. But in this specific incident he seems to have been unarmed. Else he would've blown himself up -or- they would've use a robot to disarm him and the body would've lain there for some time.

Did the cops act correctly? Not enough info yet. There was some blog speculation that they use multiple bullets to prevent nervous system reflexes after death which could detonate a bomb, but that doesn't make much sense IMO-- you'd have to sever the spinal cord.

Manish said...

The Times of London is confirming he was unarmed, but it's likely he was an accomplice in the bombings.

It is understood that he was found not to have been carrying a bomb...

After the suspect had been shot police sent a robot to examine the man, because of fears that any device could still prove a danger. But it is understood that no device was found...

Police are describing him as an “intimate accomplice of the cell”. His name and address were thought to have been found among the possessions left by the would-be bombers on Thursday.

Rage said...

Thanks for the updates, Manish - I definitely want to read more about this case, and see how it is handled by the media, the London police, and the community at large.

Manish said...

The cops now say the shooting was a mistake.

What a tragedy...

someone else said...

Tragedy my ass. That's criminal.

Manish said...

Sepia Mutiny thread here. Wanted to hold off until there was some clarity on what happened.

Rage said...

Manish - the SM post is well-balanced, and I'll send readers over, but I definitely feel saddened, and worried, by this.