Probably the most contentious issue to have arisen from the London bombings so far has been the ‘shoot to kill’ policy adopted by the London police in response to the attacks. Just over 2 weeks after the multiple bombings this policy was enacted when a Brazilian man was shot 5 times in the head as he attempted to board a tube.
I blogged about it just after the fact, and since then information has come to light that put initial reports into doubt, and often complete dismissal.
Now ITV has gotten its hands on early findings from a police report into the incident which states that the man was 1) Wearing a denim and not padded jacket, 2) was walking normally 3) did not vault the turnstyles 4) only began to run when he saw a train stopped at the station and 5) was held down by a security officer while another shot him 5 times. It seems that the horrible events all began when a policeman monitoring the victims block of flats (where a suspect for the failed attacks a day previous lived) left his station to ‘relieve’ himself. It is entierly possible that this simple mistake led to mass confusion within the police force which has led to this fatal level of incompetence.
Why didn’t the camera have 2 officers rather than 1? It’s a simple question. I’m sure forces were stretched after the failed attacks but if police are monitoring a suspect you’d think they could afford an extra officer.
It is likely that this will be forgotten about. No politician will step down, that’s for sure. The shoot to kill policy will probably be kept for now as it will be for ‘the greater good’. There is almost certainly going to be a lawsuit and some kind of compensation will be given to the victims families, after all the police gunned down an innocent man as a result of their own incompetence and for no other reason.
If this will mean that people are extremely nervous of their actions in regular situations from now on is yet to be seen, if this will lead to the police being extremely nervous when dealing with a potentially dangerous situation (for fear of getting it wrong) is also a possibility.