Monday, July 25, 2005

It's Okay, He Was Brown... 

I've waited to comment on the tragic case of Jean Charles de Menezes, the unfortunate Brazilian in the wrong place at the wrong time who was murdered by British police. And the right word is murdered -- what else do you call two men holding an innocent person down so that a third can shoot him in the head seven times?

Of course, the defense I've heard from the British police is, "What if he'd been a terrorist and we let him go?" True enough, and I was willing to give that sliver of possibility the benefit of the doubt -- maybe the kid acted suspiciously, maybe he ran toward a train fiddling with his jacket, maybe it was all a spur-of-the moment, unfortunate goof-up.

Except that the police trailed him for nearly a half-hour, from his front door to the tube station. Because de Menezes happened to live in a building that had been targeted in terror investigations, and because he wasn't white, plainclothesmen followed him. But they didn't detain him, thinking he might lead them to another terrorist.

And in these particulars, this becomes one enormous cock-up, an act of murder that could have been prevented. After all, in this age where innocent people are harrassed and threatened and strip-searched because some airport screener is in a pissy mood, why the hesitation by the police in this one instance, a hesitation that led to murder?

If they thought de Menezes were a bomb-toting terrorist, they should have grabbed him right there on the street and detained him. A minute or two of questions, he'd still be alive. Instead, he was executed, in public, and that's a scary thing.

I have no sympathy for terrorists, but I have empathy for human beings -- and de Menezes is another victim of terrorism. The pants-pissing paranoia that too many people fall victim to is what caused these three cops to disregard this innocent young man's humanity and slaughter him like a cow for Sunday dinner. And, in this regard, the terrorists actually win when they cause those who should be our protectors to act as our judge, jury and executioner, regardless of any facts or evidence otherwise.

What facts or evidence? None -- except three British cops saw brown guy. Reminder to the British people: this is the kind of thing, not even extended to murder, that caused five days of riots all over Los Angeles. Remember Rodney King? And I'm damn surprised that the people of London aren't rioting, except that they're so damn polite. (They need to import some Man United fans and get them worked up.)

I'm sure the apologists are making the argument that, had de Menezes been a terrorist and gotten on the train, more lives would have been lost. And my answer to that argument is, in this case, it's bullshit. The cops had nearly half an hour to determine whether he was a terrorist, and stop him before he got anywhere near the station. Now, if a plainclothes cop had been standing on the platform and somebody near him suddenly shouted, "Allah ackbar!", a bullet in the head would probably not be an over-reaction. De Menezes did nothing of the sort.

It's pretty simple. As soon as innocent people start getting killed by their own side to "protect" us, the war on terror has been lost. The terrorists have won. And I hope that the cop who fired those bullets into de Menezes's head goes to his grave with the knowledge that he is the person who lost the war.

Interesting. I hadn't heard this news. I've been trying to diet from shitty news for the past week. One can only take so much before they start to flip out.

What I find intriguing about this is that I have a new neighbor, real good dude it seems, who is from Liverpool. He, over a bunch of beers last Saturday said to me, "Yeah, they caught one of them bastards and blew his head off."
My instant reply was, "Are they SURE he was part of the group that did the bombing?"
"Yes", he said. "They're sure."
I was skeptical. I said, "But what if they are mistaken and killed an innocent dude?"
He said, "They're sure."

I probably won't bring it up to him. He'll know he was mistaken, just like the Officers who did this.

What a shame.
e said, "They're sure."

And, as I said above, the only reason they were "sure" is because he wasn't snow-white. But, really -- how stupid do you have to be to mix up a Brazilian with a Muslim? "Brown skin. Check. Nappy hair. Check. Going into train station..."

Tell your friend from Liverpool to get facked, as they'd say on the other side of the pond. As more information comes out, it's more and more obvious that these cops weren't sure at all, and their act of murder was pure racism in action.

And, why there aren't riots in the streets of London right now over this are a big mystery to me.

Except, of course, there are plenty of Brits who will just say things like, "Oh, yeah. He was involved," and never pull their heads out of their asses.

What's it going to take? Some white person being shot by a death squad for people to react? The "terrorists" have managed to turn British police into terrorists themselves -- and that alone should be reason for everyone in the US and UK to rise up and call bullshit to this "War on (Some) Terrorists."
Prick deserved it. Wish theyd shoot apologist bastards like you to. Make the whole world a better place

/oh and he shouldnt have been in the country either as he was on an expired visa :)
I think it's a bit soon to state this as fact. If the british people aren't out in the streets yet it's most likely that we haven't heard enough to be sure that murder really is the wrong word.

I've been scouring the news reports and I have to say that I would not be at all surprised if the police didn't have more information than the public at this point in time. That will all come out in time as the investigation is carried out.

In the end though, I can not honestly call this murder. At worst the officer panicked, thinking that he might be killed in a bomb blast if he didn't kill his target. That isn't murder, and I would hate to imply that it was race related without having some evidence to support that claim. It's really not that different to the American troops in Iraq that blow up cars that don't stop at their checkpoints.

I think I'll wait for the facts.
He wasn't brown - look at the pictures of him on the BBC website.

Basically if there are bombs going off and armed police tell you to stop, you really need to stop, not vault the barriers.
But he didn't vault the barriers, and it's still not clear the police told him who they were.

In any case, where are the miles of video footage from all the CCTV cams all over London? They must exist, unless the station cam was conveniently off. And if they do exist, they should tell the tale better than any he said/she said can.
Yes a bit suspicious that it the only black guy in London got shot...... wait a sec... You're saying he wasn't the only black man? But he's the only man in London who was shot?

Could it not be YOU who is the racist, looking at a scene, paying special attention to the colour of everyones skin then deciding on what everyone thought based on their skin colour?

I'll be a sexist bastard for a second and say the cops are discriminating against men here. After all, he was male, he was shot. Those officers must have seen, "man, bastard" etc etc. Is that reasonable? Why not? After all most sucicide bombers are male (there has been few women in the news though) just like most are middle eastern (don't forget the shoe bomber or the aussie david hick who was supposed to be fighting along side).
Could it not be YOU who is the racist, looking at a scene, paying special attention to the colour of everyones skin then deciding on what everyone thought based on their skin colour?

Sigh. Ah yes, the first defence of racists everywhere -- to point out that people who point out racially motivated events are themselves racists for noticing that the victims tend to belong disproportionately to a particular race. Also known as the bullshit defence.

Because, anonymous, you know its bullshit. De Menzes wouldn't have been shot by the Police, much less dobbed in, if he looked more like Prince Charles and less like Prince Abdullah.

If its racist to point out a hate crime, then I guess you're saying its sometimes all right to be a racist. Which means you're talking out your arse.
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