July 24, 2005


The news is coming to light that the South Asian-looking man killed by plain cloth British secret police on the London tube last Friday is a Brazilian. Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, a catholic Christian, used to work as an electrician and has no connection to the Thursday's bombings. The Brazilian foreign ministry has already demanded explanation from the British Government. There is an interesting discussion going on in Sepia Mutiny about this incident. One reader comments:

Even if they're pursuing a suspect, should they be allowed to shoot? Shooting a known criminal is different from shooting a "suspect". Everyone can be (a) suspect. You, me, everyone.

We do not know in what situation the police shot Menezes at close range. Was it a human error? No, you will be surprised to learn that the London Police was given a new shoot-to-kill guideline in recent weeks. According to that the armed police and surveillance officers confronting suspected suicide terrorists were advised to shoot to the head and not the body in case the suspect has a bomb.

It is evident that the faulty guidelines have killed an innocent man. The public is skeptic about the fact that the police had already caught the guy, hold him down, and clearly outnumber him. So was it necessary to shoot five bullets into his head?

It just reminds me of the cases of the extra-judicial killings in Bangladesh by Police & RAB and some innocent civilians' death in the process. If the police is given extra-judicial power then there is every chance of an innocent person getting wrongly killed. No one can undo the mistake.


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