Posted at Dean’s World here.
When Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by police on July 22, civil libertarians in the UK as well as many elements of the Left cited this action as an example of police overreaction to the events of 7/7 and 7/21. Many on the Right – including myself – believed that the police had acted properly according to the reports coming out of the British media.
Well, it turns out that they didn’t. The police lied. Menezes wasn’t wearing a heavy coat, jumping turnstiles and running from police. He was wearing a light jean jacket and following police instructions. The official report hasn’t been issued yet, but it appears that Menezes may have been gunned down in what I can only describe as cold blood.
In general I trust the police. I believe they have a tough job and would really prefer not hassling people. I believe that cops should always be given the benefit of the doubt in highly publicized cases. Why? Because they have no axe to grind. They have no political agenda to feed or organization to build. I’ve known cops. One of my gradeschool friends is a sheriff now – which I find amusing considering how many times he had run-ins with the law as a teenager. They are people, and they make mistakes.
However they are trained not to make the mistakes made by the London cops on July 22. This was no mistake – no toy gun mistaken for a pistol in a dark alley.
What happened? What was the shooter thinking? Would American cops have made similar mistakes?
There are times when cops screw up badly, and when the do, no excuses should be made. If this is such a time, then there is nothing that can be said for this mistake, no support we can offer. John Gibson seems to agree.
The Left will no doubt interpret this as the Right being silent on the matter, but what should we do? What needs to be done that isn’t being done? The police lied, and now we are finding out the truth. We will learn why the shooter acted, and if he did shoot Menezes down in cold blood than there are institutions and laws in place that will mete out justice.
The Left cannot deny that fifty+ people died on 7/7 and that two weeks later a group of individuals were attempting to repeat the atrocity. There are suicide bombers around, and the only way to stop them is to shoot them dead so that they don’t detonate their explosives and kill everyone within a 20 meter radius.
Shooting Menezes may have a chilling effect on police activity in the UK, but honestly, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe they need retraining considering how they slaughtered an innocent man and then lied about it. That doesn’t help stop terror.