Inconvenient News,
       by smintheus

Thursday, November 01, 2007

  The Wrong Man

A jury in London delivered a verdict of guilty today in the case of the Wrong Man. Jurors imposed a staggering fine upon the Metropolitan Police. It was a bloody crime, if you ask me.

All the police did was get the Wrong Man.

The Wrong Man was an obscure young electrician who for a time lived in London. He may not have been as dark-skinned as the police let on, but he was definitely acting all nervous and twitchy.

Mr Thwaites said a conviction would have the effect of "putting handcuffs on the police". He said the prosecution should never have been brought and that Mr de Menezes was acting like a suicide bomber when he was shot.

Reportedly he was on his way to work that morning, and the Wrong Man to hold down on the train and blow his head off.

”Despite the outcome, I was very proud of them,” [the firearms team leader] said.

It was a bit of bad luck, really.

The catalogue of errors is significant.

But that is only because they shot the Wrong Man.

This cannot, nonetheless, be an excuse for what occurred on July 22, 2005, and the confused public response once it became clear…that the wrong man had been killed at Stockwell station.

Ideally it would have been better if they’d blown off the Right Man’s head, don’t you know. But the Metropolitan Police had little opportunity because the Wrong Man wasted their time with his antics.

"He was shot because when he was challenged by police he did not comply with them but reacted precisely as they had been briefed a suicide bomber might react at the point of detonating his bomb," Mr Thwaites said in his closing speech. "Furthermore, he looked like the suspect and he had behaved suspiciously."

The Met never was able to identify the Right Man.

The court heard that the firearms officers were issued with highly deadly " dum dum" bullets and told that they might have to use "new and unusual tactics" and "might have to shoot someone point blank in the head".

The Right Man would have been the one to murder, in retrospect, if you’re going to go to the trouble of blowing anybody’s head off.

No one can blame the Metroplitan Commissioner personally for the series of events that led to an innocent Brazilian being shot seven times as he sat on a Tube train.

The Wrong Man may not have complied when the police approached to kill him, though his friends and family still seem to think well of him.

The dead man's cause has been championed not only by his family and friends but a clutch of political activists who have never been sympathetic to the police…

The Wrong Man used to be named Jean, at least among the very few people who once knew him. Naturally he’s known now as the Wrong Man they shot. The name of the Right Man, of course, remains unknown.

Before considering the jury's verdict about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, more than a passing thought should be offered for the 52 people killed by suicide bombers in July 2005, most of whose names remain unknown to the wider public. For terrible reasons, Mr de Menezes is the only person who died in relation to terrorism that month who is a national figure two years on.

You’d think that reporters and such, instead of focusing on the train of “tragic errors” that led to the death of the Wrong Man, would spare a thought instead for the wanton murder that’s visited without warning upon an innocent public in the name of some godforsaken “code of justice”. It’s lawlessness, there's nothing of "justice" about it.

Harriet Wistrich, solicitor for the family, said…"And what of the shoot to kill policy itself? Questions must be asked of a firearms strategy that effectively became an unstoppable machine intent on extinguishing the life of an unarmed suspect."

The verdict today was a bloody crime, I tell you.

Our former colonials know a thing or two about returning a just verdict when the government gets the Wrong Man.

Appealing to our court of finality, a German citizen, Khaled el-Masri, was asking for damages after having been abducted by the CIA in 2004 to a secret prison in Afghanistan, where he was beaten and tortured repeatedly for five months. He was suddenly released because, as German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Condoleezza Rice told her, the CIA had kidnapped the wrong man as a suspected terrorist. (We haven't even said we're sorry.)…

Yet, when the American Civil Liberties Union took el-Masri's case to the Supreme Court, not even the four justices necessary to have his case reviewed, including Stevens, said a word. The court cut el-Masri off from any chance of justice in this country, which, as the president keeps pledging, adheres to all U.S laws and international treaties.

That’s the way to treat the Wrong Man. Cut them off at the shoulder whenever they take it into their head to go to court. We’ve got to concentrate all our energies on kidnapping the Right Man next time.

crossposted from

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