Sunday, July 24, 2005
British police accidentally kill innocent man . . .
and a commenter infers that a call for stronger measures on terrorism is now a "sad little axe."
Yes, tragically, the victim of the police shooting did turn out to be someone unaffiliated with the bombers. That is a tragedy and should be investigated.
Rather than rebuff the gist of my prior comment -- that for too long, Europe has closed its eyes to the dangers of radical Islam in its midst -- it actually supports it. Had the Brits been paying attention before the bombings, they might well have had better intelligence to either stop the first round of bombings or, at the very least, to know for whom they were searching.
For what it's worth -- it appears that he decided to run from police when confronted -- and made the fatal mistake of trying to run away by entering a high-priority target -- a subway station. Police shot him when he tried to enter a crowded train.
Given all the circumstances, the recent spate of bombings in subways, the man's failure to stop when ordered to do so (on multiple occasions, it appears), and his attempt to move into a train full of passengers -- I'd have shot him, too.
I'd have been personally very torn up about it afterwards. Taking a life is not an easy thing to do in any circumstance. Too often we rush to condemn the police who have to make a split-second decision, balancing their action or inactions against their consequences, all under severe stress and almost no time.
Sometimes they err -- as happened here. Such errors are very unfortunate, to say the least.
One tragic incident such as what happened to Mr. de Menezes is not, however, a reason to call off heightened security measures.