Shoot first, ask many questions later

Wasn’t it just a few weeks ago that we were being told – by pro-war supporters, ideologues and defenders of Western civilisation – that London police had acted appropriately before the killing of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes?

That typical disposition of believing the voice of the state – usually reserved for dutiful citizens in a dictatorship – appears to have got things horribly wrong.

Leaked documents prove that authorities initially lied about the circumstances of the Brazilian’s death, he was not wearing a bulky coat or carrying a bag and he was not acting suspiciously after leaving his house.

Soon after the shooting, former London police chief John Stevens defended the “shoot-to-kill” policy and proudly explained how he’d sent teams to Israel to get an understanding of suicide bombers.

Israel’s use of excessive and illegal force is legendary. It’s encouraging that Britain is learning from the master.

UPDATE: We now learn that Britain’s top police officer, the Scotland Yard commissioner Sir Ian Blair, tried to stop an independent investigation into the murder of Menezes.

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