Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fatal Error: The blunder the killed Jean Charles de Menezes

Synopsis: If they thought he might blow it up, how could the police have let Jean Charles de Menezes get on the train?

Before shooting him, a special police team was observing and following Jean Charles de Menezes for quite a while. Their fear, the whole time they were following him, was that he would go to the subway.

And then he did.

That was when the police sprang into action...

Sort of.

They waited until he'd strolled through the station, picked up a newspaper, got on his train, looked around, found a seat... and then they dashed on and shot him seven times in the head.

Now, if he had been a kamikaze bomber, he would have had more than enough time to complete his mission.

So, add to the police errors this crucial, basic one:

They let him get on the train at all.

Given that this is the biggest investigation in the UK right now, what kept them from radioing to have a couple officers in place to intercept him at the station entrance?

Letting someone suspected of carrying a bomb, who had an elaborate surveillance team watching him, reach his likely target unimpeded is quite a blunder. If they were right about his motives, they needlessly endangered all the people on the train.

We know now, of course, that they were wrong about his motives, so they not only needlessly endangered all those passengers, but they needlessly shot Mr. de Menezes in the head, seven times.

If they were so concerned about him going into the subway, how could they not have prepared for that? How hard would it have been to do so?

It seems that was their biggest error (well, second biggest), and perhaps trying to rectify that error resulted in the mad rush to neutralize the poor guy.

If they hadn't let him get on the train in the first place, and there's no reason they should have, there wouldn't have been the urgency to summarily execute him.


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