Saturday, October 25, 2008


A rose by any other name

One of the police marksmen who shot dead Jean Charles de Menezes told an inquest today that knowing he had killed an innocent man was something he would have to "live with for the rest of my life"...

The marksman told how he came face to face with De Menezes inside a cramped tube train at Stockwell station in south London on July 22 2005...

De Menezes was shot seven times in the head at point-blank range.

Asked why he shot De Menezes three times, C12 replied: "I had to be certain that life was extinct, that there wasn't any more threat, that this person couldn't detonate a bomb.

Officer gives emotional testimony of moment he shot De Menezes
The Grauniad, Friday October 24 2008


The term "marksman" blew my fuse a bit: a bit like the old Israeli "Precision Prevention Policy", whereby neighbourhoods containing terrorists get blown up.

"Marksman", to my mind, denotes one skilled at shooting from distance, not someone who unloads from point-blank range. While I've no doubt that the officers involved in the shooting were trained as such, it seems hardly applicable in the circumstances.

In terms of relevance, I'd say it's a bit like mentioning in passing what colour Taekwondo belt they happen to have.


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