Another Police Shooting Goes Wrong

I’d like to see a good percentage police patrol vehicles carrying a rifle and someone trained to use it.  In a better world I’d rather see an unarmed police force, but we’re going from bad to worse.  The basic idea is to give officers and the public confidence the right kind of back up can be brought in quickly when nutters of criminal and terrorist varieties kick off.

There’s a sad history of shootings going wrong.  Duggan and Grainer look to be part of this, but so was the awful accident in training that killed Ian Terry.  There is always a price to pay in practical matters.  Many believe we can’t properly arm our police for fears of escalation – but this ignores the stresses of working as a cop, or being innocent participants in some killing spree, without speedy containment.  There is a wider story than the odd sequence of bungles.

The Grauniad has just produced this piece of dross on Grainger – http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/mar/11/girlfriend-accuses-police-fatal-car-shooting – and much of the problem from Stockwell, through Duggan and on to this concerns utterly false reporting and the lack of ability to state the honest case quickly, for a variety of legal and PR ‘reasons’.  Our sub-judice laws are antiquated and based on silly ideas of what will prejudice a fair trial – as in Leveson and the Akers’ testimony.

Justice delayed is justice denied and we should allow quick and accurate reporting – indeed insist on it – and ensure we have jurors capable of making decisions on evidence in court, rather than turkeys swayed by earlier barking rot in the media or for that matter allowed in court as in Nico Bento and the well-known Irish cases.  The current system encourages gossip and for police and public bodies to engage in secrecy under the claim they have to wait for the day in court.

We don’t know why Grainger or Duggan were shot or even de Menezes.  We do know GMP even killed one of its own in training and along with a catalogue from around the world know officers are ramped up and will make mistakes.  In one incident, a black detective was shot 13 times by his own (he lived).  I was involved in some very farcical activity myself and have no faith a court and jury could understand why a weapon might be wrongly discharged and  what the pressures of not taking a shot can be.  Can one, for instance, shoot a terrorist running away, in order to protect the public in the future?

Our laws need bringing up to speed in a number of areas to include the necessity of quick statements of facts within days of incidents that cannot be ruled as  prejudicing future trials.  The trials of the Birmingham Six and Guildford Four were clearly prejudiced by Irish hysteria and god knows what happened in the Bento case  in which judge and jury were convinced by claptrap expert non-evidence.  This had nothing to do with the press reporting facts in an early delivery of what the prosecution case was.

If Grainger has survived, could he possibly face a fair trial given his record has been made public?  Can the others arrested given we know this was a suspected armed robbery?  The answer is ‘yes’ – and so can various journalist managers after Akers.  There either is evidence or not.  That many people have no clue what evidence is and believe gossip, religion and other rot is always a matter for a court – sadly our courts aren’t particularly good at determining evidence themselves, with judges who would  struggle with O level chemistry poncing on about which forensic evidence to believe.  Denning called utterly crap evidence good against known standards and he is hardly alone.

My contention is our cops are being put through fear on a regular basis that wouldn’t be there if we had a more honest system and could trust to wider firearms issue.  In the way of this is the fear of telling the truth quickly when something goes wrong, including the ludicrous story of shouting ‘armed police’ at Stockwell and the branding of at least 17 witnesses as muppets incapable of hearing it — when the obvious need was for quick shooting to prevent a terrorist pushing the button rather than giving him reason to do so – except he was just an innocent man hyped by a trail of incompetence into what he was not in the shooters’ minds.  The focus on the shooter is a mistake and full of gossip-based idiocy.  We need a very different debate.

 

 

Another Shooting By Police

Details on today’s incident are few.  Apparently some attempted car thief with a large bladed weapon was shot.  In years gone by we had to put ourselves at considerable risk and the likelihood of PTSD dealing with such creeps.  I’m not against them being gunned down instead.

I am concerned that the IPCC haven’t even (because of our dud legal system) told us the evidence on Duggan and this incident may take as long for what truth can be told to be out.  I believe the routine issue of one rifle per car is held back because of fears the complaints system is useless and officers don’t have the speedy back up that should be there for them.

More Problems For (I)PCC On Duggan

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/nov/20/mark-duggan-shooting-watchdog-panel

Two people have resigned from the Community Reference Committee set up by the IPCC after the killing of Mark Duggan and the riots sparked off by the event.  The allegations in the post above are dismal if true.

Perhaps the most damning is the statement that the IPCC Commissioner involved told CRC members 3 police officers gave a statement that a sergeant had been seen to throw the gun Duggan was supposed to be carrying to the spot where it was later found and later told them no such statements existed.  It’s more or less impossible to think of any reasonable excuse for the sergeant’s actions or to explain the lack of an arrest of the sergeant.  Quite how you can mislead someone on such a matter is also inexplicable.

We now seem to know that a potential murder scene (almost one of a police officer too) was easily compromised by the taxi Duggan was traveling in being moved and the brought back – flouting everything I know about crime scenes and yet apparently ‘authorised’ by IPCC investigators who hadn’t even made it to the scene, and that Duggan was under some kind of surveillance and allowed to pick up a weapon and travel with it.  Though we can’t be sure.

About the only thing we do know for certain nearly 4 months on is that Duggan’s death and the piss poor handling of the investigation caused riots across our cities.

This is not, as the IPCC would have us believe, a complex enquiry.  The players and the scene have been known since the outset.  A detective sergeant and a couple of jacks plus a SOCO should have been enough.  Early individual statements from officers at the scene (not colluding) should have been a must (the IPCC is so toothless it can’t even do this).  If a cop had been shot by Duggan most of the non-forensics would have been done within hours, statements within 24 and a charge read out the morning after.  The Commissioner seems so hapless she didn’t know even essential features of the investigation weeks into it and made up some that were untrue.

You wouldn’t find me anywhere near community referencing, but you could get me out of the office or bed to talk to a crowd of people in the circumstances of August 4th.  I wouldn’t do the job at all under the obvious remit for pussies in effect.

What I’d suggest is the scraping of elected police chiefs and letting us elect some regional oversight people to direct complaints and improvement with a small number of hardened investigators who would nick any “sergeant seen throwing a gun into a crime scene periphery”.  Of course, some will think we are getting no more than the usual community referencing porkies, but those of us who do think like this from time to time don’t go a-rioting.  I would say though, that police and IPCC people had enough time to spin false tales to the press and this means there was time to put together a truthful story to tell the putative rioters and the wider public.  If the nonsense on an exchange of fire and the rest came from officers involved in the incident, there is more gloom ahead.

IPCC Bungle On At Tortoise Speed

Whatever might the following mean?

“The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to independently investigate the steps undertaken by Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers in relation to an investigation of an alleged assault, involving a firearm, in late July 2011.

As a result of the MPS investigation, an individual has been charged with offences relating to the firearm and alleged assault.

The MPS voluntarily referred the matter to the IPCC after tests suggested the non-police issue firearm recovered from the scene of the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan on 4 August 2011 could have been the one used in the earlier alleged assault.

 IPCC Commissioner, Sarah Green, said:

“Our investigation will consider whether all investigative lines were promptly identified and acted upon by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service and to what extent, if any, the conduct of this investigation may have impacted on the supply of the firearm found at the scene of the shooting of Mark Duggan.

“We have informed Mr Duggan’s family of the situation today and IPCC family liaison managers continue to be on hand to support Mr Duggan’s family while investigations continue.

“As an individual has now been charged with offences in relation to that police investigation, we cannot provide any further information at this time.”

The MPS referred the matter to the IPCC on Monday 14 November 2011 and an assessment has been concluded resulting in the decision to undertake an independent investigation”

I thought the IPCC was investigating the Duggan shooting – obviously so badly that the Met have had to refer a relevant matter to them?  Surely one would expect this to simply be a matter uncovered by the IPCC investigators?  It happened before the Duggan killing – who didn’t tell them straight away.  It’s time for some sackings now, but who can say not cooperating with the IPCC is wrong after Blair denied them access at Stockwell?.

There are any number of possibilities on the non-police weapon, from Duggan carrying it about after it has been used in another criminal incident (dumb but done) to it having been planted at the scene of the Duggan killing.  What I detest and can see no reason for is the manner in which this kind of information is released.  Our notions of sub judice are long past sell by date and in need of review.  The IPCC or police can’t flout them as they stand, but the ground itself is dangerous.  Just as Duggan’s killing led to the march that led to the riots, this could too.  One hopes not.

It is now more than three months since the Duggan killing – one that almost killed a police officer from assumed friendly fire too.  One appreciates matters do not proceed at all like CSI (which is crass nonsense) – yet we do not seem to have any means to properly investigate in an appropriately open manner, reported in a way we can trust.  This is in part the British disease of secrecy and across the world a problem with enquiries into potential police wrongdoing and incompetence.

What’s at issue in matters like this is less the probable fantasy that Mark Duggan was gunned down and a ‘Saturday night special’ left to confuse any evidence trail, but the general problems we have with fair ways of getting truth out and for us to be able to trust in fair investigation.

We have had enquiries into Iraq and yet another one is yet to conclude.  This is years on and I have never understood why we went in to Iraq or Afghanistan and don’t meet anyone else who does either,  As someone who teaches economics in universities I don’t have a full understanding of what I think is looting by rich people, though I’d say I do know enough to say the economics presented by politicians and media is based on a quasi-religious farce that is a cover-story for the looting.

One might say that we should be able to rely on court reporting and the various inquiries and should just have patience.  This barely fits with history in any depth, other than that written by victors etc.  I suspect the real problem is we can demand nothing from democracy.  We now demand those arrested tell their story against not being believed in the future (oversimplification) – yet allow those in authority to delay and deylay until “enquiries” are complete – a point often ever deferred with enquiries in secret and conducted by people with interests and bias we are expected to take as ‘objective’.

There are better and faster ways.  We need to establish and build them into a working constitution.  That we can’t wake up and smell the coffee over matters from nearly four months elapsing with us no further enlightened on the death of one person and the near death of a police officer, are waiting until January over a Border Agency farce and have so little conception as a populace on how reasonable equality went so badly wrong in the hands of paid-for politicians and banksters – or have so much coverage of a soccer player calling someone black and so little about vulture funds stealing millions from poor people who live in the Congo (also black) through banks in Jersey – all strike me as to do with a justice system that is intentionally inaccessible, expensive and slow. I suspect the reasons for wanting to restrict what can be said to courtrooms and equivalents are a problem for democracy.

It seems we can’t trust the public, when acting as jurors, with information such as Tabak looking at the pornography of strangling women the night before he put his hands round Jo Yates’ neck – yet could expect them to exclude ‘Duggan the hood’ reporting on deliberation of his killing and the near killing of a police officer by another police officer.  My sense of it is we need something less archaic in place on what can and should be in public scrutiny.  There is no scientific evidence I know of to suggest judges’ instructions and the system of evidence in courtrooms makes anyone more objective – rather the opposite.  We still allow eyewitness evidence and credibility, knowing both are highly likely to be wrong.  Where is the independent assessment of IPCC reports?

The legitimisation crisis continues.  I have no idea whether the officer who shot Mark Duggan and nearly killed his fellow officer is culpable of anything.  I’m happy for courts to decide.  I’m not comfortable with, have all these been traced an investigation that has taken so long to decide where charges lie and seems to have missed relevant material or had this hidden from it.  Given the non-police issue weapon found being previously subject to likely police seizure from criminal activity or amnesty, have all these been traced?  Was this basic enquiry done at all given the way this chestnut seems to have been passed on? We could be told about this and should be.  The rest needs social and legal changes, including to the IPCC remit – but is essentially about the secrecy we have made habitual.

If Mark Duggan has survived and was subject to criminal charges, one line of enquiry essential to his defence would be the discovery of similar weapons handed-in to police that cannot be reliably traced to destruction, or worse, the actual weapon turning up in police hands and supposedly destroyed.  One would expect a paper trail.  Has this been done?  It would seem not on the basis of the IPCC having to be informed about this other matter.

 

Arson, Looting and Violence Are Criminal – Shock Horror!

The London Riots are long overdue – Britain’s poor are very tame in comparison with our European neighbours.  Of course it’s all wrong, though so is our patronising Home Secretary for telling us.  If the knee jerk blather of such as Ms May and Herr Klegg is right, Britain must contain substantial pockets of criminality just waiting to burst out on the streets – a criminality we otherwise don’t see?  Police are in for a dire time if this is true.  I suspect, for once, that deeper sociological analysis is right and the causes of these riots are complex.  The symptoms are criminal, the ‘disease’ is not.  The revolting arrogance of well-off politicians and banksters on the austerity non-economics is a red rag to those who have been given no future and had very little.  I take a different view and have decided to leave, my country now a shameful place beyond repair due to years of nopolitics and theft by the rich.

The kids who are out smashing and burning probably have little articulation of what they are up to.  I doubt they are criminal in the normal sense of use – this is all people like this can do, much as the banbksters could not help but defraud us with useless loan insurance.  The policing involved looks bad and of the ‘arrest the survivors’.  It will be interesting to discover the full extent of whatever it is that is pent up.  To think of this as criminality is unhelpful.  To brand it as criminal is potentially highly inflammatory, along the lines of the blacking of Duggan’s character.  He now seems to have been shot in panic, though we’ll know more tomorrow.  We have not been listening to our poor and let our rich systematically steal our future.

Burning shops doesn’t seem to help, but nothing else does either.  The white collar versions have gone unnoticed, yet the thefts have returned us to 1900 and probably to the brink of war.

What we should have is answers that would prevent people being this pissed off.  Instead our turkey-government has been adding to the flames.  The answer is to replace unemployment by National Service and agree a fairer distribution of wealth and income and politics that genuinely represent across our society, rather than vie for enough votes to be in power.

There is no excuse for the riots, but the blame does not attach merely to those rioting.  Our attitude to the poor is one of my reasons for leaving.  Depression is coming and we aren’t hearing any sensible plans to help us work our way out of it.  The rich don’t want work – they can’t make enough money sitting on their idle arses from work.  We should learn from the massive bail outs and QE just how much money we could have thrown at unemployment and new investment if the scumbag rich hadn’t been running an illegal gambling game funded by tax payers.  Remember, when I’m gone, you brought this on yourselves through ignorance and callousness – you’ve been had.

We know the trashing of communities is wrong and all the rest.  But so is the massive hogging of our resources by rich interest groups who threaten to leave any country trying to produce a decent economy for all.  Police, as ever, have to stand up and be counted, which is a lot more than the rest of us have managed with the politicians who have presided over the flight of our capital.

I don’t know what these kids are doing or why they are doing it.  I’m waiting for someone to ask them.  In the meantime a curfew might have been an idea.  Soon ‘stop and search’ will be used to deflect responsibility onto policing and away from the nopolitics.  I assume, if this stuff was organised, there would have been a torch-lit march on Parliament.

These actions are criminal and should be dealt with as such.  This is obvious – so why aren’t our non-politicians asking deeper questions on why anyone would ‘support’ them by being on the streets?

In the meantime, the real story is the financial crisis and stock market collapse – all the doing of greedy rich people we don’t need and yet control our lives.  My heart goes out to the bobbies, fire staff and paramedics trying to cope.  They deserve some responsible politicians.  This isn’t about stop and search or the Duggan cock-up.  My guess is its about making so many people feel worthless.

The events are ‘simply inexcusable’ – but are we really convinced by ‘school’s out’ blather?  Those protesting elsewhere in the world have all been called criminals by horrendous governments.  It is, of course, very difficult to think of any of our rioters as political protesters – but it’s not impossible to see political reasons for some of our youth behaving like this.  We have done little for them and it looks like they finally know this.

Curfew and shooting looters might well be a fair response if we are prepared to do something about the real problems.  We won’t.