The IPCC is now admitting it might have misled reporters verbally that there was an exchange of fire in this shooting. This is poor, but communication in circumstances like this is usually hopeless. Duggan’s spouse quite clearly was unaware he carried a gun and she and his family didn’t remind me of the usual gangster form. Something about this case reminded me of LA, maybe because of Bill Bratton being brought in by Cameron who is looking increasingly like the P.G. Wodehouse character ‘Spode’.
It’s the gun ‘found’ at the scene that kicks off the memory. Hogday suggested in a comment it was from Joseph Wambaugh, but I’ve been to LA twice and didn’t think I was remembering fiction. In any case, the excellent Spiral is a much more recent portrayal of noble cause and fitting shooting scenes to match the demands of ‘internal affairs’. It was a real case that was prodding my memory, found by students looking the the Rodney King beating as part of attempts to understand the psychological concept ‘backfire’ – becoming increasingly entrenched in a wrong view as the compelling evidence against it is produced. Most bureaucratic organisations are full of this and worse. The case was known as the Rampart scandal – Rampart is an LAPD division.
“The Rampart scandal mainly surrounded the unethical and illegal actions of members of the LAPD’s anti-gang unit, Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums (CRASH). In particular, Javier Ovando, an unarmed teenager, had been shot and paralyzed by then-officer Rafael Pérez. After the shooting, Pérez planted a gun on Ovando and claimed self-defense. Ovando was sent to prison, although later he was exonerated and released. By 2001, the resulting investigations would lead to more than 75 officers being investigated or charged and over 100 criminal cases being overturned due to perjury or other forms of misconduct”. (Wiki)
I often wonder if our legal system is as bad or worse than that in the US. Most of what I was told was good about Britain as a kid has turned out to be untrue, and I do now see the banksters as bad and worse than the looters. The Yanks used to taunt us because of the Soviet spy networks found here, confident their own house was clean. Sadly, they just weren’t as good at catching their spies.
We clearly have miscarriages of justice in the UK. They are not well examined in public and although the ‘learning organisation’ rhetoric has been learned, it comes from the mouths of ‘Screwtape bureaucrats’ carrying that invisible sign ‘do not micturate here when on fire’ on their backs. The ‘other gun’ in the Duggan case is a probably converted starting pistol widely available before 2010. A number were handed over to police officers in an amnesty. There are grounds to suspect the ‘finding’ of this weapon. Given the IPCC misled us on ‘an exchange of fire’, I think they should be telling us how the ‘other gun’ has been treated and the tests they have ordered on it in full. Ovando had served 2 years before the truth was out in LA.
It seems we have corruption when we take the lid off. The Met sleaze and investigation failures on hacking were denied by ‘honest men’. We still don’t really know what happened in the very serious Nico Bento case, those of satanic abuse or the extent of forensic evidence skewing (Frank Scuse, Meadow) or even the lack of balance in investigation procedures and reliability of police evidence – in this latter especially what weight to give to police evidence (and professional evidence generally). I suspect, statistically, that if courtrooms get things right, this is because any process would because of the nature of the sample, most of the time. Courts rely on witness beatings (cross examination) and dated concepts like ‘credibility’ (and the sensing of it by judges, magistrates and juries – which they are all dire at because nearly all of us are).
The old adage ‘justice must be seen to be done’ probably had more to do with ‘hang them high, flog them bare’ attitudes of deterrence than its more modern meaning of scrutinized due process. Speculation on the ‘other gun’ as a possible plant is just that. But what we see and hear of police and IPCC types and the reaction to them in marches on police stations, and probably even that part of the riots that is a reaction to wider events should be of much more interest to us in relation to our democracy than it is. I have sometimes felt that there is a grasp of this in Scandinavia, of a collective social responsibility for events. There legal system is often as intransigent as ours though.
I watched a Sky reporter ‘listening’ to a young black guy bemoaning cops treating him like an immigrant ‘wot dun’t speak English’ – she was actually looking at him in what I’d term ‘aghast patronisation’. Somehow, our authorities put these messages over. The back of my mind worries we may be as bent as the LAPD. More to the fore is whether Bill Bratton is what Cameron thinks he is. We imported ritual abuse from the States after it had been exposed there, and the forensic loony in the Nico Bento case long after he was done for there – is Bill what he seems? I note he spent a third of his time away from the office travelling and crime was reduced year on year (so is he good, or an arch statistics-juker?) – and that he has tried to shake up police inertia by hiring better qualified people. The real data, on what ordinary folk made of their policing, is missing.
Bratton has made the Harvard Business Review as a leader-model and is a stream-liner the like of which we haven’t seen here. He would at least be different to the ACPO clones currently licking arse after the riots. The press have fallen from the line of criminality on the lootings – but I suspect a wider sense of failing to treat everyone as publicly equal loiters in people’s “thinking”.