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.

 

 

Reviewing Akers For Contempt of Court Sums Up Our Barking Legal System

When Sue Akers gave her evidence I wondered whether she was allowed to say what she did.  I’m in no doubt she should have been able to say it.  What are you supposed to tell Leveson – something like ‘Fuck off Judge, this is on camera and your inquiry isn’t important enough for me to tell the truth’?  I take it what’s said there is under oath – which has something about the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Any review should be on Clarke, Stephenson and Yates who have clearly been economical with the truth.  If everyone was out running after terrorists as claimed, they could have farmed out the necessary enquiry.

Apart from anything else, what Akers said is just the kind of evidence that can be put to cross examination in any later trial and any effect it then had on a jury under direction could be made the right one.

Without people like Sue Akers being able to tell the truth as they are finding it, what is the point of Leveson and should it be adjourned until all future criminal proceedings have passed?    What a farce – the AG should be considering whether this is an attempt to suborn witnesses through intimidation of law.

Is Sue Akers Pointing To Widespread Police Corruption?

Sue Akers is certainly getting some work done.  I don’t believe in widespread police corruption, though I do now think our society is shot through with the stuff.  Akers’ claims are presumably backed by the initial evidence arising.  Evidence clearly available had any enquiry really been done in the past.  The big problem doing any enquiry is being able to get access to and investigate what’s been going on.  We would, of course, not known about the thieving parliamentarians if money had not been on the table to a whistleblower.  Even subsequent to the Telegraph and the intrepid Heather Brookes, material was still issued with material redactions.

Maybe what’s really at issue here is secrecy and the need for information to be much more freely available – with people responsible for its publication also being criminally responsible if they fail?  The Met is hardly covered in glory and we have hardly missed Yates and Stephenson – the former presumably making no impact on high salary in Bahrain either.  If we are to believe the story that this was not investigated because there were other much more pressing demands like terrorism, should we now conclude we are at more risk because Ms Akers and her team are diverted from such purpose with the Olympics pending?  From what I’ve seen she would be better fitted to the complex, multi-sourced enquiries involved in terrorism, than the buffoon men of the past.