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.

There was and is a cover-up and conspiracy at the Met

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/interactive/2011/jul/15/letter-from-the-guardian-to-dick-fedorcio

Senior Met figures have a long history of wining and dining with News International.  There’s a spreadsheet at the Grauniad.  When the same figures meet Guardian staff it’s at the office.  It’s clear from the letter published (link above) in the Groan that the Met tried to put the arm on Nick Davis and stop the truth coming out.  Now they won’t answer fair questions from the Guardian using standard PR damage limitation techniques to give them time to get a story together.  They should be read the PACE guidance on what they may rely on in the future.

The IPCC should already not be giving the Met hierarchy time to collude.  Taped interviews should have been taken instead of half-assed stuff led by the dubious Vaz.  Police officers lie and some of this is justified.  A reasonable account can be found here:

http://deadlyforce.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Lies-and-Deception-PQ.pdf

That matters are out of hand can be seen in George Monbiot’s referenced piece here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/apr/12/police-truth-blair-peach-tomlinson

I doubt Gadget subscribers would do the required reading, but the complex lying behaviour cops enter into is fairly standard across organisations now.  What’s needed isn’t sackings, but an opportunity to come clean and identify the real bad guys.  This clearly doesn’t happen in our public enquiries – even the WMD farce was not admitted.  In the absence of coming clean I would sack a random few Admiral Bings to encourage the others.

Police officers tend to get hard-boiled and think no one understands the complexity of their situation.  There are many explanations of their behaviour that are complex and do explain much of what I knew to go on as a cop.  I found a dozen academic papers on police lying and a hundred more on administrative lying in the space of a couple of hours.  Some are pretty good and public argument should shift to their more intelligent focus.  The following snippet gets to some of the enigma at the heart of being a cop.  There’s more actually, but I’m reserving my paper for publication.

This is standard material on police lying from ‘academic cops’:

Police officers often tell lies; they act in ways that are deceptive, they manipulative
people and situations, they coerce citizens, and are dishonest. They are taught,
encouraged, and often rewarded for their deceptive practices. Officers often lie to
suspects about witnesses and evidence, and they are deceitful when attempting to learn
about criminal activity. Most of these actions are sanctioned, legal, and expected.
Although they are allowed to be dishonest in certain circumstances, they are also
required to be trustworthy, honest, and maintain the highest level of integrity. The
purpose of this article is to explore situations when officers can be dishonest, some
reasons that help us understand the dishonesty, and circumstances where lies may lead
to unintended consequences such as false confessions. The authors conclude with a
discussion of how police agencies can manage the lies that officers tell and the
consequences for the officers, organizations, and the criminal justice system.'
However complex the situation we can't have cops trying to prevent the publication 
of stuff they don't like and must know is true when they try to can it.

Britain on D Notice – maybe we should get the F?

Wikileaks has been a disappointment.  It’s all a bit like the Telegraph with the ‘expenses CD’.  We surely know the Sunni hierarchies supported by the West would like Iran taken out of the power picture in their region.  And we should know enough of how language works to understand what is said behind the scenes is a lot different to public diplomatic language.    Our Government has been issuing D notices to try and stop embarrassing publications in our own press, despite the fact we should be able to go directly to Wikileaks to find out the Yanks don’t think much of Cameron, compared to those like Blair and Mandelson who look like their placed men.

Our civil servants have been in print for more than a century, telling us about ‘diplomacy as war by other means’, ‘statistics as misleading dross’, and how to reveal nothing to the public in long statements.  Goffman, an easy sociological read, sums a lot of it up and his work is from the 1950-60 era.

As a public, we should really be failing ourselves as largely uneducated, if we think any media frenzy on Wikileaks is any more than a distraction from the dirty reality of politics and the lack of any really free comment.  All of what Wikileaks is hyping-up will turn out to have been discussed and modelled in serious books and journals.  We just don’t read.