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The Stockwell leaks


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

Yesterday, I blogged an Observer piece highlighting some of the unanswered questions surrounding the Stockwell shooting. Today, I’m blogging a Guardian report highlighting new leaks from the report into the shooting – leaks which appear to raise yet more questions about the shooting.

Following the police murder, I claimed that

basic story is that a man under surveillance following the attacks refused to follow police orders, and so was shot five times at close range.

It now emerges that the man was not under formal surveillance, as no-one had bothered to identify him properly. He didn’t refuse to follow police orders, because he wasn’t given any. And he wasn’t shot five times at close range, he was pinned down and shot seven times at point-blank range.

And whilst I still think

We can’t go killing every Asian man in a big coat who doesn’t do as police ask.

It turns out he wasn’t even wearing a big coat, but a rather light and fetching denim number.

One of my many theories is beginning to look frighteningly close to the truth:

To my mind, it sounds like a policeman rather lost it, and shot the man five times in some kind of rage.

Steps must be taken to ensure that such a mistake is never, ever, made again – and if that means laws must change to make it harder for police to kill, then change they must. Someone somewhere once said that every time the police wrongly arrest someone, we lose a little piece of our freedom. How much, then, did we lose on 22nd July 2005?

This 704th post was filed under: News and Comment.

Some recently published posts

La Sagrada Família / February 2020, 21 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / January 2020, 11 minutes long

The Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle Tunnels: eight years on / January 2020, 8 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / January 2020, 7 minutes long

Faber Stories / December 2019, 4 minutes long

Some random old posts

Desktop app of the week: Droplr / June 2012, 1 minute long

Reform of the Parliament Act / November 2005, 4 minutes long

Blair’s PR government / July 2006, 2 minutes long

Nadia Won / August 2004, Less than a minute long

Teller reveals his secrets / November 2012, Less than a minute long

Cash machines that can charge up to £10 / January 2005, 2 minutes long

Comments and responses

Comment from Emmanuel Goldstein

by Emmanuel Goldstein

Comment posted at 22:53 on 19th August 2005.

“if that means laws must change to make it harder for police to kill”

So which law does give the police the right to kill people?

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 19:06 on 26th August 2005.

That’s an excellent question, and one which urgently needs addressing. I assume it’s part of some of the recently passed terror legislation, but I really don’t know.

Comment from Andrew Milner

by Andrew Milner

Comment posted at 09:15 on 29th August 2005.

Sounds like those trigger-happy cops always wanted to kill someone, and this was their big chance. “I shot him because I thought he was a threat to the other passengers.” “’course you did, son.” A civilian would be sent to Broadmoor, but a cop goes on an all-expenses-paid holiday. “Kill a Brazilian, win a holiday” competition.” Open to Metropolitan Police Service only. Some reports are talking of 11 shots. That’s sounds like two shooters to me. Any apologies forthcoming? Like from the tabloid newspapers that headlined, “One down, three to go”, and “Police kill bomber mastermind after Subway chase”. Absolutely disgraceful, but check the media whore’s code and you’ll see they were following it to the letter.

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