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Anorak | Another Victim

Another Victim

by | 25th, July 2005

‘AFTER the papers’ long focus on the terrorists, we should be relieved that they have finally returned to the less seductive story of their victims.

Jean Charles de Menezes

But we are not. The picture of Jean Charles de Menezes on the Times’s front page, the 27-year-old Brazilian electrician shot dead by police on a Tube train last week, is unsettling.

Inside the paper, another picture showing the pain etched on his mother’s face as she is comforted by her husband and sister is heartbreaking.

But as the paper watches police re-enact the moments leading to the death of an innocent man, we are all invited to wonder and speculate on why, when challenged by armed police, Menezes failed to stop.

As usual the papers are full of guesswork, some educated, some less so. But we are shaken from our indecision and the confused story by the Telegraph’s front-page announcement: “More innocents could be shot.”

When pressed on whether there could be a repeat of last Friday’s “tragedy”, Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police Chief Commissioner, says: “Well, someone else could be shot.”

He goes on: “I am very aware that minority communities are talking about a shoot-to-kill policy. It is only a shoot-to-kill-in-order-to-protect policy. There’s no point in shooting at someone’s chest because that is where the bomb is likely to be.”

Hold on. It’s not just a concern to the minority communities – we must all be wondering how an armed police force can make so terrible a mistake.

The man’s death has been put in context of the wider hunt for the four would-be bombers still at large in the country.

And so it must be. Had it not been for the terrorists in our midst, the country would not be on a heightened state of alert and Menerez would be alive.

But a man is dead. A man has been repeatedly shot in the head on a Tube train. In another time, that would be enough to instil a sense of dread and outrage in us all.

Why not now..?’



Posted: 25th, July 2005 | In: Uncategorized Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink