Anorak News | Boy In The Hood

Boy In The Hood

by | 26th, August 2005

‘“AT 4pm in an ordinary town centre, a yob points a GUN at passers-by,” says the Mirror’s front page in a piece that screams “HOODIE LAW”.

Once again the Met’s shoot-to-kill policy is put ot the test

It’s all too terrible. And we wonder if it’s not just a display of youthful high jinx or a young lad celebrating his impressive GCSE results by letting off a few rounds as he waits at a bus stop in Knutsford, Cheshire?

But before the Mirror can investigate, it wants us to know of the universal “fury” that this gun-toting maniac escaped with a “ticking off”.

Can you believe it? The Mirror can’t, and asks its readership: “Do you know the hoodie gunman? If you do call our newsdesk on 0161 WE’VERUNOUTOFNEWS.”

And while you’re phoning in, can you ask the Mirror to clean up the matter of when a hoodie is not a hoodie? Can the hood be down and the face in full view, as this the case in the Mirror’s shots of this shocking moment, or to be a hoodie must the hood be pulled up and tight over the head?

And just another smallish point: this was not a real gun. Police decided the weapon was not dangerous, and since it could only fire ball bearings, and there is no evidence that his unhooded hoodie even did that, he was taken home and warned about his conduct in front of his parents.

But not in front of the Mail, which sees the picture of the still unnamed 16-year-old, taken by a passer-by who then called the police, and calls him “the teenage gun yob who terrorised a town”.

“The image would strike fear into anyone’s heart – particularly with the country on terrorist bomb alert following the London bombings,” says the paper.

Too right. Only, it’s not a bomb. It’s a gun. It’s a gun that can be owned legally by anyone aged 17 and over. It’s a gun that fires ball bearings. And, although we know profiling is riddled with faults, the youth in the frame is white, his friends are white, one of whom is a female, and they’re not in London but in a market town in Cheshire.

But none of this is to say the good people of Knutsford did not have a lucky escape, nor that they weren’t terrorised.

But it could have been worse. Serving police officer Norman Brennan, of the Victims of Crime Trust, thinks someone might have been shot.

“This individual is lucky he was not shot by armed police,” says the voice of the Force. Indeed he was.

As inspector Craig Arterton, of the local station, tells the Mirror: “The gun is not terribly dangerous although if a ball bearing caught you in the eye it would cause an injury.”

But not as bad an injury as one caused by the police overreacting like the Mirror and Mail and firing off a volley or two at the lad’s eye, ear or leg. Then the boy would be very injured or very dead.

Although he would only have himself to blame…’

Posted: 26th, August 2005 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink