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July 22, 2005

I Really Really Hope That This Guy Was Wearing A Bomb

Otherwise it'll be a big big mess for the cops.

Look, I'm not questioning or second guessing what little we know of the situation; if the guy is going to blow up then you shoot him as rapidly as you can to make sure he doesn't. There's no way I'd want to be in the position of having to give the 'shoot to kill' order. It's a no-win situation.

update: Tim Worstall has some running comments on this, as well.

I hope to hell for all our sakes that he was indeed a bomber. If they’ve gunned down some poor schlep in error this will just increase the hatred.

I agree, Tim, but what frankly worries me more than "increase(d) hatred" is how hamstrung the police will become if this was an error.

*BUMP Update 2: To show how crazy things are, and how unreliable "eyewitnesses" can be, look at these two descriptions just a few sentences apart from the same BBC article:

"He was quite large, big built, quite a sort of chubby guy."
"I saw the guy. He had a beard, he was thin, Asian-looking."
"They shot him twice in the front."
"The policeman nearest to me had the black automatic pistol in his left hand, he held it down to the guy and unloaded five shots into him."

All these "eyewitnesses" are describing the same incident, they all claim to have been a few feet away, yet they are completely different.

THS UPDATE: Sky News is reporting that the police had indeed been tailing this guy as a bombing suspect, but that, after he'd taken off and been shot, there were no explosives found on him. Now, I could say this is bad. On the other hand, who would want to be responsible if he'd been wired and you only politely asked him to stop? Sounds like a sh%t sandwich all around.

Posted by Mr. Bingley at July 22, 2005 11:40 AM


I was just about to blog this. Local radio was talking to someone who noted that it's pretty warm (about 95) in London at the moment, but the guy was wearing a heavy coat.

Plus, bobbies are not noted for shooting willy-nilly.

Posted by: Ken Summers at July 22, 2005 08:57 AM

Especially since they tend not to have guns...

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at July 22, 2005 09:02 AM

"If they’ve gunned down some poor schlep in error this will just increase the hatred"

Fuck the hatred, it's already there. And quite frankly, I have little problem with rough treatment of anyone who would be "inflamed" by it.

And if it was a mistake, the blame can still be placed squarely on the scumbags for putting the police (understandably) on edge.

Posted by: Ken Summers at July 22, 2005 09:25 AM

Plus the dude ran. Even if he was a stupid schlep, running away from the police in the current circumstances was stupid. He's a candidate for the Darwin Award.

Come to think of, all suicide bombers are.....

Posted by: The Real JeffS at July 22, 2005 09:35 AM

Ditto the update comments. Those cops are f@cked if the guy wasn't wired for sound. Even so we can hope knowing that you could get shot, to death, where a day ago you couldn't, might give a tottering-on-the-edge aspiring bomber a second thought.

Posted by: tree hugging sister at July 22, 2005 09:37 AM

What really pisses me off is how people expect the police to be mind readers. They get blamed for "allowing" the attacks to happen but get crucified if they make a mistake.

Posted by: Ken Summers at July 22, 2005 10:10 AM

I'm waiting for the following op-ed in the Guardian:

"The police, it turns out, have shot a man who we now know to have not been involved in yesterday's attacks. BUT, it was probably the victim's own damn fault for acting so suspiciously and then running as if he were hiding something. It was regrettable that he died, BUT you must understand the root causes of such tension among the cops and citizens of our nation. Most cops are actually peaceful. Our fight is not against Police, but against Policism, and we urge the terrorists to understand this and engage in peaceful dialogue. Further terrorist occupation of the immigrant areas of Great Britain is the real culprit, driving ordinary citizens to take the desperate measure of signing up for the police and the military - if they would only withdraw, there would be no more violence in the streets of London."

Posted by: Nightfly at July 22, 2005 11:17 AM

Haha, Fly. That op-ed could come from the Torygraph or the Mail (it's got words that are too long for The Sun), but never in a million years from the Grauniad.

Posted by: Dave J at July 22, 2005 12:21 PM

Brilliant. {8^P

Posted by: tree hugging sister at July 22, 2005 12:43 PM

The old saying "some people were meant to be an example of what not to do..." comes to mind.

Posted by: sharon ferguson at July 22, 2005 01:24 PM

Police have now admitted he had nothing to do with it. Calling it a tragedy.

Posted by: Tim Worstall at July 23, 2005 12:59 PM

Tim ~ Thanks ever so much for the update, and that's horrible news, isn't it? Although I know quite a few of us felt from the beginning that it would turn out to be so. Something in the descriptions of the event didn't ring right. Damn and damn again.

Posted by: tree hugging sister at July 23, 2005 01:24 PM