Feeds

Teflon top cop evades justice, responsibility

Menezes Met trial unsatisfactory on all counts

Security for virtualized datacentres

Comment So the verdict's in. No one police officer - nor any identifiably-small group of police - was to blame for the mistaken shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005. Rather, the entire 30,000-strong Metropolitan force have all been found guilty - and, rather comically, "fined" £175k.

Needless to say, London plods won't be chipping in to pay the fine and associated legal costs. Rather, the money will come mainly from London taxpayers - which is ironic, as working Londoners are the very group which the Met have been found guilty of endangering.

One might argue that council and national taxes won't increase as a result of this, which is true enough. From that viewpoint, then, Londoners will lose some policing that the £0.56m+ Met bill for this could have bought.

So, essentially, we Londoners have been punished because some policemen messed up. Thanks a lot, legal system.

Should the plods have pled guilty? A lot of people are saying so, including some senior Met figures if you believe the Guardian. It would surely have minimised the cost to the taxpayers. One might argue that the trial has usefully brought out the facts of the case, but word has it that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will soon release its full report anyway, and there is a public inquest set for next year too. Not to mention de Menezes' family, who are apparently to mount a civil lawsuit.

Some people, including Red Ken the people's mayor, reckon the verdict will paralyse the armed plods in future - they'll never dare to shoot, runs the reasoning, in case there's another trial like this one.

"I think this is disastrous," said Ken.

"If an armed police officer believes they are in pursuit of a terrorist who might be a suicide bomber and they start making these sort of calculations based on this, how is this going to be seen? Am I going to be hauled off to court?"

Given that the officers who shot de Menezes have suffered absolutely no consequences from this trial - indeed, were not "hauled off to court" even to testify - that seems pretty silly.

Indeed, nobody is really suggesting that armed coppers believing themselves to be sharing a crowded Tube carriage with an identified suicide bomber - as the officers in question had been told they were - could really do anything other than shoot the suspect in the head as fast as possible, and keep shooting until they were sure he wouldn't so much as twitch ever again.

Birmingham tac-plods who chose in a similar situation to put 20,000 volts of Taser shock into their suspect's torso area must have been horrifyingly ignorant of explosives. Most terrorist bombs are triggered electrically, and it's standard bomb-disposal practice to minimise even quite minor risks like radio transmissions around them. Firing a kilovolt stun current into direct contact with a suspected bomb verges on criminal lunacy.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
NATO declares WAR on Google Glass, mounts attack alongside MPAA
Yes, the National Association of Theater Owners is quite upset
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Mitigating web security risk with SSL certificates
Web-based systems are essential tools for running business processes and delivering services to customers.