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The stuff you miss

July 24, 2005

I can’t believe I missed this one!!

The only thing I would say is that how some this info did not get refuted in the mainstream media as it should. I understand that this may have broken on or around the day of the second failed attacks, but surely this guy needs an apology (but this guy’s family deserves a lot more).

I remember sitting in my living room watching the news and attempting to write a report, to hear an account by eye witness Mark Whitby. I can’t find the account on the BBC website, but this has details.

“I’ve never seen anything like it…I saw them kill a man basically. I saw them shoot a man five times” – Mark Whitby

What was scary however to me personally, was Mark Whitby’s comments that the guy who ran onto the train was “Asian, Pakistani looking”. Photographs clearly show that this guy wasn’t really. Is this a demonstration of how people are seeing brown skin as terrorist?




From → Uncategorized

  1. I’ve noted this in another blog, but think it warrants being said again… I don’t think that the nationality makes that much difference at the moment. From other witness reports (as well as Mark Whitby’s) the plain clothers police were shouting "Get down, Get Out" as they ran down the platform and onto the train… if someone ignores that and runs on, and especially if they’re wearing a coat on a hot day then I think it’s understandable that they took the action that they did… espoecially given the localities of the failed attacks on Thursday.

    I don’t disagree that it was bad that they got it wrong, and it’s certainly unfortunate for anyone caught up in it… but I don’t think the police will be taking any chances around the public transport systems and everyone needs to think about that… would you have run or would you have stopped?

  2. Hell, a guy could have high fever and going to see a doctor and so could wear a long overcoat even in summer! so if he looks muslim/south asian/arab, are you just going to kill him? doesn’t make much sense.

    and there are more than enough people out there who get panic stricken and run if they think they are in some sort of danger. doesn’t mean police have to shoot the person 5 times to stop him! hell, he was on the ground! and does shooting a human bomb down make much sense? no, cause most probably the will just blow along with those idiot police and the people in surrounding area.

  3. Well, you need to take a few more circumstances into account on top of wearing the coat… like vaulting the ticket barriers and running onto a train full of people whilst being pursued by armed police. If you compare those actions to what a potential suicide bomber might do there’s not really a great deal of difference.

    I’m not saying that he didn’t feel he was doing what he needed to do, for whatever reason.. I am saying he was terminally stupid in the actions that he took in that location, at that time. The police involved must have decided that he posed a real and immediate threat which is why they fired.

    As for the "cause most probably the will jjust blow along with those idiot police" etc., this would be the reason that they shot him in the head, makes perfect sense.

    And the muslim/arab connection is looking increasingly tenuous… the cctv pictures put up of the 4 suspects only show 1 who might possibly conform to that stereotype, and that’s purely because of the headgear. The others look like "Londoners", mixed race, mixed background, probably mixed language skills… people you wouldn’t glance at twice on the way to work.

    It’s easy for the media, the police and ignorant commentators to throw labels around and to reinforce stereotypes but if you go down that path, if you start to believe that society is turning against you as an individual because of actions of idiot terrorists then you are becoming a victim of the terrorists yourself, you’ve given up your humanity and taken sides against society…

    These criminals want our society to fail, it doesn’t matter if they espouse a political, religious or financial reason behind it, they want our society to fail for some reason; it is only by standing together and not letting the actions surrounding an event to colour our views that we can truly stand up against them.

  4. Media was/is stereotyping when something bad happens. otherwise, stereotyping would not have come to consideration. from the film "birth of a nation" to today’s cnn, it’s one way or another quite the same.

    and if they shot him on the head, they better had done it once, not 5 times. doesnt matter how many excuses anyone gives, a stupid can even tell what police did is incredibly wrong.

    and i’ll still think twice to call an innocent dead civilian a stupid just because he ran.

  5. I doubt we’ll agree on this point, I think the response was justified and you don’t so we’d probably be best to leave it at that.

    Just because he’s dead doesn’t sanctify his actions or make them exceedingly unwise (if you find that phrase preferable to terminally stupid then feel free to use that instead, in my view either apply). The reports in todays papers that he was living on an expired visa (so technically an illegal immigrant) may give a further insight into why he decided to run like that. The timeline released by the police and also published this morning gives the flip side of the story and shows that a lot of thought and planning went into it… this wasn’t a snap decision taken lightly. It was wrong, but from the evidence the police could see at the time it could have been a significant terrorist threat and that’s why they reacted.

    I still think you need to ask yourself though… "Would you have stopped or would you have run?"

    The whole concept of stereotypes is at the root of this… there is undeniably a tendency in the west currently to jump to certain conclusions when terrorist events happen today; the reaction of some american colleagues on 9/11 really drove that home, but you could also see that it was the shock and fear talking, when you engaged with them and talked past the hurt and anger their rational sides returned. It’s unfortunate that the same views are rearing their ugly heads again but they are points that can be discussed and people can be educated; it’s not a lost cause unless both sides decide that it is.

  6. My first point – I wouldnt say he was fatally stupid. Obviously he had reasons to belive the police were really after him (illegal immigrant or whatever his reason may be), other wise he wouldnt have run. But the fact that the police went to the lengths of shooting him 5 times is ridiculous. If you were the cops, and chasing someone you belive to be a live bomb, into the subway systems, would you be shooting at his head? Its probably not for us to justify the cop’s actions or the guy’s reasons behind running away from them.

    As for stereotyping, hell I find myself eyeing bearded people in Arab outfits with huge packages on the subway too (although eventually I noticed the package was a kid’s bike lol)! Ridiculous I agree…but its subconscious. And if me of all people are subconsciously giving in to the intentions of the terrorists (to achive a failing society), I see every reason for the westerners to do so. The media is obviously largely broadcasting ideas strengthening the stereotyping, but there are also some people trying in their own small way to stand up for their own cause. I was watching this interview with a Pakistani woman I think (not sure), and she pointed out how after all this post 9/11 crap happened, and the whole world pointed fingers at us (muslims), nobody really stepped forward to speak up for us. Nobody demanded an appology, Nobody protested. The question is, had this been the other way around…accusations being thrown towards lets say…the Jewish people…or even Christians…would the media response be the same? Im not sure. Just a point to ponder maybe. So maybe possibly probably our initiative should be to promote ourselves in a non-complaining non-defensive pro-informative way…not sure if i make sense….

  7. I don’t know how clever or otherwise Senor de Menezes was, I never met him, but I do question his judgement in the short period of time between him arriving outside Stockwell Tube and being shot… and that’s the only point on which I have an opinion… it seems he was a nice guy from what his friends say, but his actions were, ultimately, what led to the police actions which is why I called them out.

    The five shots are interesting, and very hard to justify seeing as the more reports come out the more it seems they all came from one guy… two shots would be what I’d expect… I’m sure that fact will get quite a lot of attention in the inquiry (or is it enquiry… I never know).

    I was thinking about the stereotypes earlier as I meandered my way from one country to another with work… it was strange, I didn’t find my eyes drawn to any particular creed or colour, but boy if someone had a big rucksack on then my ears were pricking up! Bit of a problem when you’re moving through airports during the summer!

  8. You know what guys, I don’t see why rucksacks are so much of an issue. If anyone wanted to put a bomb in something, it could just be a plastic shopping bag. I remember the old suspect bag/package adverts on buses which are making a comeback now. What has stuck in my mind is that one of the bags in the advert was so obviously that of a famous supermarket chain with the name blurred out.

  9. Welcome to the dangerous racial profiling we’ve faced in the US for the past 4 years. As a blonde girl, I guess I’m safe but it really upsets me when I witness Perisans, Pakistanis and Arabs being targeted for harassment and discrimination at the airports here. in 2002, my husband, who has dark hair but green eyes and had not shaved in a week, was searched and questioned 6 seperate times at the airport in San Diego when we were flying to Philly, just because he was tall, had dark hair and a beard. Yikes. We barely made our flight.

    I have always thought of the UK as a safer, genter place because guns do not aboud there as they do here in the US. But apparently your bobbys carry guns now and are trained to shoot suspected terrorist first in the mouth, then 4 times more in the head, to make sure the suspect can’t detonate any bombs once he is discovered. Yikes again.

    I hate that whole ‘if he has nothing to hide, then he won’t run’ argument. Some people run beacuse they’re scared of undercover cops who pull guns too quickly. Running away should never be probable cause.

  10. Hmm so did the family sue blair and his cops yet?

  11. can i make friend with you??

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