Protect a Copper: Give him a Licence to Kill

“Sir” John Stevens, head of the Metropolitan Police, was on the news last night trying to justify the protestations of certain members of the police force with regard to the Harry Stanley case, in which two armed police officers shot and killed an unarmed man because they suspected that the chair leg he was carrying in a bag was actually a gun.

Initially, he made the quite reasonable point that the regulations regarding these matters must be made clearer, to avoid future tragedies. But he went on to say that the system must be one in which the police themselves “have confidence” – the idea that the regulation of police powers should be subjectively approved by the police themselves is at worst rather contradictory, and at best very dangerous.

Mr Stevens’ remarks then degenerated into farce, as he proceeded to demand extra “legal protection” for the police by citing “the post-9/11 environment”, in a pathetic (but no doubt effective) attempt at emotional blackmail. So this is where we’re at now – if you’re against unarmed men being shot and killed with impunity by unaccountable policemen, you’re pro-terrorist.

Talk of “protecting” armed police carries the implicit notion that they are “endangered” in some way by any legal provision which imposes an them a duty of care to reflect the social responsibility they have been given. It’s the same for doctors and other public service workers, yet certain people in the police force seem to think that their particular status gives them a de facto exemption from accountability to the society without whose mandate they are little more than legitimised thugs.

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2 Responses to Protect a Copper: Give him a Licence to Kill

  1. Anonymous says:

    yes I am too so tired of hearing people cite the ‘post 9/11 world’ to instigate fear and a generalised sense of the need for more state sponsored violence. this is extremely crass, as almost always it is cited without any basis or clear reason that actually makes any sense, it is a generalised phrase that has become effective, and it is now almost taboo to disagree, as if this insults 9/11 victims. it is also crass as anyone with any world knowledge and integrity will no doubt note that international terrorism and its devastating and powerful effects has been around for a long long time, and the only change on 9/11 was that for once the ‘guns’ were pointing at the West

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