London Shooting: What would you have do?

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What would you have done?


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  • #1
Delta
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London Shooting: What would you have done?

A man was pursued by police, suspected of being a suicide bomber and shot dead.

The man came from a residence under surveillance, but maybe had nothing to do with it. He wore a largish coat, unusual? or is this irrelevant?, he ran (was it from the police or to catch the train?).

Given the circumstances, put yourself in the position of the armed officer in pursuit seeing the man heading for the tube train at Stockwell.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
Pengwuino
Gold Member
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Did we ever get any details as to why they discharged their weapons? Whens the report going to be released.

And you need to change the situation to make it accurate.
Take out "is this irrelevant?" "but maybe had nothing to do with it" because that's putting personal bias into the poll along with information we only knew after the fact.

It is also known that he ran from the police because he jumped over one of those watchamacallits that you step through to get to your train (as opposed to him trying to catch it).

The officers were also plain-clothesed officers.
 
  • #3
Monique
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I also want to stress that the police men were undercover in civilian clothes. What if he thought they were criminals about to take him hostage or something. He had 5 shot wounds to the head, doesn't show much control of the police's side.
 
  • #4
Delta
87
0
I hoped to try and make it as unbiased as possible. I agree that at the time of making the choice we didn't know what we know now. But with my opinion that he did what he could only do, I wanted to give a devils advocate view to each circumstance, and negate each event that supported a shoot to kill decision.

The important point is to imagine you didn't know anything from after the shooting, what choice would you make?
 
  • #5
enigma
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It was HOT in London that day and he was wearing a coat. He came out of the house which was already under surveillance for suspected terrorist activity and went to the train station. When he got there, he jumped over the fare collection things and RAN towards the train.

Uh... shoot to kill. If he's disabled, he can still hit the trigger if he's carrying a bomb.
 
  • #6
zanazzi78
115
1
Monique said:
I also want to stress that the police men were undercover in civilian clothes. What if he thought they were criminals about to take him hostage or something. He had 5 shot wounds to the head, doesn't show much control of the police's side.


The police idenified them selves as armed police, then the suspect ran down into the subway, the officers involved were correct to open fire. If they hadn`t and he was a bomber (as they suspected all be it incorrectly in hind sight) and managed to get into the subway and set off an explosive device then the repocutions would have been much greater!
 
  • #7
None of the above. The options offered do not gell with what is known so far.

The facts we (think we) know are;

i) Team (a) had a block of flats under surveillance and saw a dark skinned man leave the building
ii) Team (a) whilst realising the man did not match the pics of any of the bombers decided he was worth tailing anyway in case he led to something bigger and so assigned a few of their number to the task.
iii) Some members of team (a) followed the 'suspect' to a bus stop where he took a 15 min ride to Stockwell tube station.
iv) At the station team (a) handed over control to team (b) SO19 specialist marksmen.
v) the 'suspect' entered the station and team (b) made a decision to not allow him to get on a train.
vi) The suspect got on the train and was shot dead by the members of team (b)

The circumstances of what occurred in the station are clouded in controversy with wildly differing accounts and so there are no reliable facts available other than that he was shot 8 times..

However from the information above I believe it is safe to assume that team (a) whilst thinking the 'suspect' was worthy of following did not view him as a primary terrorist candidate because if they did they were grossly incompetent in allowing him to board a bus.
When control passed to team (b) it appears the level of 'suspicion' was not clearly communicated and so team (b) it seems elevated his standing from the mild suspect status that team (a) had afforded him to a clear and present danger.
From that point how team (b) reacted is the subject of conjecture as the police, apart from a few unsubstantiated, unattributed leaks to the media have been deafeningly silent on the details.

However what we do know is that if he had been a suicide bomber several people would have been dead as the police allowed him to spend 26 minutes between leaving his house and shooting him during which time he not only spent 15 mins on a bus but also managed to enter an underground train.

From this I do not see how it is possible to conclude other than that the police were incompetent in the way they managed this whole episode.

Edit: Link added - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,22989-1707480,00.html
 
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  • #8
Delta
87
0
The team (a) / team (b) thing is news to me, any sources?

I guess we can safely assume that if there was a second marksmen team, that they would have been more inclinded towards a shoot to kill decision if given biased information. i.e. he's a terrorist suspect.

For the purpose of the poll I think we should assume there was only one team, because if that were the case, I would think the shooter would have more doubt than if told he was a terrorist.
 
  • #9
Pengwuino
Gold Member
5,124
17
Monique said:
I also want to stress that the police men were undercover in civilian clothes. What if he thought they were criminals about to take him hostage or something. He had 5 shot wounds to the head, doesn't show much control of the police's side.

The officer who fired was armed with an automatic pistol (odd) so that's why so many rounds were fired. Its very hard to fire just 1 shot if its on its fully automatic mode.
 
  • #10
Delta said:
The team (a) / team (b) thing is news to me, any sources?

I guess we can safely assume that if there was a second marksmen team, that they would have been more inclinded towards a shoot to kill decision if given biased information. i.e. he's a terrorist suspect.

For the purpose of the poll I think we should assume there was only one team, because if that were the case, I would think the shooter would have more doubt than if told he was a terrorist.
Appologies I forgot to post the link. Here it is http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,22989-1707480,00.html
 
  • #11
The Smoking Man
47
0
Delta said:
I hoped to try and make it as unbiased as possible. I agree that at the time of making the choice we didn't know what we know now. But with my opinion that he did what he could only do, I wanted to give a devils advocate view to each circumstance, and negate each event that supported a shoot to kill decision.

The important point is to imagine you didn't know anything from after the shooting, what choice would you make?
There is an option you have failed to enter into the poll ...

"Raid the house for which they had the address 24 hous before."

If they thought this was where the bombers may be originating from and they had an address, why didn't they go in and clear the premises?
 
  • #12
BobG
Science Advisor
Homework Helper
330
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Art said:
None of the above. The options offered do not gell with what is known so far.

The facts we (think we) know are;

i) Team (a) had a block of flats under surveillance and saw a dark skinned man leave the building
ii) Team (a) whilst realising the man did not match the pics of any of the bombers decided he was worth tailing anyway in case he led to something bigger and so assigned a few of their number to the task.
iii) Some members of team (a) followed the 'suspect' to a bus stop where he took a 15 min ride to Stockwell tube station.
iv) At the station team (a) handed over control to team (b) SO19 specialist marksmen.
v) the 'suspect' entered the station and team (b) made a decision to not allow him to get on a train.
vi) The suspect got on the train and was shot dead by the members of team (b)

The circumstances of what occurred in the station are clouded in controversy with wildly differing accounts and so there are no reliable facts available other than that he was shot 8 times..

However from the information above I believe it is safe to assume that team (a) whilst thinking the 'suspect' was worthy of following did not view him as a primary terrorist candidate because if they did they were grossly incompetent in allowing him to board a bus.
When control passed to team (b) it appears the level of 'suspicion' was not clearly communicated and so team (b) it seems elevated his standing from the mild suspect status that team (a) had afforded him to a clear and present danger.
From that point how team (b) reacted is the subject of conjecture as the police, apart from a few unsubstantiated, unattributed leaks to the media have been deafeningly silent on the details.

However what we do know is that if he had been a suicide bomber several people would have been dead as the police allowed him to spend 26 minutes between leaving his house and shooting him during which time he not only spent 15 mins on a bus but also managed to enter an underground train.

From this I do not see how it is possible to conclude other than that the police were incompetent in the way they managed this whole episode.

Edit: Link added - http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,22989-1707480,00.html
Considering the news reports say he was shot 5 times instead of 8, perhaps we have no reliable facts. The 5 shots were to the head and torso. The shots may have been at very close range, but it would be hard to miss his head if he were pinned and stationary with the gun against his head.

The first police warning was when Menezes was outside the station. By time he reached the subway platform and the subway, the chase was in full swing. If none of the witnesses on the subway platform and subway heard a police warning, it is probably likely that no more warnings were being given by that point. They need an eyewitness from outside the subway station.

I could definitely see a handover from one team to the other contributing to this. In fact, I can practically imagine the conversation about the suspect and the slowly rising stress as it dawned on them that they might be facing a terribly critical decision instead of just accomplishing routine surveillance.
 
  • #13
Andy
69
11
You say dark skinned man like it makes any difference. I would be willing to bet my house (if i had one) on the officers following any person that left the residence.

I would like to know the nationalities of the people that vote aswell, i reckon the vast majority of british people will agree on the shoot to kill policy. As for other nationalities who knows?
 
  • #14
Spin_Network
375
0
Delta said:
The team (a) / team (b) thing is news to me, any sources?

I guess we can safely assume that if there was a second marksmen team, that they would have been more inclinded towards a shoot to kill decision if given biased information. i.e. he's a terrorist suspect.

For the purpose of the poll I think we should assume there was only one team, because if that were the case, I would think the shooter would have more doubt than if told he was a terrorist.

You may want to include accurate information?

Important info..there was a number of suicide bombings on 7/7..on the previous day in question 22/7 there was 4 attempted bombings involving public transport. After being targeted twice in two weeks, what do you thingk the police were doing?

It is common knowledge that since Sept 11th 2001, there has been, if the circumstances cannot be resolved without the loss of life a :
SHOOT-TO-KILL-TO-PROTECT policy.

Emphasis is with the security forces, who have to way situations in real -fast-time. For instance, if there a chance of a suspected suicide bomber actuating a device, then the security forces will:SHOOT(suspect/s)with the intent of instant death, -TO-KILL,in order to PROTECT a larger probable slaughter of innocent life.

The young lad, Jean Charles De Menezes, who has just been killed in the most horrible of circumstances, quite a disgusting ordeal which ended in his Killing. The Lad was a Brazilian, who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time . He was in the UK working, to pay for cancer treatment for his sick Father back home in Brazil.

This is really a true tragic story, since it was first announced here in the UK it is quite horrible that, the Police/Security, that were under great pressure and stress, having just seen the Horror's of the Suicide Bombings the previous weeks, and the previous day attempt to invoke carnage, have but a split second, to choose between one life..or many?

This is all hindsight now, we now know that the young lad was fleeing form his pursuers, as he thought he was an illegal, his visa had run out..but he thought he would be deported, but this was not the case.

Really a tragic killing, could it, under the circumstances been avoided?..under the circumstances of the Young lad..and those of the security forces, I think not. The tension of everyday folk in London has been accelerated due to the terrorist actions, they terrorists, are called this for a specific reason, they distribute unbiased Terror into the live of totally innocent everyday folks.
 
  • #15
Andy
69
11
I think that's the best/smartest post anyone has posted regarding this whole affair.
 
  • #16
The Smoking Man
47
0
BobG said:
The first police warning was when Menezes was outside the station. By time he reached the subway platform and the subway, the chase was in full swing. If none of the witnesses on the subway platform and subway heard a police warning, it is probably likely that no more warnings were being given by that point. They need an eyewitness from outside the subway station.
No, they claim he was challenged while he stood in line at a ticket machine inside the station ie. surrounded by people.

Some of those witnesses have stated that the police did not challenge him with 'STOP, ARMED POLICE' but merely put their blue baseball caps on. Now regardless if the police said it or not, if others around him did not hear the warning (Subway noise, tannoy announcement, whatever) then the fact is, he was NOT warned properly.

I'm not sure about you but if someone were to point a gun at me, I would not be reading his hat.
 
  • #17
The Smoking Man
47
0
Andy said:
You say dark skinned man like it makes any difference. I would be willing to bet my house (if i had one) on the officers following any person that left the residence.

I would like to know the nationalities of the people that vote aswell, i reckon the vast majority of british people will agree on the shoot to kill policy. As for other nationalities who knows?
That's just it Andy, It was a block of flats and they had been watching the premesis for 24 hours.

They DIDN'T follow anyone else.
 
  • #18
BobG said:
Considering the news reports say he was shot 5 times instead of 8, perhaps we have no reliable facts. The 5 shots were to the head and torso. The shots may have been at very close range, but it would be hard to miss his head if he were pinned and stationary with the gun against his head.
At the inquest today it was established he was shot 8 times. 7 in the head and 1 in the shoulder.

BobG said:
The first police warning was when Menezes was outside the station. By time he reached the subway platform and the subway, the chase was in full swing. If none of the witnesses on the subway platform and subway heard a police warning, it is probably likely that no more warnings were being given by that point. They need an eyewitness from outside the subway station.
This is where the controversy sets in. All information regarding what happened following his arrival at the tube station is highly speculative. The police have yet to make an official statement detailing what happened. So far what has been reported has been the result of unsubstantiated, unattributed leaks by elements within the police to the media accompanied by various often conflicting statements by eye witnesses.

BobG said:
I could definitely see a handover from one team to the other contributing to this. In fact, I can practically imagine the conversation about the suspect and the slowly rising stress as it dawned on them that they might be facing a terribly critical decision instead of just accomplishing routine surveillance.
That's my best guess too. That it was in the handover the situation first began to run out of control.
 
  • #19
Andy
69
11
Do you think they where the only officers watching the residence? There would have been dozens of officers assigned to the surveilance operation. He may have been the first person to leave the residence or he may have been the second or third. It doesn't really matter, all that matters is that he was followed from the residence. Doesnt matter if he's black, brown or white they would have followed anyone.
 
  • #20
Spin_Network said:
This is really a true tragic story, since it was first announced here in the UK it is quite horrible that, the Police/Security, that were under great pressure and stress, having just seen the Horror's of the Suicide Bombings the previous weeks, and the previous day attempt to invoke carnage, have but a split second, to choose between one life..or many?
They had 26 minutes from when he left the block of flats to when they killed him during which I am sure they could have found a spot to stop and detain him where he would be no danger to anyone.

BobG said:
This is all hindsight now, we now know that the young lad was fleeing form his pursuers, as he thought he was an illegal, his visa had run out..but he thought he would be deported, but this was not the case.
And this is why the police leaked to the press that he might be an illegal immigrant to make their story that they challenged him and he ran more believable. Bearing in mind some eye witnesses have said the police did not identify themselves and formally challenge him.

BobG said:
Really a tragic killing, could it, under the circumstances been avoided?..under the circumstances of the Young lad..and those of the security forces, I think not. The tension of everyday folk in London has been accelerated due to the terrorist actions, they terrorists, are called this for a specific reason, they distribute unbiased Terror into the live of totally innocent everyday folks.
It could have been stopped 26 minutes earlier if the police had challenged him as he left the block of flats. It was the police created the high pressure situation by allowing him to travel to the tube station.
 
  • #21
The Smoking Man
47
0
Andy said:
Do you think they where the only officers watching the residence? There would have been dozens of officers assigned to the surveilance operation. He may have been the first person to leave the residence or he may have been the second or third. It doesn't really matter, all that matters is that he was followed from the residence. Doesnt matter if he's black, brown or white they would have followed anyone.
LOL ... Now THAT is speculation.

They had an address obtained from a knapsack in a previous bombing and they knew there were explosives.

Why didn't they raid in that 24 hours?

Yes, Andy, I am from the UK too. I used to live near Earl's Court. I also lived in Slough, Rhyl and York. (Okay so I didn't choose the best places)

I know what a fleece jacket is as well ... That is now what they are describing his 'coat' as being.

The weather channel states that the temperature was about 20 C degrees in London. That's 68F for the Americans. Would that temperature cause a person to wear a 'fleece jacket' ... Sweatshirt?
 
  • #22
Delta
87
0
I think spin network put made some good points, it was a tragic set of circumstances.

And I think its also becoming clear how this debate can go into many areas. My opinions were largely based on the actions of the officer in question and the shoot-to-kill policy, and this poll was created with that in mind. I.e. what would you do in that position.

Having tackled the shoot to kill policy, the second area is police incompetence. This is the line the family of the victim will focus on.

Should the property have been raided there and then?, or should they continue to wait for someone to lead them to other suspects/hideouts? Should they have blown their cover in front of the residence and apprehended the suspect there and then? Not forgetting that at this time they did not know the events to come, i.e. he would run into a tube train. Should they have continued to follow without apprehension? Was there a risk of two many civilians being present on the bus or on the way to the station?

Of course there is still too much speculation on what happened within the station to decide. We'll have to await further evidence, and what communication went on between the teams, something which I believe Art is not to optimistic of getting.
 
  • #23
Delta said:
Of course there is still too much speculation on what happened within the station to decide. We'll have to await further evidence, and what communication went on between the teams, something which I believe Art is not to optimistic of getting.
Only because if the CCTV footage backed up the 'leaked' police version of events we would be seeing it broadcast 24/7 and so it appears the police have gone into damage control mode. Spin a few rumours but say nothing definite that might be refuted later.
One has to wonder if the victim had been a Pakistani would the police be still saying he is a terrorist suspect?
 
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  • #24
The Smoking Man
47
0
enigma said:
It was HOT in London that day and he was wearing a coat. He came out of the house which was already under surveillance for suspected terrorist activity and went to the train station. When he got there, he jumped over the fare collection things and RAN towards the train.

Uh... shoot to kill. If he's disabled, he can still hit the trigger if he's carrying a bomb.
It was 20C or 68Fin London that day and the 'coat' was a 'fleece jacket' ... sweatshirt with a zip.

The house wasn't a house. It was a block of flats ... Apartment building.

He may have been late for work and thought he was going to miss the train.
 
  • #25
loseyourname
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
1,802
5
The Smoking Man said:
I'm not sure about you but if someone were to point a gun at me, I would not be reading his hat.

Someone points a gun at me, I'm putting my hands in the air.
 
  • #26
The Smoking Man
47
0
loseyourname said:
Someone points a gun at me, I'm putting my hands in the air.
Are you French :tongue:

(Sorry ... couldn't resist)
 
  • #27
TheStatutoryApe
260
4
It's hard to tell with all this conflicting information about what exactly happened. Considering that they (as far as we know) had no evidence that the man was involved with the people under surveillance and no evidence that he had any sort of bomb on his person aside from the fact that he was wearing a coat the resulting actions were improper. He should have only been monitored and if he acted in a suspicious manner only accosted and detained or pursued when he ran. From the information here it would seem that there was no way they could have reasonably concluded that he was a threat.
 
  • #28
Townsend
221
0
The Smoking Man said:
Are you French :tongue:

(Sorry ... couldn't resist)
:rofl: ...
 
  • #29
hitssquad
926
0
Automatic pistols vs machine pistols

Pengwuino said:
The officer who fired was armed with an automatic pistol (odd) so that's why so many rounds were fired. Its very hard to fire just 1 shot if its on its fully automatic mode.
Fully automatic pistols are usually called machine pistols. The far more common semiautomatic pistols are usually called automatics. Are you sure it was a machine pistol? the only reference to London "machine pistol" that comes up on Google News is to the HK MP5's openly carried by some of the platform police. An HK MP5 is a chunky weapon that would be hard for an undercover cop to hide. I think the weapon was probably an ordinary Glock or Beretta semiautomatic.

Can you imagine witnesses being able to count every shot of a split-second 5-shot burst from a machinegun? The fact that witnesses reported distinct numbers of shots seems to imply that the weapon was an ordinary semiautomatic.
 
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  • #30
TheStatutoryApe
260
4
hitssquad said:
Fully automatic pistols are usually called machine pistols. The far more common semiautomatic pistols are usually called automatics. Are you sure it was a machine pistol? the only reference to London "machine pistol" that comes up on Google News is to the HK MP5's openly carried by some of the platform police. An HK MP5 is a chunky weapon that would be hard for an undercover cop to hide. I think the weapon was probably an ordinary Glock or Beretta semiautomatic.

Can you imagine witnesses being able to count every shot of a split-second 5-shot burst from a machinegun? The fact that witnesses reported distinct numbers of shots seems to imply that the weapon was an ordinary semiautomatic.
I don't know about London but around here in many circumstances it is common practice to unload the weopon completely when a police officer shoots to kill.
 
  • #31
hitssquad
926
0
TheStatutoryApe said:
I don't know about London but around here in many circumstances it is common practice to unload the weopon completely when a police officer shoots to kill.
Could you please indicate or clarify how that relates to my post?
 
  • #32
Smurf
396
3
When was the last time you saw a semi/fully automatic pistol with a clip of only 8 rounds? Besides (or mainly), you hardly need to empty a weapon into a guys head to know he's dead. That's just stupid and sick. No one keeps shooting a guy in the head once he's already dead.
 
  • #33
Burnsys
64
0
I remember, maybe 1 year ago, an argentinian men was ilegaly modifying glocks and beretas to full auto, and selling them in the net, he was caught by fbi agents and sent to USA.
 
  • #34
hitssquad
926
0
Smurf said:
Besides (or mainly), you hardly need to empty a weapon into a guys head to know he's dead.
I think most gun people would contest this. There are instances of people having survived gunshot wounds to the head, even from .45s* (I think this was probably a Beretta 92 which is a 9mm=.355 caliber). Five shots is surer than one shot, though still not a guarantee — as experience in the field has proven.


*There supposedly was a case where a pointed full-metal-jacket .50 caliber machine gun bullet entered the front of the kevlar helmet of a helicopter crewman, ricocheted off of his head (taking a bit of his skull out), and exited out the top of his helmet. Two holes in the helmet. No holes in the skull. Very big, very fast bullet.
 
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  • #35
hypatia
1,189
9
TheStatutoryApe said:
I don't know about London but around here in many circumstances it is common practice to unload the weopon completely when a police officer shoots to kill.
They do that here too, they don't want to give the guy a second chance to harm someone.
 

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