Recently, American Libertarian Larken Rose caused controversy when he asked
when is it okay to shoot a cop? Unfortunately, the answer to the other question, when is it okay for a cop to shoot you is: anytime he feels like it.
First, a brief recap: on August 4, 29 year old mini cab passenger Mark Duggan was shot dead by armed police in Tottenham, North London. This led to a peaceful protest, then a local riot, then parts of London and other major urban areas were hit by riots, and in some cases, went up in smoke
It was claimed initially there had been an exchange of fire, two shots having been discharged. Later, this turned out to be untrue, only the police had fired, twice, but the circumstances were such that the release of this misinformation could have been, and probably was, an honest mistake. After all, Duggan had been armed, hadn't he?
Well, a firearm was retrieved from the scene. We were led to believe by insinuation that he was or may have been holding the gun. Then the gun was said to have been wrapped in a sock. Now, we are being told that a police marksman shot Duggan, not simply an armed officer but one of those SWAT guys who run in shouting at the tops of their voices “Armed police”, and if you don't comply with their demands to the letter, you take the consequences.
Now, we are being told that
: “A gun collected by Duggan earlier in the day was recovered 10 to 14 feet away, on the other side of a low fence from his body. He was killed outside the vehicle he was travelling in”.
There is said to be overwhelming evidence of this. So much overwhelming evidence. The original scene has now transmogrified from a man sitting in the back of a car surrounded by police, a man who had drawn, was drawing, or was about to draw a gun, who was shot in an exchange of fire or by a nervous individual who over-reacted, to one in which an unarmed man got out of a car, and was gunned down like a dog.
On top of that, Duggan had been tailed by undercover police all day, which begs the question, how did he suddenly become so dangerous?
Here's another gem: “Police insiders stress that firearms officers have a highly dangerous job, the risks and realities of which are little understood outside law enforcement circles”.
No, arsewipe, the most dangerous job in Britain is farming. Working on a fishing boat, on a building site, or as a despatch rider are all considerably more dangerous than working as SO19 plod, especially when they go around in gangs, dressed in full body armour and armed to the teeth.
“Recent police shooting cases have shown that even where the person killed had no weapon, or it was some distance away, if officers can show they had a reasonable belief their life or that of others was in danger, they are highly likely to have a lawful defence.”
Yeah, like Harry Stanley who was carrying a coffee table leg in a bag, or the naked James Ashley
who was shot dead in his bedroom. Hopefully not in this case though. Now about that gun, on the other side of the Pond
: “A former police detective testified Monday that he participated in a plot to fabricate witnesses, falsify reports and plant a gun to make it seem police were justified in shooting unarmed residents on a New Orleans bridge after Hurricane Katrina.”
That story hit the media here less than a month before the shooting of Mark Duggan. Earlier, this week it was noted
that the IPCC has been dragging its feet over this case. Now it appears to have done so with good reason, but at the end of the day it had better come up with something good, or more riots could well follow. On the face of it, it looks as though at least one police office should be facing at least a manslaughter charge, because if they can shoot Mark Duggan dead under such circumstances with total impunity, they can shoot any of us.