Op-Ed: The shootings at Woolwich — the big unanswered question

Posted May 31, 2013 by Alexander Baron
The immediate aftermath of the horrific murder of Lee Rigby has raised a question no one in the mainstream media has thought to ask.
Awake Naija
No one in the mainstream or anywhere else, it would appear. If you have not seen armed police taking down the two suspects, check out this video. Now ask yourself, how many shots were fired? Both suspects were seriously wounded, and under these circumstances, no one would have been surprised if the police had killed them. The next question is, why didn't they? Without saying anything to prejudice any forthcoming trials, it is clear is it not that the two men shown here had just murdered an innocent man in the most horrific manner possible and were intent either on killing others - specifically police officers - or on committing suicide by cop, or both?
There are times when it is correct for the police to shoot first and ask questions later; not only were these two men clearly armed but they could have been carrying explosives. All the same, showing remarkable professionalism and restraint, these officers managed to incapacitate both men without killing them. If that doesn't deserve a medal or at least a commendation apiece, what does? Now, cast back your mind to August 4, 2011. Around 6.15 that evening, Mark Duggan was shot dead by armed police in North London.
This event, and the police response to it, set off a chain reaction of riots that enveloped first the immediate area, then spread to other areas of London, including Croydon, and finally to the rest of the country. Shameful and inexcusable as these riots were, they would not have happened but for the execution of Mark Duggan.
It is also clear that the Metropolitan Police high command attempted wilfully to mislead the public about this tragedy. It took two trials to convict Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, the man who is alleged to have supplied Duggan with the gun he wasn't pointing at the police when he was shot dead. Little or nothing has been heard about the investigation into this fatal shooting since last year, but it will not go away.
Crossing the Atlantic, earlier this week a Texas man aged 72 was shot dead by police in his own garage. This is a sadly all too typical incident in a country where the police are routinely armed, and again begs the question, if police officers can enter a situation without warning in which a man has been murdered by armed assailants and subdue them effectively without the use of lethal force, why is it ever necessary to shoot dead an unarmed man in the back of a mini-cab, or an elderly man on his own property?