Monday, 11 November 2013

Over-enthusiastic US law enforcement, or Why don't more people get upset?

This piece tells me much more than I ever wanted to know about why I should never visit Deming, N.M. More than that, it makes some good points about that poor woman who was shot and killed in Washington by the Secret Service - to almost universal indifference. (BBC report here.) I found the quiet about this story rather horrible at the time and I'm glad I'm not alone in that. I did not know about the standing ovation for the killers and I agree with the quotation below - it was repulsive. The extensive inquest into the shooting of Mark Duggan is far more laudable.

"Under D.C. police rules, cops are not permitted to fire on a moving vehicle, because of the risk to pedestrians and other drivers. But the Secret Service and the Capitol Police enjoy no such restraints, so the car doors are full of bullet holes. The final moments of the encounter remain a mystery, but police were supposedly able to extract Ms. Carey’s baby from the back of a two-door vehicle before dispatching the defenseless mother to meet her maker. 
"When you need large numbers of supposedly highly trained elite officers to kill an unarmed woman with a baby, you’re doing it wrong. In perhaps the most repugnant reaction to Ms. Carey’s death, the United States Congress expressed their “gratitude” to the officers who killed her and gave them a standing ovation. Back in the Eighties, the Queen woke up to find a confused young man at the end of her bed. She talked to him calmly until help arrived and he was led away. A few years later, Her Majesty’s Canadian prime minister, Jean Chr├ętien, was confronted by an aggrieved protester. As is his wont, he dealt with it somewhat more forcefully than his sovereign, throttling the guy, forcing him to the ground, and breaking his tooth, until the Mounties arrived to rescue the assailant from the prime minister. But, had the London and Ottawa intruders been gunned down by SWAT teams, I cannot imagine for a moment either the British or Canadian parliament rising to applaud such an outcome. This was a repulsive act by Congress."

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