- Jean Charles de Menezer, a young Brazilian, was shot
dead by police in London in the ongoing hysteria of a 'shoot to kill' policy,
which targets those who appear out of place in dress or behavior.
- Police announced July, 22, 05, "We are now satisfied
that he was NOT connected with the incidents of Thursday July 21, 2005".
The news of Jean's senseless death was met with a hardly a murmur amongst
the citizens of London/or elsewhere.
- Jean was followed from the apartment building where he
resided, to a subway station, where he was then accosted by 'plain clothes
officers' who chased him down to the train, tripped him, jumped on him,
and then shot him five times in the torso. Jean's crime was that he
did not appear British; absent a monocle, tweed attire, complete with bowler
head wear. He, being from Brazil, made the mistake of wearing a fleece
jacket in the cool London weather. Those from tropical climates are a bit
more sensitive to the gray chill of London, on even the balmiest of days.
- Common sense might surmise that if one was indeed suspected
of harboring a bomb beneath his jacket, you would hardly follow him to
a subway station (packed with people), before investigating! You would
hardly trip the man, jump on him, and shoot him five times in the "torso",
as reported by witnesses; setting at risk your own life and numerous
- With London having the highest rate of crime in Great
Britain, up consistently 37% year in and year out, one might guess that
this foreign man, was fearful for his life, when this strange gang of
men (not in uniform) yelled at him and took up chasing him? We'll never
know since without provocation they killed him.
- Astoundingly, London's Mayor Ken Livingstone stated,
"The police acted to do what they believed necessary to protect the
lives of the public. This tragedy has added another victim to the toll
of deaths for which the terrorists bear responsibility". Jean was
not killed by 'terrorists' but by police.
- Overzealous and incompetent, they followed a man from
his apartment building- to a crowded train station, before they insanely
jumped on him and shot him. They apparently gave little heed to the "public"
who might have died, had there been a device strapped around Jean's abdomen!
Jean, the Mayor of London needs to be reminded, was the "public".
He wasn't protected on his way to work, or business of the day, but set
upon and killed.
- Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair stated that,
"I think we are quite comfortable that the policy is right (shoot
to kill) but of course these are fantastically difficult times." I
wouldn't hesitate in thinking that it was most "difficult" for
young Jean! Blair added, "Somebody else could be shot". With
dress and suspicious behavior (?) being the criteria for a 'shoot to kill'
policy, one might warn the thousands of homeless people in London to beware!
- Upon hearing of Jean's death, and reports from eyewitnesses
of his terrified look as this group of men jumped him; I thought of the
numerous homeless persons I worked with in a large city (CT.), who would
meet the suspicions of a "shoot on sight" policy. Not having
shelter they were apt to wear their wardrobes on their backs. With medical
services and mental health clinics closed, or woefully under funded, there
are many folks wandering about who might be exhibiting bizarre or questionable
- Most telling in this tragedy is how desensitized society
has become to the death of the one. Carnage and death seem to be newsworthy
only if it involves mayhem visited on certain lands and populations? Our
nightly infotainment announces a blurb about numerous deaths in Iraq;
and then spends countless hours in the telling of a bug-eyed run-away
bride, Tom Cruise spouting his Scientology philosophy, or of Michael Jackson,
off to recuperate from his trial, at the palace of some Saudi Arabian
- In the recent bombing of London; Mr. Blair and President
Bush, were conveniently close at hand (Scotland) at the G-8 meeting to
offer condolences and assurances; that as the two world leaders against
terrorism, they would not falter in pursuing terrorism to the ends of
the earth. Guarded as they were at this meeting; by thousands of police,
helicopters hovering overhead, concrete barriers, and isolated by five
miles of fencing, specially constructed at a cost of one million dollars---it
wasn't hard to imagine why they were so confident.
- An innocent man is dead, which should cause all to fear.
With a 'shoot on sight' policy; that excuses any and all overt acts in
the name of fighting terrorism-the next innocent victim could be anybody,
given their behavior or choice of wardrobe when leaving the house. The
homeless need to pay special heed-and those from tropical climates not
acclimated to cooler temperatures!