July 25, 2006

oops, Your Dead

Last week, English authorities announced that the cops who killed an innocent man in the London subway will not be charged with any crime. On July 22, 2005, gunslinging officers of an anti-terrorism unit shot a Brazilian man 7 times in the head. The world was told the victim resembled a suicide bomber in all sorts of ways that turned out to be untrue.

The men who carried out this execution could not be held responsible because they "genuinely believed" that the victim, Jean Charles de Menezes, was a suicide bomber — an honest mistake, they said. It seems such genuine belief is a vital part of a system of authoritative murder.

We saw this in the Amadou Diallo case when the jury acquitted the officers who shot the unarmed man because they genuinely believed at the time that their own lives were in danger.

In this system, if a police officer is sincere when he testifies, 'oops, I made a mistake,' then killing innocent people appears to be OK.

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