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Firearms Officers refusing to carry out duty

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Firearms Officers refusing to carry out duty

Old 2nd Nov 2004, 20:10
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Planet Tharg
Posts: 2,471
Was always taught to identify my target. Saves a lot of trouble in the long run. Circumstances can change suddenly and having to make decisions in a couple of seconds that then get debated and second guessed for hours in court makes for an interesting existence. Don't envy those at the sharp end...

Nr Fairy

You sound a bit peeved, chap. This is a rumour network after all and everyone is entitled to air an opinion within the ROE here. (Last I looked, anyway.)
Solid Rust Twotter is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2004, 20:23
  #22 (permalink)  
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Looks like a "suicide by police".
More common in north america and much more effective than jumping in front of a bus.
Sad for the poor guy pulling the trigger when the threat level is re-evalluated at leisure after the event,Without the pressure of imminent danger to the public who they were trying to protect.
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Old 2nd Nov 2004, 20:26
  #23 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 1999
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this is being discussed on another thread - funnily enough VFRPilot is slagging off the police there as well.

As for Spork your ramblings sound like a teenager in a bad mood

if either of you would like to offer any kind of back up to what you are saying.. well, frankly i would be amazed. feel free to make adult observations at any point

Armed police in the Met get no extra pay, and are therefore volunteers. As such, they can withdraw from armed duty at any point. they have done so. With comments like these, you don't really have to wonder why
Mr Chips is offline  
Old 2nd Nov 2004, 20:45
  #24 (permalink)  
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The judicial system is pretty keen on charging, trying and banging up all manner of people who make 'proffessional errors' eg. soldiers, railway bods,seafarers, aviators(?) so why should plods escape, if there are charges to answer.
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Old 2nd Nov 2004, 21:51
  #25 (permalink)  
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Mmm... Haven't been mistaken for a teenager in quite a while... I think the point here is that our firearms officers are often called to tricky situations where their professional judgement is important. They’re not simply trained in marksmanship; they’re trained in assessing the situation and taking the right action. Anyone remember the incident with the London teenager (not me Mr Chips) who had an imitation firearm and the officer kicked the gun from his hand and they arrested him?

It can be done in a skilful manner, and often is. Armed forces training is rather different from police dealing with the public. Let's see - a Scotsman has spent a while in the pub. Maybe he's had a dram or two. He sets off for home and never gets there. I just feel it’s unbelievable that without any sight of a weapon he is blown away. Before AND after this particular incident, our police have done much better than that many a time WITH THE SIGHT OF A WEAPON and still brought the situation to a close satisfactorily. I’m just amazed that so many of you are prepared to leap to their defence, as if this killing of an innocent man is acceptable.

“if either of you would like to offer any kind of back up to what you are saying” What back up is required on this? The media covered it more than adequately at the time, and now once again. What don’t you understand about it? You don’t agree with a different point of view expressed here? Well that’s just fine – that’s what polite discussion is all about.

“feel free to make adult observations at any point” So the adult approach is what exactly? Cheap shots at people who don’t agree with you?
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Old 2nd Nov 2004, 21:57
  #26 (permalink)  
Union Goon
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Um Spork,

We have VERY different views of what an innocent man is then.

If this same gentleman made those same threats that he carried out and caused a heartattack, he would actually be guilty of Murder.

Threatening a cop IS a crime. He was far from innoncent. You make it sound like this is some virgin that cops just ran up to and gunned down, and that is VERY far from the case.

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Old 2nd Nov 2004, 22:52
  #27 (permalink)  
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Location: Frimley, Surrey.
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An inebriated Scotsman carrying a table leg deserved to die - of course. Our police normally (and frequently) handle incidents like this with no problem. We've never had a "shoot first ask questions later" policy.
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Old 3rd Nov 2004, 00:14
  #28 (permalink)  
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Not one of the descriptions given of this incident so far match what actually happened.

The victim had been at a party at a relative's house a day or two earlier and had accidentally broken a coffee table. He took the table leg away with him to get it repaired. On the day he was shot he had collected the repaired table leg and was walking home with the leg in a plastic bag. On the way, he stopped at a pub that he didn't usually use - although he was known in the neighbourhood. (British pubs can be very cliquey places) Asked what was in the bag, he jokingly replied that it was a sawn-off shotgun, what else did they think it was. Somebody took objection to this and phoned the police to report the presence in the pub, of a drunken Irishman armed with a sawn-off shotgun. After his unfriendly reception, the victim finished his one and only pint and left the pub - he was neither drunk nor Irish - and was walking down the road when the armed response team arrived on the scene. Having identified the victim as the subject of the report they called out to him from behind that they were armed police. The victim turned to see what was going on - there is no reason to believe that he understood that they were calling out to him in particular. As he saw the pistols pointed at him he began to raise his arms - still holding the plastic bag. At this point he was shot. The victim was recovering from cancer surgery, which made him clumsy. He walked awkwardly and had difficulty raising his arms much above waist height and maintaining his balance. The police seem to have mistaken his slow deliberate movements as threatening. He aso had a criminal record, although the police who shot him weren't aware of this at the time.

Unfortunate error of judgement? You decide, but this incident shows why we British generally don't like the idea of arming our police. When mistakes are made, innocent people get shot.

Now, please feel free to go back to the right-wing ranting.
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Old 3rd Nov 2004, 05:59
  #29 (permalink)  

Helicopter Pilots Get It Up Quicker
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Whatever the rights or wrongs of the case it happened and as people say its easy to look back on things after they happened...

Seems strange that when the evidence and witnesses were fresh along with the press coverage the inquest left the verdict open. Now its all old and vague unlawful killing is decided...

Why is the caller not being charged with manslaughter(?) if the call to the police was malicious?

Also those who are claiming the officers should be suspended for inaccurate shooting, can I ask how many of you hold or have held firearms licences or are experienced shooters? If you get the chance watch a target shooter... how still they lay... how long they take to aquire the target... then try it standing/crouching/running/etc.

Shoot to disable? OK - nice idea but suppose the gunman goes down but is alive - what happens to the officers/public if the gunman makes it to the weapon again? The cry will be "they should have shot to kill" won't it?

Maybe the answer is to go down the lines of some of the US forces and use non lethal firearms?

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Old 3rd Nov 2004, 06:20
  #30 (permalink)  

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Mr Chips,

You sound like one of the Plod, pity really that you cannot see the angle of the point I am making, If any Policeman shoots some body who was not a threat to anyone, then he or she SHOULD Face the penalty, you obviously cannot see this from your elevated position of High Sheriff of where-ever,

The killing was judged as UNLAWFUL by a jury, that means MURDER, what else?

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Old 3rd Nov 2004, 06:44
  #31 (permalink)  
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No, The verdict of the jury does not mean its murder. Your comments are odd really as you advocated on another thread that you should be allowed to shoot burglars in your home, even if they are running away.

Still, its always easy to be the big I am when you have hours to debate the event.

A Police Officer cannot be ordered to carry a firearm, and if he does its his personel responsibility and decision to use it. Legaly there is protection for the officer under self defence or the defence of others. The SO19 officers feel that this protection has been erroded as a result of this decision.

The table leg was in a bag. Wrapped up and gave the apperence of being a firearm. A member of the public phoned 999 having THOUGHT he had seen a gun in the bag. He described the stock and trigger. No he wont be charged with anything, he did nothing wrong, apart from make a mistake.

Yes he was shot. Yes it was in the head. There is no such thing as shoot to disable, and frankly most Policemen are not paid enough to risk thier lives 'kicking' guns or what they think are guns from peoples hands. This is reality not a cowboy film.

Yes its sad that someone got killed. It seems that there a set of trgic circumstances that led to it, but it does not make the officers guilty of murder.
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Old 3rd Nov 2004, 07:16
  #32 (permalink)  
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There is one proposal for any police officer who shoots a civilian to be transfered to the Amercican air force and be given an F16. In this way he can specialise in taking out complete weddings rather than just individuals.
Just to put things in perspective there!
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Old 3rd Nov 2004, 07:21
  #33 (permalink)  
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Ahhhh, An Anti American Jab on a thread that had absolutely NOTHING to do with America. How original...

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Old 3rd Nov 2004, 07:43
  #34 (permalink)  
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At what stage do you say that any unarmed person shot by the police was just unfortunate? Effectively giving carte blanche to shoot who they like?

It's interesting that for all the deaths caused by the police or in police custody, no one has ever ended up being found guilty - not even in the Stephen Waldorf case, or in the case of the 4 year old shot in bed by the police.

If you say that such deaths are rare but have to be accepted, you then have a parallel if you say that a death caused by dangerous or careless driving by a policeman answering an emergency call is also unfortunate. At what stage do you have them take responsibility for their actions?

A train driver passing a signal at danger and then being involved in a crash where people are killed may well face manslaughter charges - many have done so. A professional misjudgement leaves them at risk, so why not apply the same rules to a policeman?
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Old 3rd Nov 2004, 08:19
  #35 (permalink)  
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Its about time the police in this country were held accountable for their actions to the extent that HM Forces are.

For too long the 'justice' system has pounced on soldiers carrying weapons, doing their jobs, but were perceived to have stepped outside the Rules of Engagement (Lee Clegg and the recent case of the Trooper in Iraq come to mind.) (Whether Clegg should have actually faced charges is another matter).

A couple of years ago, armed police in Hastings broke into a drug-dealer's home and killed him, naked, as he was getting out of bed. I don't recall any prosecutions but the Chief Constable (Paul Whitehouse) resigned over the incident.

The police in this country have way too much power afforded to them while the armed forces are constantly harrassed over their conduct while operating in much more difficult conditions in Ulster and the wider world.

I believe the police are reaping the whirlwind over this...
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Old 3rd Nov 2004, 08:29
  #36 (permalink)  
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What a bunch of losers these guys are! Two of their colleagues shot an old guy carrying a table leg in a plastic bag. Obviously totally over the top and totally unjustified. Result: Oooh! Let's all come out in sympathy with incompetent twats! They should've been dismissed, not suspended
that’s what polite discussion is all about.
Mr (?) Spork, it is interesting to see the difference in your posts, and what you are trying to say. You suggest that I am having a pop at you because I don't agree with you... hardly. I refer to your first post on this subject. You call the police " bunch of losers" and "incompetent twats". YOou have decided from your point of view that the shooting (investigated by another police force) was "obviously totally over the top"

This is hardly rational, well thought out or "polite discussion"

Wsa this situation badly handled? Quite possibly, but i wasn't there, and you weren't there. Personally, I have never had to shout warnings to a man I am convinced is carrying a shotgun.

To dismiss the Police in the way that you did is what i called into question. I still think that your first post was juvenile and ill thought out. Your reply to me was as if it was written by a different person.

You sound like one of the Plod
Nope, not a policeman, never have been. Just trying to point out that you seem to slag the police first, think about what you are saying afterwards, if at all.

If any Policeman shoots some body who was not a threat to anyone
The officers concerned obviously - rightly or wrongly - considered that this man was a threat. Are you suggesting that had he been waving a real, but unloaded, gun, then the shooting would be murder?

Purely an example
You say that they should be prosecuted if they shoot someone who is not a threat. An unloaded gun is not a threat. How are the Police supposed to know?

Are you happy to shoot a burglar? Is he a threat to you?

you obviously cannot see this from your elevated position of High Sheriff of where-ever,
and you follow this comment by declaring the Police to be murderers? Where exactly are you Sherrif of? Deadwood?
Mr Chips is offline  
Old 3rd Nov 2004, 08:30
  #37 (permalink)  
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"The killing was judged as UNLAWFUL by a jury, that means MURDER, what else?"

Murder or Manslaughter.

Bear in mind that an Inquest isn't a trial, and the evidence isn't explored in the same way or in the same depth as in a criminal trial. It may turn out to be neither


If a jury at an Inquest has decided that someone was unlawfully killed by police officers, the verdict can't just be ignored.
There must be a review of the evidence given at the Inquest and then a decision by the Crown Prosecution Service whether anything emerged which would justify charging them with murder or manslaughter.

NB: I'm not expressing any view about the facts of this case, or the jury's verdict. I didn't hear the evidence, the jury did.
Flying Lawyer is offline  
Old 3rd Nov 2004, 11:19
  #38 (permalink)  
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Ok, put yourself in the position of one of those policemen...You are called out to stop a someone your information says is an Irish man, armed with a sawn off shotgun hidden in a plastic bag. You know that the person was arrested for armed robbery a few years earlier. You get there, point your gun at him hoping that he will lie down like a sensible chap so that you can have a chat to him. Instead he starts waving a stick like object (inside a cover so you can't be sure) around and shouting threats. As soon as he points it at you, you decide that your life is at risk, and you pull the trigger. Game over. Someone said that he should just be 'put down', not killed. The point is that if he is brandishing a gun, he is a threat. If he was shot in the leg, he would still be able to loose off a couple of shots towards YOU. This means that the whole idea of 'shoot to kill' is a nonsense. If there are grounds to shoot, then it is ALWAYS to kill. The bit about not shooting straight is rubbish as well. You try running for a distance, being told that somebody could be about to shoot you or a member of the public, so that your heart rate goes through the roof, and then taking a perfect shot. That is not the point. The policeman in this case aimed for a target, and that target is now dead. result.
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Old 3rd Nov 2004, 12:14
  #39 (permalink)  
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The specifics of the case are that the jury found that he did not in fact threaten the police. The police at no time claimed he was brandishing a weapon, nor that he said anything.

Their only claim was that a man had been reported to have been carrying a shotgun. They saw him, followed him round a corner, shouted simultaneously "Armed Police! Stop!", he began to turn, THEN *he turned to face them, raised the table leg, pointed it at them, adopted a boxers stance*, and they then both shot him.

As has been discussed, it was the section between the two asterisks above that was brought into doubt by forensic evidence.

As a result the jury came to the decision that he "began" to turn towards the noise, at which point the police shot him.

Last edited by Dave Martin; 3rd Nov 2004 at 12:30.
Dave Martin is offline  
Old 3rd Nov 2004, 13:54
  #40 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: London
Posts: 358
I'm afraid your facts are completely and utterly wrong.

Firstly, they had no idea that the person was arrested for armed robbery previously.

Secondly, the police admit that every time they challenge people with guns they react differently - some scream, some jump, some run, some drop to the ground or any number of possible variations. Look at the figures. There are hundreds if not thousands of armed callouts in London every year. If they were to fire everytime someone DIDN'T lay down on the ground, we would have carnage on our streets. As a result, the police are trained not to and MUST NOT fire if the person doesn't react as they expect. A prime example would be a schizophrenic (sp?), who is hearing voices anyway, and then hears a couple of police voices. How are they going to react? There is a very good chance that a bunch of people yelling at YOU from behind will just become a jumble of voices, and naturally you will turn around to see what the commotion is about.

Third, he was not waving a gun-like object NOR was he shouting. Not a word was said other than two police officers suddenly yelling at him from behind.

Fourth, the ballistic and pathologists evidence shows that he wasn't facing the police at the time the bullet through his head was fired.

It is absolutely true that the shot would have been towards the central body mass. Shooting guns out of peoples hands, or aiming for limbs when all you have are pistols, is the work of hollywood film stars. Not real policing.

The question is, were there grounds to shoot?

Is running around a corner, seeing a man who has left a pub, who, according to someone in a pub, was "apparently" armed with a shotgun, who then begins to turn to his left, grounds to shoot someone? I think not. I think these two police have let down the entire unit they represent.

As for your statement - "The policeman in this case aimed for a target, and that target is now dead. result.". You might just wish to think again before being so flippant. If you still feel the same after a short pause, I would strongly request you to follow this advice -

a) Do not walk around carrying anything in a blue plastic bag (umbrella, mobile phone etc),


b) next time you are startled by a noise behind you, DON'T even think of turning round....
Dave Martin is offline  

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