Friday, March 06, 2009

James Ashley and the immunity of the police

Good solid forensic stuff on police propensity for shooting innocent people from 'Obsolete'.

For all the assurances of police training and professionalism, the plain fact is that they are just ordinary guys and as susceptible as the next man to the subtle corruptions that are the natural accompaniment of any and all power. Give them powers not available to anyone else and, in pursuit of 'the baddies', they WILL be exercised - more often than not in circumstances that were neither envisaged nor intended - and to hell with any 'pain-in-the-ass innocent bystanders' that get in the way.

Thus, alleged 'anti-terror' legislation is used to harass photographers or remove a legitimate octogenarian heckler from a conference - that sort of thing. The big problem with 'Special' Armed Police Units is that the 'special' bit is apt to imbue them with a certain elitist gung-ho attitude as well. Couple that with the knowledge that they will pretty well ALWAYS be given the benefit of any doubt and you have a lethal cocktail that guarantees innocent victims and subsequent deliberate obfuscation - the 'Unit Corps God Country' code of the accused in 'A few Good Men', that relegates the innocent victim to the status of an mere inconvenience to be dealt with.

I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that giving ever more powers to the police together with constant fear-mongering about terrorism are emphatically NOT a part of it.

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