Aamer’s unedited version of column for Scottish Sun on Sunday 12th January 2014
SINCE WHEN WERE OUR POLICE LICENSED TO KILL FREELY?
The inquest into the killing of Mark Duggan in 2011, concluded that he had been carrying a gun in the taxi before police stopped it, but that the gun was no longer in his hands when he was shot.
The Jury decided that Duggan was lawfully killed because “V53”, the police officer who fired the fatal shot ‘honestly’ believed that Duggan was still holding a gun and was going to pull the trigger. When he fired two shots he said his eyes were still “glued to the gun.”
Mark Duggan had been under surveillance by the Met as he collected a handgun 15 minutes before being shot dead after getting out of a minicab in Tottenham. Duggan was no saint and many believe he deserved what he got. Law abiding people tend to have little sympathy for those carrying illegal handguns and consider their being shot as an ‘occupational hazard’.
Why should a police officer risk his life trying to figure out the rules of engagement with a ‘gun toting gangster’, when his own survival depends on split second decisions?
Of course this script was fed to the media by the police within minutes of Duggan’s killing, a script likely to fall apart as each inquiries progresses.
But since when was it right for the Police to shoot someone simply because he’s bad man or even a ‘gangster’?
After all we do not have the death sentence and whether you are a police officer or civilian you can only use ‘reasonable’ lethal force to defend yourself or another if you believe there to be an imminent danger to life.
All the talk about ‘policing by consent’ is a red herring because gangsters who carry guns don’t play by such rules, but those who believe police officers don’t fabricate evidence should think again.
Just look at Stephen Lawrence, Hillsborough and even ‘poor’ Andrew Mitchell MP, time and time again rather than tell the truth, the Police close ranks, circulate lies and smears and do themselves no favours.
Remember innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, executed as a ‘suicide bomber’ on a London Tube in 2007 by Police officers. Within minutes of his death we were told he had vaulted over the ticket barrier in a heavily padded jacket pursued by officers identifying themselves as ‘armed police’- All later found to be lies.
In the case of homeless man Ian Tomlinson killed by a police baton during G8, we were told that protesters ‘bottled’ medics trying to save him. Again all lies.
Once again we have more lies.
If Duggan was pointing a gun at the officers when the fatal shot was fired, how did he throw the gun twenty feet away?
Why did no other officers or independent witnesses apart from one ever see a gun?
Why was there was no DNA or finger prints found on the gun and why was it still wrapped in a sock?
Why did the police claim that Duggan had shot at them first when the gun was not even ‘primed’ to shoot?
Most ordinary Londoners black or white I suspect don’t really give a damn about men like Mark Duggan, sickened by the misery that they cause but that doesn’t give our Police Officers a license to kill unarmed men.
The cabbie who carried Duggan as a passenger described to the inquest the armed officer V53 as acting “like someone who had lost his senses.”
When 1023 people have died at the hands of the police officers since 1990 with not one successfully prosecuted- one might begin to understand the fury of families screaming the words ‘No Justice, No Peace’ on the steps of our courts.
Pakistan’s Heroes in their War on Terror
After 3 weeks in Pakistan, I was shocked to see what locals have to put up with on a daily basis, wall to wall machine gun checkpoints and cement blocks to stop suicide bombers.
Karachi Super Cop, Chaudhary Aslam was renowned for taking on terrorists in a city of 25 million, with the Taliban blowing off the front of his house in 2011. At the time he said “I will give my life but I won’t bow to the terrorists”. This week a suicide bomber slammed into his convoy blowing him up.
In the North West of the country two days before I left, a 15 year old School boy Aitaz Hussain gave his life by confronting a suicide bomber, stopping him from detonating 6 kilos of explosives within the school grounds targeting 2000 pupils.
His father proudly stated he would “not mourn but celebrate my son’s life, he made his mother cry, but saved hundreds of mothers from crying for their children’.
It’s a shame that in the West we hear very little of the daily sacrifices of Pakistanis who stand up to terror.