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Welcome to STop, the Seattle Times Opinion blog where our editorial writers and editors share their evolving thoughts on a variety of issues. STop is a place where opinion writers and readers can exchange views and readers can learn more about how editorial positions are formed.

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July 24, 2005

A Dead Electrician

My comment on the London terrorist suspect shot five times in the head elicited two responses Friday from Seattle-area men, both supporting the cops, and neither giving a fig for due process of law. The first said:

The London shooting is a critical turning point in the war on terrorists. Up to this time the Bush administration has stood alone in an all out fight against Islamo-Fascists. Now England has joined the hunt. Thatís a huge step in the right direction.

The second said:

I heard the same story on the Tony Snow talk show (also with a substitute jock). He reported that the police held the terrorist down and shot him through the head 5 times -- and I say bloody good shootin', pardner! (or whatever you say to a Brit)

I praise them for their politically incorrect fighting spirit, not just their marksmanship (which is probably just fine had longer range shots been needed).

The war on terror is not a sporting event; it as an existential war and a quick 5 through the head, at whatever range the shot presents itself, is exactly what every wannabe terrorist needs.

It is good to see that, once they get serious, the Brits still know how to defend their homeland. 'it 'em again, mates!

Review what happened: A man is followed by police, he runs, he is pursued, brought down and shot five times in the head. When you shoot someone in the head--five times--you are not trying to stop him. You are trying to make sure he's dead. Offhand I can think of two reasons for this: if he is controlling some trigger on a strap-on bomb, or if you don't want him to talk.

On Saturday the Telegraph reported that he wasnít the right guy. The New York Times reported that he was an electrician--a Brazilian, not an Arab--on his way to work. The British police said his killing was ďa tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets.Ē

Thatís what you get when you throw out due process of law: You get cops shooting the wrong guy. It won't just be an occasional mistake, either. It will be a common thing.

Letís be careful what we cheer.

Respond to Bruce.

 
Posted by Bruce Ramsey at July 24, 2005 09:33 AM



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