Ever since the brutal execution of Jean Charles de Menezes over ten years ago, I’ve been suspicious of Police statements that are broadcast concerning the circumstances of a high profile case. Almost everything they said about the events preceding the untimely death of the Brazilian at the Stockwell tube station was untrue. Claims he had been running, to evade the following plain clothes Policemen and that he was wearing an unusually bulky coat were complete fabrications but stated as fact shortly after the tragedy. No one is ever disciplined for telling these lies and so it seems to be accepted practice, putting the suggestion out to the public that ‘the victim’ was in the wrong, long before any inquiries have taken place by Police investigation authorities. It’s a tactic, pure and simple.
The death of former footballer Dalian Atkinson this week after being tasered by Police appears to have provoked a tale of his bad behaviour before he was subdued. It should be referred straight to the IPCC and officers involved or even statements concerning the events prohibited. Criminals aren’t allowed to blabber their side of the story all over the news before a court case is brought to trial, neither should the Police.
I have no idea if the Police behaved correctly during the disturbance but what is obvious is that the officers involved shouldn’t be given front pages of the tabloids to put forward their version before it’s properly investigated.