Another post from the outside
When I read how the man had been shot, I got that unpleasant feeling, the vague nausea that tells you that something is not right:
"Stockwell passenger Mark Whitby told BBC News he had seen a man of Asian appearance shot five times by 'plain-clothes police officers'.
'One of them was carrying a black handgun - it looked like an automatic - they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him,' he said."
Sadly, the suspicion turned out to be right. Jean Charles de Menenez did not have anything to do with the London bombings. He was a Brazilian electrician living in London, by all accounts a law-abiding citizen and an amiable man. *sigh* There are now reports that his visa may have been expired - which might explain why he ran from the police (if he did).
London mayor Ken Livinstone has a sensible point for the angry people* - like me:
"Ken Livingstone described Mr Menezes as a "victim of the terrorist attacks".
He said: 'Consider the choice that faced police officers at Stockwell last Friday - and be glad you did not have to take it."
Strangely enough the whole appalling episode reminded me of something for which I genuinely admire the Brits: their willingness to make incidents like this part of the public domain and open to discussion. When it became clear that the shooting was a mistake, Sir Ian Blair, the chief of police, apologised to the family and honestly assessed the situation. The debate about this shooting rages on, in papers, on forums, on tv; and that is exactly as it should be. That is what the media and public opinion are for: to constantly question and challenge authority, to force the politicians to face the facts and to aid change where it is needed. I could go on and praise the BBC for being the wonderful institution it is, but never mind me, I am just homesick. All the same I am glad that I can rely on it as a source; glad, too, that there are still so many people ready to protest loudly when something goes wrong.
*It seems like there are a lot of things going on lately to make me angry - thanks for the clarification Drek, much appreciated; in fairness I was being a tad argumentative.