Thursday, 16 January 2014

Duggan sounds like a wrong'en, but we don't execute people for that in the UK.

On twitter I seem to be disagreeing with everyone... (whats new eh?!)

I agree that Duggan seems to have been a wrongen, I also agree that the police seem to have engineered the circumstances that led to his being shot.

I agree that they jury had more evidence than any casual observer would have and there is no reason to question their final conclusion on what happened at the moment of Duggan being shot.

However, there is more going on here. The story as I have heard it (and not disputed as far as I have seen).

The police were told Duggan would be collecting a gun from an associate, the police believed that this was true. They waited to let Duggan go to the meeting to collect the gun. When he left they believed he had collected the gun. Later they chased and stopped the car that Duggan was in, he exited the vehicle and was shot, dead.

Issues

1) The police believed the associate had a gun, however the didn't seek to seize it - this would have ensured the public were safe from it, and may have provided evidence related to other crimes committed with it.

2) The police only had any reason to think that Duggan had a gun because someone claimed he was going to collect one and did attend a meeting.

3) At the scene, Duggan was never armed, gun in hand, whatever his actions/behaviour they were not the actions/behaviour of an armed person about to shoot anyone.

Questions

1) Why did police not raid the gun owner and seize the weapon immediately?

2) Why did police let (as far as they believed) Duggan collect a gun and take it into public?

3) Evidently armed police cannot distinguish between the behaviour of unarmed and armed people, is this 'OK'?

Points

1) The outcome would have been the same whether or not Duggan had a gun (the judge said there was no overwhelming evidence for him having a gun ot not).

2) He was ultimately shot for not behaving in precisely the way an armed police officer wanted him to.

3) If people can end up lawfully killed just because police believe a rumour - and the outcome would be the same whether the rumour is true or not - then this needs to change, or we are all in danger of (effectively) summary execution at the hands of the police.

4) Duggan himself is pretty much irrelevant to all of this. It just happened that he was the subject of the original rumour.

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