If the police tailed him from Tulse Hill, did they have any grounds for regarding his behaviour as potentially threatening, and if so why did they not apprehend him before he boarded a bus or a train? Did they hear him speak? If so, were their suspicions in any way allayed or were they heightened? Or were they unable to tell, so shot anyway?
Mistakes do happen, and sometimes for understandable reasons – but those reasons don’t protect those who have failed. … there will have to be resignations at the least, and at the top. I’m surprised that Tony Blair’s normal political instincts seem to have deserted him on this. It is of course true that the police would have been criticised for failing to act if the suspect had been a terrorist, and that anyone who knows the identities of the real bombers has a duty to tell the police. But these are truisms, and a man has been needlessly killed.
Chris also hits the right note:
Jean Charles de Menezes deserves justice every bit as much as the 52 people who were murdered on July 7th, and that means removing the false and dangerous idea that just because a decision is difficult, one should be absolved of responsibility for its outcome.
“So what would you do?” I don’t know – but whatever I did, I hope I’d take responsibility for doing it.