Police shoot to kill (again!)
"The fifth fatal shooting in nine months"
In incidents of this sort, people tend to take one of two positions. They are readily seen on such media platforms as Twitter.
The first is an unsympathic and blunt one supportive of police action, whatever they choose to do. It is embedded in a belief that whatever was done, was necessary and proportionate. Further that anyone who acts illegally, particularly in relation the ownership of guns, deserves all they get, up to including being killed.
The second is more cautious and recognises that illegal activities and those that engage in them, need to be controlled, but the rule of law - that no one should be punished without due process - should be upheld by everyone, and particulary by the police, in the absence of which all citizens are at risk of arbitrary slaughter.
No one doubts that when confronting alleged criminals with access to weapons, police need to be able to protect themselves, with guns if necessary, which they should be empowered to used if threatened. However what we are increasingly witnessing is fatal shooting of individuals by police based only on suspicion that a weapon might be used, without any evidence of threat being posed and without any opportunity to surrender to arrest in a non-violent manner.
If this is an accurate assessment, it marks a very disturbing and dangerous change in police methodology.
Given what we see from the photographic evidence in this case, it is difficult to see how anyone in the car, could have posed a significant risk to armed officers that presumably surrounded it. Nor that there was any attempt to resist arrest by the four men concerned. If so the three aimed shots at the target have all the appearance of an intentional unjustified killing, that hopefully we still regard as murder.
Had someone other than a policeman had carried it out, they would have been arrested. Not only has the officer not been arrested it would seem but all the individuals involved in the operation are nowhere to be seen in early photographs so we must assume they were conveyed away from the scene in other vehicles. It is likely they will all be protected from publicity unlike any other citizen.
Herein lies the danger if such action becomes standard (and common) operating procedure. A select group of unaccountable and anonymous authorised to assassinate at will. Is the country comfortable with that concept?
At about 6 pm on Tuesday 3rd January, 2017 a man sitting in the driving seat of silver Audi was shot dead by a police marksman. The car had been forced to come to a halt by police vehicles as it left a slip road from the M62 between Huddersfield and Manchester. Police stated that they were acting on information received that there was a firearm in the car.
There also appears to have been history of firearm use. The dead man had been charged with attempted murder by spraying a car with lead shot but he was cleared on the orders of the Judge in 2010. Five years later in June 2015, the family house where he lived was sprayed in bullets, presumably in response, and several were injured. It appears no one was charged as a result of that incident.
So it may be assumed that the police knew they were dealing with gunmen that they needed to arrest. The question arises however, did they need to discharge a firearm to do it? Given the fact that the car had been impounded and the targets were inside, what threat did they pose that necessitated one to be shot dead with three bullets through the windscreen if indeed, as seems evident from the photographs of the scene, they were the fatal shots? This certainly has all the appearance of planned and premeditated shoot to kill.
Given the fact that this is the FIFTH fatal police shooting in the last nine months and raises profound questions about the direction and methods currently being adopted by police at the behest or support of the Home Office. It must be viewed in the context of recent announcements about the increase in armed officers and their deployment (with the support of the SAS if necessary) throughout the country.
The suspicion is that this latest fatal shooting is symptomatic of a very disturbing change in emphasis and method away from local civilian control of police to that of centrally organised and directed 'killing squads'. It should be noted the external threat of ISIS related terror has been used to justify the shift in policy that many find highly suspect. In practise, as in France, Germany, Belgium and Italy, fatal force is being used in preference to arrest in many cases, obviating the need for any judicial process, or indeed of proving guilt.
In other words it is a major shift in policing powers and method that could threaten anyone. It sits very uneasily with our established democratic principles. It is yet another very real indicator of a shift towards a much more ugly exercise of state power already demonstrated in the United States.
One cannot help but get the impression this is a concerted and coordinated international trend, into which Britain also is being sucked or driven, largely by stealth and without consultation in any meaningful way. Someone in government, presumably the Home Office, has approved this new approach to policing. Who is it? Shouldn't we be told?
He's a clue. Whilst being in charge of a policy of reducing police numbers by 22,000, often of the most experienced officers, David Cameron has also promoted greater use of armed officers and significantly a change in the ethos surrounding the use of weapons.
A year ago the Independent reported as follows:
So as can be observed, the change in method and philosophy is said to originate from pressure from the rank and file police and to be predicated on likely "marauding terrorist attack", whether genuine or not.
This then has to be read in conjunction with an announcement by David Cameron only three months later of at least four hundred more armed police deployed to cities outside London around the clock. This it was stated was to combat British terror threat in wake of Paris attacks. (see: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/isis-terror-threat-britain-david-cameron-armed-police-extra-forces-after-paris-brussels-attacks-a6962871.html)
As I have shown elsewhere, there is a huge amount of factual and circumstantial evidence to suggest much of the Paris event was contrived and falsified to support both foreign and domestic policy objectives. That wholesale militarisation of the British police should be based on such dubious grounds is alarming to say the least.
As can be seen in this next image, of the four stop/sting vehicles, the white van was not a marked police vehicle either.
The question we need now to ask is, whether the recent spate of fatal shootings by police is a manifestation of this shift?
We might note in this most recent case of the M62 shooting the car targeted was a an Audi A4. A second car immediately behind it, a VW Scirocco, appears to have suffered a hole in the rear near side quarter light, a strange location and presumably from a bullet? So we may suppose two target cars were stopped. Significantly in the image of the dead man below there is a Scirocco that may match the second car.
We are told three men were arrested at this scene. However we must assume this was in addition to the dead man, so we may also assume perhaps there were two men in each car, with Yacub driving, or in the front passenger seat, in the first of the two - the Audi not the Scirocco.
Clearly none of the targets had exited their cars when they were surrounded by officers and Yacub was shot from the front through the windscreen with three very purposeful bullets. We must also assume therefore that the person that fired the shots came from in front of the Mercedes saloon that had physically trapped the Audi.
Needless to say the other three were not shot at, though arrested at gun point. If it was possible to do so to them, why was fatal force used against Yacub - surely not a settling of scores?
(As an aside early this morning I noted a tweet from the Jerusalem post regarding the incident: "If you don't want to be shot dead, don't carry a gun. Simple." However some eight hours later I can find no trace of it and kick myself I didn't copy at the time. I thought it rather strange that the Jerusalem Post should take such interest in an event so far away and unrelated to domestic concerns. It also demonstrated a certain approach that appears to be becoming prevalent in British policing.)
Now as to the police vehicles as shown in the photograph below it can be seen that at least four were involved in the operation, none of which as far as can be seen marked patrol vehicles.
The first is a high powered Mercedes silver saloon as in the image below in which can also be seen the smashed near-side passenger door to the Audi A4. The open passenger door of the Sirocco can be seen behind.
Here is a close image of the bullet holes in the windscreen , clearly aimed at the driver.
In the next aerial image the general formation can be seen and what appears to be the BMW X5 police vehicle immediately behind the Mercedes.
Behind that is another BMW saloon (3 or 5 Series) better viewed in this image though still partially obscured by the car in front:
Then as can be seen in the next image, bringing up the rear is a police van which presume is marked as such in contrast to the other vehicles. Also it can be seen a further (at least) nine vehicles were deployed. Note also two what appear to be two black cars or people carriers parked in such a way to suggest they are part of the operation - even perhaps undertakers vehicles. No ambulance is visible.
There is an ambulance in this composite image however:
Note no evidence of any personnel visible on scene at this time.
So from all this we may deduce at least four police vehicles and eight officers were involved in the original sting, shooting and arrests. The estimate of officers is probably conservative as the van probably held six at least. What proportion were trained armed officers we do not know, but given the circumstances we may assume this was a carefully planned operation by the West Midlands armed unit and all were so equipped.
One interesting detail, a witness said there was a police Jaguar at the scene. Of course they could have mistaken one of the BMW's for a Jaguar, but if not it is missing, as are the officers who were probably involved in the operation so presumably they were swiftly removed from the scene, leaving their vehicles behind.
These extracts are taken from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/m62-shooting-huddersfield-yassar-yaqub-west-yorkshire-police-killing-death-gun-a7507126.html
A police spokesman said: "During a pre-planned policing operation near to the M62 in Huddersfield a police firearm was discharged and a man has died.
The incident is the fifth fatal police shooting in England and Wales in the past nine months and the first involving West Yorkshire Police since 2010.
Father-of-two Mohammed , 27, was shot dead by police (Facebook) NOTE CAR IN BACKGROUND
Police forensics officers examine a silver Audi with bullet holes in its windscreen at the scene near junction J24 of the M62 in (PA )