The CPS has decided not to charge any officers in relation to the Jean Charles de Menezes shooting. They have instead decided to pursue the Met Police. I’m ambivalent about the situation. The general public and media seem to be ‘forgiving’ of the police and individual officers when they make mistakes. Even if those mistakes end in the death of innocent civilians. I hold no grudge against the officers concerned but I can’t help but compare this situation to that of a doctor, nurse or teacher in charge when tragedy occurs.
The notion of ‘killer medics’ or ‘incompetent teachers’ is, to my mind anyway, far more widespread than similar feelings about the police. I’m sure the press will write righteous editorials on how the police are protecting us from harm and that accidents occur. I broadly support the decision of the CPS, charge the organisation not the individuals.
Retire or transfer those involved if need be but don’t find scapegoats for the failings of an entire system. I just wish the CPS, the law, the police and society would think likewise when dealing with other professionals in a similar situation.
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Filed in: Current affairs