back to article Met used 'dum-dum' ammo on de Menezes

The latest reports from the Stockwell Two trial, in which the Metropolitan Police are corporately in the dock for wrongly shooting dead Jean Charles de Menezes in 2005, have it that the plods used "dum dum" bullets. Even after all this time, the term "dum dum" still carries misty pejorative connotations in the British public …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Release to detonate

    If I were carrying a bomb, I would have it wired to a button in my pocket so that the bomb explodes when the button is released.

    Perhaps if we could persuade all suicide bombers to do likewise then we could persuade the police to stop shooting people in the head. Worth a try, anyway.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Re-Release to detonate

    But you are only allowed to assume terrorist ingenuity if it suites you, i.e. spending taxpayers money on ID cards, the rest of the time they are all dumb a-rabs who can be foiled by our outstandingly intelligent anti-terror plod ;-)

  3. Chris Taylor

    Pop Quiz....

    Problem with wiring it to a button is how do you get through the ticket barriers, especially if you other hand is a hook ?

    Secondly, when you put fifteen rounds in someone 'just to be sure' the choice of ammo is a secondary consideration.

    Clearly hand held phasers are the way to go in this situations. Although clearly my first choice would be to educate the world to embrace agnosticism / piracy to prevent these squabbles about whose imaginary friend is better.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Release to detonate

    In which case you'd be an impossible target to stop - startle you and you explode, shoot you and you explode. Of course the tactical powers that be are also well aware that many bombs are wired to detonate up at someone other than the suicider's command,, it's still the best of the calculated risks to blow you away and hope you're not carrying such a sophisticated device.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dead man switch

    Even if I intended to blow myself up in a crowded tube train, or somewhere spectacular like the middle of Trafalgar Square at a crowded time/special event, I wouldn't be happy to have the goodies set to go off if I get jostled hard, stumble and instinctively grab for support with my "trigger hand" or am forced to take my hand out of my pocket. I'd want a nice positive safety that would be released when I was almost on top of the target to minimise the chance of accidental embarrasment. "Negligent martytrdom" maybe.

  6. Senor Beavis
    IT Angle

    Needs to be said

    Mr Page, you clearly know far too much about ammunition. May I humbly suggest you don't go out in public in London, lest you become a target of the Met yourself?

    That said, still a better-written article than most of the tripe online about this particular topic.

    I've been wrestling with the following train of thought. If the cops suspect that someone is going to detonate a bomb in a crowded place, and assuming they have a good idea that it's not on a 'release to detonate' trigger, then it seems to be morally justifiable to take one life to save many.

    Problem is the justification for the suspicion in the first place.

    How sure does one have to be that someone is going to blow themselves up before an armed cop is allowed to take his head off?

  7. Charles Palmer


    Have the suicide bomber command detonated.

    There are lots of ways around stopping someone from interfering with the detonation of a bomb. Unfortunately without prior knowledge of the device the Police can only respond in a way that is most likely to prevent it's detonation. That is to kill the person carrying it outright.

  8. John Latham
    Thumb Up


    I was under the impression that hollowpoints were always used by police, to minimize bystander casualties. In which case, the use of this ammo is nothing to do with Special Branch, explosive-clad terrorist hunting etc.

    Interesting history lesson nonetheless.


  9. Anonymous Coward

    "suicide bombing for dummies"

    @ Anonymous Coward

    The mechanism you are referring to is know as a 'dead mans switch' and is the preferred kit for people with an IQ higher than your average suicide bomber. More often used as an escalation style visual deterrent by criminals who don't want to get shot by police.

  10. Alastair McKinstry

    Shoot to Kill, or simply "Kill."

    When does anyone outside Hollywood <em>Not</em> Shoot to Kill? AFAIK, all forces say 'shooting to injure' is stupid, doesn't work and shouldn't be tried; you should either be prepared to Kill, and justify it, or don't shoot.

    "Shoot to Kill", as in the euphemism used in Northern Ireland, simply meant

    a "Shoot" policy. As in, don't even try to arrest them, just kill them.

    Which is what happened to De Menzes.

  11. Misha Gale
    Black Helicopters

    Re-Re-Release to detonate

    What if you need to scratch your nose? Or get you travelcard out of your wallet?

    Better to have an ordinary press-to-'splode button AND a deadman sensor monitoring your heartrate.

    Oh dear, did I just pass information to terrorists? Of to gitmo for me...

  12. Sceptical Bastard

    At least we now know...

    ... that summary public execution is the sentence for the offence of Having A Swarthy Complexion In Times Of National Hysteria - an offence of which de Menezes was self-evidently guilty.

    Despite becoming blase about mass murderers after two decades of regular IRA bombings, it's still a bit worrying to us regular tube travellers to have murderous mad moslems toting rucksacks of weedkiller on to underground trains. Quite unsettling, in fact. But I'm not sure I feel any more secure knowing that the Met has set loose a pack of heavily-armed mad dogs.

    Don't get me wrong: the more jihadists we catch and convict, the better. Shooting the fuckers may even be necessary if we're sure they pose an immediate threat - but let's at least try a bit harder to get the right people.

  13. AH

    Couple of Additional Points

    The FBI have been using Glaser Safety Rounds (a variety of hollow point - shot suspended in teflon) for many years. The 'Safety' part of the name is partly PR, but partly valid: when used in densely populated urban circumstances a hollow point tends to disintegrate when it hits brick, whereas a FMJ round will tend to go straight through. Cuts down on innocent bystanders getting hit by missed or through-and-through rounds.

    So bad nasty hollow points are actually good for a) taking out hostage takers/terrorists with a single shot (98% disabled with a single shot with a Glaser) b) doing so while minimising risk to anyone standing behind the target.

    The only detail is that if you're hit with a dum-dum/Glaser you're not just disabled, you're dead. Which is where differentiating between suicide bombers and Brazilian electricians becomes fairly important.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    dum dumb and dumber

    If these things are so destructive then why was he shot 7 times in the face ? Was there much face left after the 3rd or 4th shot ?

    Apparently the inquest reports that police have to achieve "70% accuracy" to pass their training. So that's all right then. I can sleep safely in my bed.

    (fwiw imho etc condemnation should be reserved solely for the people who created the policy, gave the orders, then tried to keep it quiet - not the ones who were facing what they beleived to be a terrorist)

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Either way it will ruin your day..

    As I understand it, as a layman, ALL anti-terror plod use hollow-point rounds.

    This includes those swaggering around at the ports and airports with a Koch on their chests. You just know they do the "Are you looking at me?" in the mirror at the station.

    When a jacketed round penetrates deeply into the body it tumbles and travels rear-end first. This action makes a few "re-adjustments" to the internal layout on the way. They aren't much more humane.

    The plus point of summary pavement executions is that the perpetrator re-offending rate is very low. The minus point is that when the constables do an oopsie-daisy, pretty much all firearms lack an UNDO button.

    30 plus years of IRA threat (really competant terrorists) and Britain never gave-in. 5 years of activities from the amateurish Muslim terrorists (on UK soil) and we throw away privacy, justice, freedom, due process and trust in the police.

  16. breakfast Silver badge

    What were the Met doing there at all?

    Why are the Met shooting people in the first place? Surely you don't need guns in order to predict the weather?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Suicide bombers in the middle-east

    have been using the so called dead-man switch for decades now. This is why most checkpoints try to stop people outside the usual explosion radius. Israel goes so far to check people with robots or order them to take off their clothes before coming closer and also uses robots to remove dead bodies just in case they have an active bomb on. The most common system is the so called push/release switch, where the bomber have to push the switch first, then release it for detonation. Unfortunately the only safe protection against suicide bombers is to keep them out of the target area, in this case the UK (impossible since all of them were UK citizens) or to avoid doing anything that makes them bomb something in the UK (for example the UK might try to stop bombing other countries).

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Reminds me of the Iranian Embasy

    The shoot to kill by the SAS went along the lines, when they found the body with dozens of rounds in. When asked why the SAS put this many shots were fired into the hostage taker, the line came back "we ran out of ammo".

  19. Tom

    Reoffending rate

    "The plus point of summary pavement executions is that the perpetrator re-offending rate is very low."

    Mind you, it's impossible to re-offend if you are innocent in the first place.

  20. Anonymous Coward

    the forecast

    It was all a cover-up. Earlier the met office had mistakenly issued a "hail of bullets likely" statement and then had to send officers out to verify their predictions.

  21. Paul van der Lingen


    Don't forget the wonderful (if you're on the good end of the firearm that is) effect of cavitation - coz the human body is mostly water, a projectile that enters the body at a fast enough speed (> speed of sound in water) and you get cavitation effects.

    And if that's not enough, then should said projectile hit a major blood vessel then shock waves will travel thru the cardio vascular system..

    I'm no expert (by any means) in ballistics, but the course I did as a medic sure did open my eyes..

    Guns are horrible things. Period.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    The main difference between the IRA and Al-Qaida

    When the IRA would try to blow up civilians in the tube, they'd walk the bomb in, set it down, and leave, then repeat as desired.

    Al-Qaida wannabe types just walk the bomb in, and blow themselves up.

    Let's hope they're not watching old BBC archives from the 70s and 80s.

  23. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Re: Shoot to Kill, or simply "Kill"

    In the Netherlands at least policemen are supposed to shoot to kill ONLY if they or others are threatened AND shooting to incapacitate is no longer an option. Aiming for the legs is a way to stop people in their tracks rather well, without resorting to lethal force. An advantage is that if you make a mistake, apologies are more readily accepted by those shot in the legs rather than the head.

    Until we have instant repair systems even for the more advanced forms of death, I do feel shooting to incapacitate is a good idea, though there are circumstances which call for more drastic measures.

  24. laird cummings

    At last!

    A journo what actually knows something on the subject of firearms! Actually, one who know rather a lot, even! Huzzah!

    A couple pedantic points:

    1) Hollow-point and soft-point pistol bullets are very unreliable in the expansion department - they simply don't carry enough energy to perform in a predictable fashion. Most will expend a little, most of the time, depending on 'good' shot placement. But don't count on it.

    2) Glaser Safety Slugs aren't, strictly speaking, 'hollow-point' or 'soft-point,' but are instead *frangible.* They're designed to disintegrate upon impact - be that impact with flesh, body armor, or a nearby wall when the plods (inevitably) miss with one, some, or most of their shots. The *safety* aspect comes from the fact that they DON'T ricochet, and the resulting fragments are too small to cause serious injury. By and large, Glaser's lack penetration, producing shallow (albeit impressive), often non-imparing wounds, and so are generally *not* used by LEO. Oh, and they stopped using the liquid teflon suspension a long time ago, discovering it to be needless and expensive.

    3) 'Shoot to kill' is still an appropriate phrase, because very often even though the plods are *trying* to kill, they're instead merely shooting. And missing. A lot.

  25. Edward Rose

    Shoot to kill

    I believe the rules are based on...

    Unless you are intending to kill a person, do not under any circustance point a firearm/weapon at them.

    Shoot to kill and screw up, boy done good.

    Shoot to incapacitate and screw up. Well, you can figure the rest.

    Hence, 'if you are going to shoot a person, make damn sure you want them dead'. Not 'if you are going to shoot a person, make damn sure they are dead'.

    I feel sorry for all involved in this one. Me thinks it is just one very sad set of mistakes.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    IT angle..

    I know that there isn't one in this story, and not everything El Reg covers is strictly speaking IT related, but has anyone considered expanding the remit of IT within their organisation to include some of this stuff?

    I'm really tempted to gen up a business case to get my place to use the Reg's definition of IT, if only to equip my engineers with guns (and- thinking about it, to set up a team solely devoted to Paris Hilton).

    Also- Mr Page's articles are always an interesting read: useful information and insight all in one package. Good work, Fella

  27. John Waters

    US mk262, shotguns, "less lethal" munitions (rambling american alert)

    It's worth mentioning that the US mk262 round makes use of the Sierra "Matchking" 77gr Boat-tail Hollow point projectile. The hollow point is intended to reduce mass at the tip of the bullet, increasing its ballistic coefficient and helping to stabilize flight at ranges past a few-hundred-meters.

    This is technically a hollow-point bullet, however.

    Also frangible bullets are starting to appear on the scene. A frangible bullet is NOT something you want to hit unprotected soft tissue. It shreds/tears soft tissue well beyond repair. Kind of like a small/fast 12 ga shotgun shell loaded with buckshot, which is another thing permitted on the battle field that causes way more damage than a "dum dum" bullet.

    Rubber bullets are meant to be "skip fired" off of the ground into crowds, if they are used as direct-fire munitions they are easily capable of seriously damaging tissue. One TV cameraman was severely injured in Washington DC a few years back when he was hit with a rubber bullet in the side of the head. It fractured his eye socket and caused him severe head trauma.

    All of this reminds me of something that William S. Burroughs once wrote:

    "As one judge said to another 'Be just and if you can't be just be arbitrary.'.".

    Truth be told is that the whole point of firearms is to KILL. Killing is nasty business and it is absurd to think that one way of killing is somehow more honorable than some other way. Even when justified killing should be a matter of abject necessity and treated with the gravity that it deserves. To try to legislate around what is and is not permissible on the battlefield grants an unjustified level of legitimacy to warfare.

    Warfare deserves to be given the lowest of low statures in our society. While I respect the people who have given and dedicated their lives to warcraft in the interest of protecting my country, community, family, and self; I do not think that their craft should be legitimized any more than it needs to be.

    Getting to the point:

    Here in the US nearly all Police forces are well armed with (what in the rest of the world is considered) large caliber ( > 7.62mm) pistols. Most of our police forces also have a "SWAT" or military style component that includes snipers, submachine-gun-toting entry squads, and even grenadiers.

    It has been determined that when one needs to deploy a firearm against an individual who is a danger to his/herself or others it is by necessity a "terminal force" situation. This is different from combat where tactics center around some larger strategy intent on domination of some geographic region or political goal. On the street in the context of police work you don't have such a thing as "suppressive fire"; The officer who is deploying lethal force has to account for every single pull of the trigger. The intent is not to scare, not to deter, not to give the subject cause for surrender. When a policeman places his finger on the trigger the opportunity for surrender or deterrence has evaporated. In police work once the officer has committed to fire he or she has committed to taking a life in the interest of the greater good.

    There is a consensus here in the US that because of this there is no conflict in using expanding bullets. In fact they are preferred because of their reduced risk of over penetration, which reduces the likelihood that an innocent bystander might be harmed.

    I don't know what the average UK "guy on the street" thinks regarding this matter. I know that if Jeremy Clarkeson is any indication of the british opinion of the average american what I am saying here is probably not going to be of much value. One thing we americans do know, however, is dealing with violence in the streets and armed police work. Being the son of a 40 year veteran of police work, firearms instructor, and hostage negotiator I thought that perhaps what I know might be of some value here.

    One last thing: At the end of the day it is training, training, training that saves lives in terminal force situations. If the british public are concerned about gun saftey among police on the streets there should be a concerted effort to push the police service to continually and rigorously train those officers that are requred to carry sidearms. Trigger time saves lives, this is always true.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More on ira differences

    In addition to the comment about the ira's tactic of planting a device and leaving, they were also sporting in their approach a lot of the time. A fair amount of times they would actually call in a bomb threat to someone in order that a chance was given to clear the area. This gave rise to the idea of terrorism, whereby they actively tried to terrorise. Nowadays terrorist seems to be the wrong phrase - their primary intention is to kill, hurt or maim. Terror is a byproduct.

    (Before the flames come, i know this wasn't true in all ira cases, it was still evil etc. and many people were hurt when no warning was given or said warning was ignored. All i'm suggesting is that terrorism in this country seems to have gone to a new level these days, and the response has changed also)

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    the question of tactics

    shooting an enemy repeatedly is a well tested tactic of the modern warfare. the question of whether or not it is necessary in a law enforcement scenario is more of policy, as is the criteria for confirming if a target is a legitimate threat.

    cops are not soldiers, their targets don't wear uniforms that clearly identify them as threats. soldiers use deadly force as a matter of course rather than as a last resort.

    as an american living in the states, i hear about people on the news getting shot all the time. as a veteran of the us army, i know how ludicrous it sounds saying that a hollow point to the head more humane than a FMJ to the body. it sounds ludicrous but it's true.

    any hunter, soldier, or cop will tell you that aiming for the center of largest visible section of your target makes you more likely to hit your target. the largest visible section is called the "center mass".

    if your target is human and standing upright, center of the target is going to be the midsection. if you aim for the center, you are probably going to hit the stomach, intestines, or gall bladder: organs which are full of acids, bile, and/or various wastes. these are specialized systems in the body meant to contain things that are potentially toxic to the bloodstream.

    if you hit with a jacketed round (or worse, an armor piercing round) to a point on the body with little bone, you get a relatively "clean" exit, lower blood loss compared to a hollowpoint, and a perforation of one or more of those waste carrying organs. the result is a person who is bleeding but not dead, and leaking waste, possibly into their bloodstream, meaning that even if you stop the bleeding, there is a still serious risk for sepsis.

    so, crazy as it sounds, it's safer for the public (dead man's switches not withstanding) to put a confirmed threat down for good with one or two to the head.

    headshots are tricky though, especially at a range where your target can see you and knows you are going to shoot. a popular close quarter tactic with special operations and SWAT types in the US is to stop the target from moving with a "doubletap" (2 shots in rapid succession to the same target area) high on the torso, ideally to the center of the chest, followed by one or two to the head.

    so, the concept of shooting someone multiple times to make certain that they are indeed neutralized is a very effective technique and can be considered humane when compared to some of the guerrilla tactics that soldiers sometimes come up against.

    so, do not question the tactics that were employed. those were definitely correct. you should question if those tactics should have been employed in the first place.

    BTW, for an effective non-lethal way to deal with suicide bombers, i think some sort of liquid restraint, akin to a spiderweb, should be developed. like a ball of rubbery glue or foam that seals the target up and dries instantly.

    if you can restrain the target instantly, then all the cops have to do is make sure the guy can breathe.

  30. Steve

    @Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    Shooting to disable is pointless (no pun intended). If you shoot someone in the legs you won't stop them firing back or setting off a bomb, so the only reason to do so is if you don't think they are a threat to you.

    In that case, of course, there's no excuse for shooting them at all.

    If you shoot someone, it should be with the sole intent of killing them as instantly as possible. If you don't need to do that, you don't shoot.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    keep it clean

    >bayonets, bows and arrows - they're all fine

    If they are dirty or rusty you're just as guilty of a war crime as shooting someone with a holowpoint. strange world isn't it

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Calcutta - the northwestern Raj

    Although it depends a touch on how you define the Raj, the furthest eastern point I guess would've been the white Rajas of Sarawak, in which case maybe you have a point, but generally Calcutta is considered to be northeastern.

  33. Brian Miller

    Good article!

    Very well written. In the FMJ category, you didn't mention the amazing wound ballistics of the US .223 round used in the Isn't-it-swell-Mattie-Mattell M-16. While it has a full metal jacked, it is fired with such a high velocity that once it hits flesh it begins to turn end-on-end.

    Now, on to the original Times article: "Police marksmen shot Jean Charles de Menezes seven times in the head with hollow-point “dumdum” bullets designed to kill instantly, the Old Bailey was told yesterday." All bullets are designed to kill. Got it? Good! For heaven's sakes, its a deadly weapon! Hello, there's a reason for the term "deadly."

    "Their usual and more powerful 9mm jacketed soft-point bullets would pass through the other side." Umm, I don't think that Adam Fresco of The Times has a clue what he's writing about. The cartridges have the same amount of powder, its just the bullet shape that is different. And with a head shot, there isn't enough mass to cause the bullet to stop in the head. There are very few rounds which dump all of their kinetic energy in a short distance. I really don't know why any department would not favor a hollow-point bullet. The hollow-point is designed to stop within the target, while round-nose bullets will typically over-penetrate and hit something (someone!) behind the target.

    I'm glad that Lewis has a reasonable take on this.

  34. Remy Redert

    @Michael H.F. Wilkinson

    You'll find that 1) Here in the Netherlands, the police are trained to shoot only under dire circumstances. They are trained to aim for the central mass of the target, to minimise the chance of a miss and they use hollow-point, 9mm para ammunition to do so. The effects of a police bullet are nearly always fatal, even if the target isn't killed on the spot.

    2) There is no such thing as shooting at the legs to disable someone. There's a large amount of arteries running through those legs and any bullet that could stop a person, WILL damage those arteries causing the victim to bleed to death rapidly. The only valid reason to shoot at extremities is if the target is wearing body armour over the central mass.

    3) As indicated above, there is no way to shoot to disable. Any target that is still alive after being shot is almost certainly still a threat, so shoot him again! There have been a few incidents where soldiers have in fact fired a large number of rounds into a target, after initially dropping the target. The justification is always the same 'He moved'.

  35. Mark

    rather than a dumdum

    how about using less powder in the round? It won't go so fast and it is more likely to stop in someone or make a low-speed ricochet.

  36. Charles Elwood

    Hunting and Over-Penetration

    I should point out the flipside of this argument. The use of FMJ as a hunting round is generally quite frowned on, as it's less likely to be immediately lethal than a round capable of significant deformation. The thinking behind this is if you're going to shoot at something, you're likely to kill it, so make sure it's dead quickly with a minimum of suffering.

    Also a FMJ round, especially if it's a high velocity rifle round, is very likely to go through walls, trains, and several people because they're designed to penetrate body armour. Using a round that deforms makes it less likely to be lethal to anyone who happens to be anywhere near the target. Minimising collateral damage, as it's so nicely called, is probably more important than minimising suffering.

    At the end of the day, guns don't kill people, people kill people. Quite often people order other people to kill people. The most important thing we can do is make sure the people giving the orders aren't idiots, and that the people identifying who to kill aren't idiots.

  37. Luther Blissett

    Just technobabble

    The point is not the bullet, but the policy in practice.

    In this case, had the victim been a suicide bomber, the chain of events took so long to unfold that he would have had sufficient opportunity to detonate the device well before he was pinned down and terminated with extreme prejudice. No, the Met's "shoot to kill" policy has no cash value against suicide bombers as long as PC Plod persists in clumping about in hot pursuit, and the technology of prevention is irrelevant. The value of the policy is somewhere is - like ensuring public compliance with diminishing opportunities to articulate dissatisfaction with the conduct of government, e.g. the undemocratic ratification of the EU "Reform Treaty"?

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The not-so-hollow-point

    ...being that anyone with a mental age above nil who has seen even the grainy cctv pictures of Jean Charles passing the ticket barriers could ascertain instantly that he was not carrying a home-made bomb.

    The problem here is that responsibility is divided between those who actually authorised the execution and those who carried it out. In no circumstances should a British police officer be authorised to execute someone unless they themselves have positively identified a danger to themselves and/or the public. "Being in posession of a swarthy complexion and a dodgy address" won't ever cut it. We're importing enough cr*p from over the water without additionally suffering from retarded morality that allows ad-hoc state executions couched in childish terms like "perceived threat" and "collateral damage".

    Leave that sort of rubbish "pushing the envelope" in dot-com conference calls.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Huh ?!

    " (fwiw imho etc condemnation should be reserved solely for the people who created the policy, gave the orders, then tried to keep it quiet - not the ones who were facing what they beleived to be a terrorist) "

    Absolutely, definately NO.

    That position wasn't tolerated at Nuremberg and it must not be tolerated anywhere else. Everyone must be held accountable.

    Better that 100 coppers die protecting one innocent than one innocent die protecting a hundred coppers.

    Putting a gun in someone's hand is the quickest way to strip them of their civilisation.

    Society must decide what may be done in its name. Sadly most of it doesn't care.

    The Price of Eternal Vigilance is Freedom !

    Notice how many posts here are anonymous ? Ask yourself why

  40. Sceptical Bastard

    @ John Waters

    Quote: "I don't know what the average UK "guy on the street" thinks regarding this matter."

    I think the consensus is we don't like guns and we don't want our police routinely armed.

    Quote: "I know that if Jeremy Clarkeson is any indication of the british ..."

    God forbid! Do you Americans *really* think that big-faced petrolhead controversialist arsehole REALLY represents the average Briton? I despair!

    Quote: "... (the) opinion of the average american what I am saying here is probably not going to be of much value."

    Not so. I appreciated your reasoned and informed comment. Most welcome.

    Yes, of course firearms officers must be highly trained. In the de Menezes case, however, it was their supervisors and the intelligence-gatherers whose training seems to have been woefully inadequate.

    I think their ultimate boss, Commissioner Blair, needs training in telling the truth. But lying seems to go with that surname.

  41. Rick Brasche

    @ John Walters

    "7.62 pistols"?! where have you ever seen those? Standard law enforcement issue is either 9mm, in the Glock or the old Beretta 92, some play with the 10mm, there's FBI and the like who use .40 cal, and .45 ACP is making a return. Does anyone (except for custom single shot long barrel hunting pistols) even *make* such a thing?

    Rifles, on the other hand, come in 7.62mm (.308 cal) and specialty SWAT units will carry bolt or semi auto rifles for sniping, and occasionally EOD work. Some richer police agencies will outfit their officers with available AR series rifles, M4 variants, firing the much smaller 5.56mm (.223) round. Then there's the HK in the 9mm pistol round. You can thank certain bank robbers and foreign gangsters in LA for the need to have the 5.56 rifles available.

    I hope your original comment was a mistake of caliber, not some rectalspeak for anti-gun propaganda purposes. :)

    the rest, hollowpoint rounds are attempts to limit overpenetration, to keep the round inside the target and not through bystanders. It also makes it much easier to do forensics afterwards. If I'm concerned about hydrostatic shock, I use the 45acp round, in FMJ works perfectly well. the hollowpoints sit in a box and don't get used, unless I need to. Like a first aid or snakebite kit-it's useless until it isn't, and then there's no substitute.

  42. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

    @Anonymous Coward

    About 70% accuracy -

    AFAIK the policeman in question fired 10 rounds, hit poor guy Carlos in the head with 7 - he was right on the mark then...

    However, bearing in mind the distance to target I'm a bit worried about what would his score be if he was shooting, say, from the other end of the platform?

  43. John Waters


    Rick: The Tokarev (7.62x25) and 32 ACP (also 7.62) are common handgun calibers in europe. What we americans consider "small caliber" is usually deemed "adequate" across the pond.

    Also, chill out, you are getting way too excited over what is basically a misunderstanding on your end. Also, if you don't know about 30 caliber pistols it tells me that you probably have never read a reloader/handloader manual, which tells me that you probably don't have a whole lot of detailed practical knowledge of small arms and their munitions.


    1) Yes, people make handguns in 7.62. The Walther PP/PPK, Sig Sauer P230, Beretta Tomcat, various kahr, kel tec, and other CCW pistols all come in 32ACP (aka 7.65x15 browning), One of the most infamous pistols in modern arms history, the CZ52 was/is chambered in 7.62x25mm. The famed mauser broom handle and origional luger pistols also fired a lower pressure loading of the tokarev (it was not called the tokarev then, however, it was the "30 mauser" or "7.62 mauser").

    I am reciting these from memory, i am sure I am missing a great many 30cal/7.62mm pistols.

    Now that "HK in the 9mm pistol round" that you are talking about; HK has made a great many pistols in 9x19mm, one of which is the P9 series. The P9, of course, shared its roller-delayed blowback operating system with the CZ52. Which, pray tell, "HK in the 9mm pistol round" do you mean? HK also makes guns in 357 sig, 40 "slow & weak", 45 ACP, and 380 (9mm kurz).

    Very very few SWAT teams use semi-auto weapons for sniping. I have not heard of a single instance of an SPR or PSG type weapon being deployed stateside for police work. Its almost always a bolt-action and almost always either an FN or Remington 700 in .308 (7.62x51).

    Of course now there is a resurgence of anti 5.56 (223) sentiment amongst LEO and military operators alike. The truth of the matter is that the .223 is a terrible antipersonell round and new weapons from DSA (their shorty FAL "OSW" subcarbine), Alexander Arms (the 6.5 Grendel and 50 beowulf), Noveske (their "project leonidas" carbine, based on the AR10), Bushmaster (the 45 bushmaster), and my personal favorite (my bespoke AR15 rifle is one of these) teppo jutsu's 458 SOCOM. All offer superior CQB knock-down power, most from an only slightly modified AR platform, some (the grendel, osw, leonidas) can actually reach out well past the useful range of the 5.56. Barret, LMT, Noveske, and most other "black rifle" vendors also sell rifles chambered in 6.8mm SPC, which is issued to some of our more elite soldiers where 5.56x45 is no longer desireable.

    The 5.56 was designed to counter the threat posed by large numbers of north koreans and communist chinese charging troops en masse in north korea. We needed something that could lay down huge amounts of suppressive fire in a lightweight package. The AR platform and its 5.56x45 cartridge has done a commendable job and countering most of the threats that have come down the pike in the last 50 years, but the simple truth is that technology progresses. The 5.56x45 is not the best tool for the job these days and is dutifully being replaced by other cartidges.

    My comment was not a mistake, and your response only serves to indicate that you have a lot of reading to do in order to come up to speed.

    BTW, my personal carry pistol, an HK USP in 45 ACP, usually has a full compliment of either Remington Golden Sabers or Federal EFMJ's. I will not use FMJ's in an urban terminal-force like situation (I live in the city), I think that it is inappropriate and places bystanderss at risk. Not to mention Golden Sabers offer accuracy that prior to their release was only available with handloads or match cartridges from black hills or cor bon. That's saying something. :)

    Oh, and the custom single shot pistols are only fun if they are chambered in the JDJ family of cartridges made by SSK Industries. Make sure that you look up SSK, Noveske, Teppo Jutsu, Alexander Arms, DSA, and the CZ52 before you respond. :)

  44. J


    "This was fairly stupid, as the expanding bullets represented no more than a return to the type of trauma inflicted by the previous generation of weapons."

    Oh, so that's fine then. It's just a return to previous... Hey, so having slavery back would be OK too, I suppose? Who'd have imagined? After all, being no more than a return to the type of trauma inflicted by the previous generations, it would be fairly stupid to be against it. Really...

    And am I the only one here who thinks it's pretty weird (and indicative of sick minds) to hear people discussing how best, most efficiently or whatever to destroy human tissue? People seem to even enjoy this discussion -- come on, I can feel your excitement emanating from the tubes of the internets... :O)

  45. Tawakalna
    Dead Vulture

    hats off.. our brave boys in, erm, plain clothes, who managed to achieve *higher* than 70% accuracy at a stunning 2 feet away from an unarmed Brazilian electrician. I can sleep well at night knowing that such dedicated and heroic professionals are making sure that other swarthy skinned tradesmen are not threatening the security of the Realm by waving Oyster cards or buying newspapers without sanction.

    righto, time to put my new bulky jacket on and nervously jump over the barrier, off to work, hope this tan looks good on me!

    enough sarcasm, let's tell it like it is.. the Met are vivious bungling fools and murderers, and are still trying to weasel out of the fact that they screwed up and gunned an innocent man down in cold blood. I'd put every one of them involved on trial for murder, no bail, no pay while suspended. But that will never happen, of course, they'll get away with it AGAIN.

  46. Trevor Bayliss

    God people are full of boll**ks about firearms

    Lets see, how many "misconceptions"......

    Hollow points, Jacketed Hollow Points, Expanding Full Metal Jacket and all the rest have squat to do with minimising bystander caualities.

    The sole intention is to dump as much of the rounds kinetic energy into the target as possible. A wholly secondary effect will be to reduce over penetration and to possibly cut down on mowing down kindergarden children.

    Almost all of these rounds FAIL to act in this way. The wounding effect is dependant upon

    1. The round either expanding or fragmenting (or both) in the body

    2. Velocity and energy transfer to the body via hydrostatic effects, leading to both temporary and permanent crush and cavitation injuries along the wound channel

    Trouble is when a jacketed hollow point hits the body it needs a fluid (read flesh) to fill the round cavity causing expansion/fragmentation.

    Alas most folks wear clothes and on a regular basis the cavity will fill with material/cloth/leather/denim, fail to expand and will continue on its merry way with substantially reduced effects.

    "if you're hit with a dum-dum/Glaser you're not just disabled, you're dead"

    Again wishful thinking I'm afraid, the only way to ensure an immediate kill is by what is euphamistically know as Central Nervous System Collapse. Basically you have accurately hit a small section of the brain where it is joined to the spinal cord. Otherwise you get twitching, tremors, some motor mobility and other such stuff before you shuffle off this mortal coil.

    Pistol round hit on the body will not lead to instantaneous death.

    Frangible rounds are typically made up of sintered metal powder. Basically take fine metal dust, and compress under heat and pressure. They will upon impact with a SOLID surface return to the dust from which they were made. They don't have any magical killing capacity, they are used mostly in firing ranges where you want to cut down on lead exposure.

    The Glaser round is not a frangible round it effectively a physically unstable pre fragmented round and has better surface wounding capabilities.

    As for the bloody .223 round, it has very low penetrative capacity against solid surface and continues (in the ever popular War on Terror) to fail to deliver what the grunt on the ground requires.

    One particular fun one is that unless the round velocity stays above ~2500 feet per second on impact, it will not tumble and will zip on through the bad guy. Alas lots of the US soldiers want the handy dandy short M4 carbine which due to barrel length drops muzzle velocity below the magical figure at about 100 odd mtrs. The failings of the .223 are why many of the lads grab an AK where they can get away with it and why, yet again the military are still looking at a better round in either the 6.5 or 6.8SPC

    If you would like to have a look at some of the actual results of various type of round go to

    Bizarre but illuminating ...............

  47. Roger Moore

    Re: Anonymous coward

    "Better that 100 coppers die protecting one innocent than one innocent die protecting a hundred coppers."

    You might have trouble recruiting any coppers with this attitude or at least run out of those you do recruit. Aren't the coppers innocent too at least until proven otherwise? The quote works for innocent vs. guilty but not death vs. death.

    Better we find a non-lethal, safe way to stop these guys and then nobody has to die. In the meantime we have a heck of a problem balancing public safety with public freedoms.

  48. Mephistro

    Innocent bystanders

    Several messages explain that hollow point bullets are good for preventing damage to innocent bystanders. I'd like to note that if they get hit by this kind of ammo, their chances to survive are also nil. Consider a gun fight in the street, with the crooks and the cops all moving fast and shooting at the same time. In this kind of situation, would you want the cops to use the deadliest kind of ammo available?

    Most cops out there aren't exactly top notch marksmen.

    Of course, I've nothing against a police sniper using this kind of ammo, but giving hollow point ammo to 'normal' cops seems like giving a lighter to a 3 years old child.

    Ah, and I for one would like to see the police forces everywhere using 'less lethal' but incapacitating rounds. This way, errors can be fixed (usually in a hospital) rather than covered by a sheet (in the morgue).

  49. Tawakalna
    Thumb Down

    in the balance?

    "In the meantime we have a heck of a problem balancing public safety with public freedoms."

    to live?

    I know that you're going to reply by saying that the victoms of the bombings had a right to live too, but ffs, an innocent man was brutally shot dead by the so-called elite police firearms unit, no serious attempt was made to identify him, they simply assumed that he was the man they were after, and tried to cover up by lying through their teeth about it with the connivance of the media, and even now in the inquest they're trying to denigrate his character and justify their actions by claimng that he was a cokehead!. And we're supposed to look up to these people? Be grateful that they're so successfully "protecting" us?

    I happen to have a fairly swarthy complexion myself, being of Mediterranean descent; so would it still be ok if the cops gunned me down for no good reason just because I might be a suspect on the basis of my skin colouring? try telling that to my wife and kids if it ever happened.

    Aplogists can try to justify all they like, but it's still a f***ing disgrace, and shame on anyone who tries to make out that this sort of outrage is acceptable. It's not far from the self-righteous and dogmatic justifications that the real terrorists use to whitewash the evil that they do.

  50. Anonymous Coward

    The Terrorists Won That Day

    However you want to treat this case, an innocent man shot dead or the police executing a guy, the fact is that fear drove the decisions made that day. Superior officers giving the order out of fear that another bomb was going to be let off.

    The firearms officers fearing for themselves and citizens.

    I was not there, I don't know how De Menzes reacted, perhaps he reacted out of fear too, albeit for different reasons?

    Regardless of the ammo used or the political correctness of it, the fact remains that the poor man lost his life.

    Do don't know if the police acted incorrectly that day. But I doubt that they were out to kill an innocent man.

    I think the media has a lot to answer for. Events such as the bombings drive them into hysteria.

    Terrorism is about instilling fear, if governments and individuals give into fear, then terrorists win.

    Don't give in!

  51. Mike Siesel


    True Dum-Dums are crosshatched, some deeply cut. They fragment into five pieces of lead if done properly. As mentioned above hollow-point rounds often fail to expand properly because of clothing, though bullets like the Golden Saber and Barnes X are designed better, and Federal HSTs are probably the best in terms of expansion (2x vrs. 1.5x diameter).

    Penetration of 40 S&W hollow-point rounds ranges from 10-16 inches in bare gel (typically), while a standard round might achieve 16-18 inch.

    Personally, in terms of self-defense, I believe the heavier the round the better, and naturally two holes are better than one.

    OTOH, we in the US have allowed our police departments to become increasingly militarized and in the process increasingly distanced from the citizens, and paranoid to boot. The recent shooting of a teenager in Seattle because he had a cell phone in his hand is a good example.

  52. This post has been deleted by its author

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Appalling style

    The whole style of the article is appalling in context of the subject matter.

    This is a situation where an innocent person tragically lost his life, and the author discusses this in phrases such as "take ... out of play" and similar cuddly euphemisms.

    It is obvious that the author has an affinity for guns, but the simultaneous lack of understanding of the reality and truth of what this situation means to some people involved (or any display thereof in his writings) is completely lacking in maturity that I would hope to see from an author of such a serious subject matter.

    He should concentrate on commenting on, say, games, and leave the real life stuff to people who understand what things mean.

  54. John Waters
    Thumb Up


    Well said! BTW a recent issue of "Guns and Special Weapons for Military and Law Enforcement" Magazine had a test of +P 38 special loads fired from short barrelled pistols into ballistics gelatine through various layers of denim.

    The results were as you stated with the exception of Gaser "saftey slugs" and one other pre-fragmented cartridge whose name eludes me.

    Have you ever shot a but hunk of meat with a frangible bullet? Seriously, go load up some sinterfire projectiles into the cartridge of your choice, buy a thawed chickn, pot roast, or beef shank, and have at it. (American Ammunition, which ironically is manufactured by Israeli Military Industries, has a whole line of pre-loaded frangible ammo in various pistol and rifle calibers).

    Frangible rounds destroy tissue. I am not sure if they penetrate deep enough to be fatal, but they sure are maiming.


    The glasers are common classified as frangible or "pre-fragmented" by the press here in the US. As a side note gun "journalism" in the US is about as soft as those terrible in flight magazines one encounters back in coach class of any given major airline. I am serioulsy considering throwing my hat in the ring and actually writing useful reviews of various shoot-em-up kit.

    The MK 262 has improved matters some for US troops who are lucky enough to have access to them. I know a couple marines in a-stan who are reporting much favorable results with the '262, even from rifles with very short barrels (way down to 10.5"). I bought a box of civilian 77gr recently for my AR15 (16" 1:7" twist, by Lewis Machine and Tool, standard contour) and they are much nicer than the SS109 crap that NATO passes off as a standard. Bear in mind that the mk 262 actually sees a few hundred FPS over the standard civialian load from Black Hills due to some construction differences (primer crimp, roll type crimp at the neck, thicker brass).

    But the problem with the '262 is that its perhaps a little too stable. It often just zings clean through targets, drilling nice clean .22 caliber holes in them and continuing on unimpeded.

    But I agree with you 100%, the 5.56 is basicall a small game/plinking round, not a terribly useful cartidge for taking out bad guys. Heck, in the US some states ban it as a cartridge for deer hunting due to its inability to reliably produce clean/humane kills in the field. Deer are basically man-sized mammals.

    The cartridge to watch here is the 6.5mm Grendel from Bill Alexander. While I am not the biggest fan of his 50 Beowulf offering, the grendel is a great mid-caliber cartridge with amazing terminal ballistics. Its basically a militarized Benchrest cartridge. In terms of big bore "black gun" cartridges, I favor the 458 SOCOM because of the wide variety of .458 caliber projectiles suits my nerdy handloader fancy and the very common 300 and 405 grain 458 used by 45/70 enthusiasts allow me to enjoy economics of scale. Basically I can "plink" with a 405 grain 1600fps projectile from a slightly modified AR15 for $0.15 a round (if you include powder and assume 7-10 reloads before new brass is needed). Instead of vaporizing watermelons I paint cinderblocks to look like watermelons and vaporize them instead.

    In close quarters the .338 spectre is also a great, albeit rarified, choice; its made by Marty ter Weeme over at teppo jutsu ( Marty is a skilled engineer and gunsmith, I just can't say enough nice things about him.

    But getting back to the point. There is no reason to shoot ANYONE that's not on PCP or three days into a methamphetamine bender seven times with anything bigger than a .22lr. That is completely and totally absurd.

    My initial assessment upon seeing the news of this event still stands:

    "It looks like someone needs to revise their training standards."

  55. Morely Dotes

    @ Anonymous Coward

    "Notice how many posts here are anonymous ? Ask yourself why"

    Those who refuse to back their statements of their convictions with reasoned discourse deserve no consideration. The UK is not China (yet); you need not fear summary execution if you don't look foreign.

    If your government is abhorrent to you, you can (1) try to change it through non-violent means, if you are at all moral (think of Ghandi), or (2) move to another place with a government that suits you better.

    Of course, in the UK, you have been disarmed so that those in charge need have no fear that you may choose to change your government. The government here in the USA is abhorrent, but it *will* be changed within a couple of years, and the criminals currently in power dare not try to remain in power by any obvious exercise of force.

  56. John Waters

    @Mike Siesel

    The definition of "dum dum" bullets in the UK and US differ. Much like the definition of "rubber", "post", and "production quality automotive electrics" differ in meaning as well.

    As for big/heavy bullets for self defenseI totally agree as long as the velocities are kept in check.

  57. Jon Tocker

    What a storm this has unleashed

    Some great posts here and some utter bollocks.

    I always love when people who have never fired a firearm at a moving target start wittering on about shooting legs and arms.

    I'll say this only once: WHAT YOU SEE IN THE MOVIES IS NOT REAL.

    In real life, when dealing with a moving target and you're hyped up on adrenalin, fancy Hollywood shoot the gun from the hand, take out the legs crap is not practical - you have an extremely small chance of getting lucky and a high probability of missing.

    So you generally go for the "Centre of Mass" - the torso - even head shots are tricky as the head is generally smaller than the torso (unless your name is Jeremy Clarkson, and there's nothing larger than your head).

    Cannot speak for police forces in Nederland or England, but here in New Zealand and (I gather, from reading Massad Ayoob's law enforcement articles) in the USA, police are instructed to shoot to STOP, not "shoot to kill" or "shoot to disable/maim/wound".

    That is to say: shoot the Centre of Mass and keep shooting until the person stops.

    This may kill the person or it may just wound them to the point they no longer pose a threat.

    As it is distinctly possible that the person will die, "shoot to stop" must not be resorted to unless the situation is such that "lethal force" is justified - a clear threat to the lives of the officers or members of the public.

    In the heat of a firefight (not "cold blood" as one plonker above has suggested) when the target is moving and the officer is hyped up on adrenalin, the Centre of Mass is the easiest and most effective target. Even if the person is not killed outright, the trauma from the projectile entering the body is likely to "take the fight out of them" unless said target is hopped up on drugs ("Angel Dust" and methamphetamine being two that spring to mind).

    Only once have I seen footage of a person being successfully targetted in a limb - and the situation was very unusual. The person in question was publically threatening suicide and had a pistol in his hand. Police officers were attempting to calm him down and get him to surrender the weapon but it wasn't going well. He threatened the cops and threatened to shoot himself.

    A police sniper - fully trained, far above average marksman - was called in and moved into position to shoot the pistol out of the man's hand. In this case, the man was in an open area but sitting on a chair whilst engaging in his dialogue with the police. This made him a fairly static target (except for occasionally brandishing the weapon or shifting in the chair. The sniper had to get in as close as he possibly could without revealing his location to the man or the police officers (who were not informed lest their behaviour tip off the suicidal man that something was up.)

    After an age of getting into position and taking careful aim, ensuring the man wasn't moving and the police were out of the firing area, the sniper eventually fired a shot that took the pistol from the man's hand - much to his (the man's) and the attending officers' surprise.

    In an interview later, the sniper told of how difficult the shot was - despite being an extremely good shot, having had time to get into the best possible position and taking leisurely aim at a static target.

    But then you get all these wankers who have probably never fired a pistol or a rifle in their lives (or if they have, they've only ever shot at well-lit static pieces of paper at a nice friendly range) warbling on about shooting limbs because, after all, any decent wild west hero riding at speed on a horse can shoot, with a Colt .45 "Peacemaker" at 20 yards, a rope snaking across the gallows frame and sever it, so a huge human arm or leg should be no problem, eh.

    As to rightness and wrongness of this particular shooting (and others where an innocent is gunned down), that is a matter for the enquiry to determine if the actions of the police were the best possible considering the information and visible evidence THEY had at the time.

    If the cops acted in the best possible way going by what they were informed or had observed at the time, then it's a regrettable accident - and far more "forgivable" than a so-called "accident" wherein some drunken moron ploughs into a carload of people and kills someone. If the cops did not act, according to the enquiry, in the most appropriate manner based on the info/evidence to hand, then they're for the "high jump" and should rightfully be disciplined for it.

    It's all well and good having 20-20 hindsight and saying, "but he didn't have a bomb and we can see by looking at the CCTV footage that he obviously didn't have one" but the questions have to be: how much of the evidence/info available to you now was available AT THE TIME to the cops at the scene? How much information was transmitted to them, at what time and by whom? Did they act appropriately given the perceived level of threat and the evidence they were acting on?

    People are fallible, even cops. Evidence can be misinterpreted, important stuff can be missed in an emergent situation where every second counts, new data can be incorrectly interpreted based on assumptions arising from previous inaccurate or incomplete data. Innocents can be wounded or lose their lives.

    What is the solution? Sit back and say "I won't do anything because he could be completely innocent...whoops fuck, he just blew up a group of school kids."

    Those who don't have to make rapid on-the-fly life-or-death decisions in the defense of themselves or others have no right to judge those who do. You're not cops, you weren't there, you weren't privy to the information they had at the time and you weren't in a situation where you had to make a snap decision about a matter where the lives of numerous civilians might be at stake - so STFU.

    No. I'm not a cop, and I would not presume to tell one how to do his/her job - nor would I take kindly to a cop telling me how to do mine. We each have our own areas of training and make our own decisions - good or bad in hindsight - based on what we have to hand at the time. And if we don't do it well, we suffer the consequences.

  58. Cambrasa

    Brazilians are hypocrites

    Remember the big public outcry in Brazil after this case? Remember how the Brazilian government demanded that the police officers be convicted? This coming from a country who's police shoots street children. For fun. They've got some nerve...

    If a tourist in Rio De Janeiro disobeyed orders from the Policia Militar and tried to escape, he could consider himself lucky if they pumped him full of dum dums and spared him a slow death.

  59. Dillon Pyron


    I carry Corbon 135s in .40 S&W in a 1911 compact. The Corbon has consistently had excellent ratings in one-shot stopping power. Very good expansion characteristics, and ideal penetration. These have been used by a number of police departments. It's been suggested that I switch to a .357 Sig, since that's what the Austin cops use.

    JHPs are designed to stop, not kill. If you are only shooting to wound, then the question becomes, why were you using lethal force at all? A question you really don't want to hear the prosecutor asking you. All the police forces I know of tell you to shoot for center of mass. Hydrodynamic shock helps the stop by causing the perp to suffer sudden nervous system overload. An FMJ, on the other hand, overpenetrates, wasting huge amounts of energy. Why have all that muzzle energy if you're not going to use it?

    .32s effective? Not really. They don't have the energy to do any effective damage. A 65 grain bullet going at 950 fpm just doesn't have any real penetrating power. If European police are actually using them, then they may find themselves seriously outgunned should a real criminal organization come along. Miami was the reason the FBI went from 9mm to 10mm and later the .40 S&W.

    I've been shooting for over 40 years now, and competitively for 15.

  60. Anonymous Coward

    You missed the real point on why dum-dums are banned

    It's very simple really.

    Dum-Dums were banned because they were too effective. They achieve a high death rate in the people they hit.

    It wasn't the fact that people were being very messily killed. It was the fact that only one soldier was taken out of the battle.

    When you wound someone you remove at least three enemy from the fight as they have to tend to and carry their wounded to a place of safety.

    Even in a small battle having live casualties on your side is an important factor. On a larger engagement it becomes a serious military problem.

    The Australian army teaches this rule by making you do 5k casevacs on foot using some branches and a hoochee to carry your wounded. At the end of the exercise the sergeant sweetly reminds you why you should never dum-dum your own ammo.


  61. granite top

    dum tactics

    Firearms used used by police forces are generally designed to kill, so their choice of ammunition is often semantic.

    The press might effect more damnation by questioning why a continegent police followed this poor chap from his home and into a heavily populated area before containing him. Maybe they could not run fast enough to catch him (too many doughnuts ?) . Given the level of force exerted it seems unlikely they could not choose a better place to "stop" him before reaching the tube station.

    For me the blame here lies firstly with the police policies dictated, then the poor men who had to execute them, though "I was only following orders" really doesn't seem satisfactory. This story is just sad however you look at it. Perhaps the authorities could apologise for increasing the level of public hysteria as well as killing an innocent man while they're at it.

    However given the same situation I'd take any cheap >= .22 pistol (easily obtained in the right local pub) and some jacketed .22 lr for such a situation. Perfectly lethal enough ....

  62. Adrian Esdaile

    Military Intelligence?

    "The Australian army teaches this rule by making you do 5k casevacs on foot using some branches and a hoochee to carry your wounded. At the end of the exercise the sergeant sweetly reminds you why you should never dum-dum your own ammo."

    One wonders why laser blinding weapons haven't caught on and are in fact outlawed. Best of both worlds - blinding causes 'useless' casualties that need to be evacuated, and given a choice being blinded is more humane that having your liver blown out.

    I guess it's the 'humane' bit they aren't worried about?

  63. Roger Moore

    Re: Balance

    >> "In the meantime we have a heck of a problem balancing public safety with public freedoms."

    >to live? I know that you're going to reply by saying that the victoms of the bombings

    >had a right to live too, but ffs, an innocent man was brutally shot dead...

    So which is worse: one innocent shot dead by the police in error vs. tens or hundreds of innocents dead from a terrorist bomb? That's the choice the police are faced with. How many people would be complaining if he HAD BEEN a terrorist with a bomb and the police had held back because they were not 100% sure and he set it off and killed tens or hundreds?

    Nobody thinks the police did the right thing this time - including they themselves. The problem is what do you do when not acting can be as bad, if not worse, than acting? People screw up all the time - giving them training and putting a uniform on them will not change that. If we can't, as a society, understand and accept that the police will make such mistakes, terrible and tragic as they are, then is it fair to ask them to make such decisions on our behalf? ...and if we are unwillingly to let the police make such decisions because of these errors then how do we stop the next terrorist plot?

    I don't have the answers but the real problem is that I don't think anyone else does either.

  64. Rob Smith


    If the basic idea of a DumDum was to carry out a more effective method of killing your enermy, perhaps we should look at what James Puckle invented in London in 1718 ' The Puckle Gun' was able to fire round bullets at Christians, and square bullets at 'Non Christians' in the (misguided)belief that the square would do more damage than the round bullet.

    Perhaps the Met should try getting one out of the Tower Amory and trying this out – On ballistic jelly first of course!

  65. Adam Ward
    Paris Hilton

    Interesting but irrelevant

    I think Lewis misses the key thing here. The killing of De Menzies was only OK if operation Kratos was in operation. As the trial made clear on the 3rd of October Kratos was never authorised. Although a badly worded order to "stop him all costs" was given, that does not actually give the police a license to kill.

    In short whether a certain kind of ammunition was used or not, the SO19 team went well outside of their legal role in a likely combination of panic and glory-seeking.

  66. John F***ing Stepp

    As to all that.

    I would personally be afraid to go to England; I live in a country where it is kind of required to inquire if you have a permit to carry, and we might even ask if you actually have an explosive device before shooting you.

    You guys are scary.

  67. AndyB


    Apparently, medieval archers had dum-de-dum-de-duuum-de-dum arrows.

    (You need to be British to get that one)

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Roger Moore

    "The problem is what do you do when not acting can be as bad, if not worse, than acting? "

    You do what civilised society has always done. Accept that there will be losses and refuse to be manipulated by them. Don't try to use force of arms to win a war of cultures. These people are actually modern CRUSADERS with all that entails.

    Win by not being afraid and being more civilised and fair. That's what worked in Northern Ireland.

    On the other hand you can win by being more evil, twisted and depraved than the enemy to instill higher terror in them. Which path are we on ?

    Keep guns off the streets including police ones.

    " how do we stop the next terrorist plot? "

    We DON'T. You can't stop terrorism, you can't stop Guerilla warfare. Don't try to convince yourself that there is some super-plan that can do so.

    "I don't have the answers but the real problem is that I don't think anyone else does either."

    The answers have always been known. There are those who will distract you for their own ends however.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    only following orders

    " (fwiw imho etc condemnation should be reserved solely for the people who created the policy, gave the orders, then tried to keep it quiet - not the ones who were facing what they beleived to be a terrorist) "

    Absolutely, definately NO.

    That position wasn't tolerated at Nuremberg and it must not be tolerated anywhere else. Everyone must be held accountable."

    Pfft. Nonsensical analogy. Attempting to draw a "we were only following orders" parrallel between armed guards standing over unarmed civilians who their commanders told them were sub-human and a few probably terrified policemen facing what their commanders had assured them was a suicide bomber is pushing things a bit. No a lot.

  70. EnricoSuarve

    Are the bullets really the important bit?

    What the stenographers at the times and other 'news' outlets seem to be neatly glossing over without any real thought, is that this is a prosecution under the "Health and Safety at work act" and what that means as a whole


    "Health and Safety"??? Getting shot in the head??? What is wrong with you people, that you can't stop geeking over the relative stopping power of FMJ, Frangible, DumDum and (now in cherry menthol flavour) original lead bullets, and actually be amazed that getting executed in the nations capital doesn't even warrant a fucking inquest?

    Apparently all you need to be inadvertently put down, or have 250 armed police storm your house and shoot you in the shoulder, (no inquest for that one either) is to have an undesirable postcode and a tan - or Allah forbid, a beard

    We can't even have an inquest for the most serious terrorist action ever on the British mainland (the 7/7 bombings) because of 'security'. Now I don't know about you but I feel secure knowing we are all protected by armed police murder squads

    The sheer amount of conflicting stories, revisions and, lets face it, lies, coming from the police about all three of the above, not to mention the castor seed science used to justify everything from Iraq to shredding your rights should be challenged, inquired about even

    I can understand why Lewis is choosing to focus on the revelation about the bullets since it is right up his avenue, but I can't help feeling we are all getting side tracked slightly

    I couldn't give a monkeys if the police used specially trained badgers to beat De Menezes to death with fluffy cushions. The only real issue here is that police failed to follow procedure, were engaged on an operation that according to some had not even been authorised and winded up murdering an innocent civilian. They then proceeded to lie, spin and attempt to defame their victim to get out of it, and all we do in return is launch a fucking health and safety investigation????

    What are they going to do? Recommend wearing hard hats to work?

    Wake up - this and all the recent 'terrorist' events in London should be the subject of immediate open door public inquests and this trial should at very least be for manslaughter

  71. Steve


    Well said.

    You'll never be able to stop random attacks on civilians, even when you introduce unnacceptable levels of restrictions on civil liberties. Such attacks only become terrorism when people are terrorised, so standing up to them is the only option.

    Contrast the reactions of the post-9/11 refusal of Americans to get on aeroplanes with the post-7/7 reactions of Londoners who insisted on going back on the tube the next day. I remember watching US TV coverage of that, and the combined astonishment/admiration of the TV reporters that Londoners weren't cowering under their beds and refusing to take the train.

    There aren't enough suicide bombers to destroy the economy of any western country by themselves, but all they have to do is frighten ordinary people into doing their work for them. We wouldn't let them do that in NI (I am Belfast-born), and it is clearly the only way to win such a conflict. Overreaction by government does more harm than good.

  72. Luke Wells

    innocent? blah!

    Reading all the comments where people have made the point about the guys innocence is getting boring.

    Innocent people don't run away from the police. Anyone who thinks it is ok to do so deserves to be shot dead.

    If a police officer(s) pointed a gun at me, I'm intenligent enough to know that I can't outrun a bullet so whether or not I am guilty of anything, I am not going to try and run away, I am pretty much going to do what they say.

  73. Steve Hill


    "If a police officer(s) pointed a gun at me, I'm intenligent enough to know that I can't outrun a bullet so whether or not I am guilty of anything, I am not going to try and run away, I am pretty much going to do what they say."

    If they only do this when you're on a train, have no idea why a bunch of guys in plain clothes are pointing guns at you... might you be a bit confused by the whole thing? And then they didn't exactly give him a sporting chance... It's not like he was challenged by them on entering the station.

    Mr Wells, you would have nowhere to run to when pinned in a train carriage. Your crass comment just shows what little grasp of the situation you have.

  74. EnricoSuarve

    Re: innocent? blah!

    Actually Luke - he wasn't running away - the CCTV shows that clearly

    He MAY have suddenly run at the last minute to get on the train pulling in, however I and thousands like me do that every day and, although I can't vouch for all of them, I promise you I have never carried anything more lethal than my work clothes on a tube train

    "Innocent people don't run away from the police. Anyone who thinks it is ok to do so deserves to be shot dead."

    You know what - no comment - too easy, you scary, scary individual

    Face it the 'running' bit at best came from the mouths of the same coppers, who have constantly failed to keep their story straight though out this whole episode. I watch enough crime dramas to know that a suspect who can't keep his story consistent did it every time (or he's covering for his lover)

    The whole thing reeks and the only difference between this and other famous UK terror trials, is that we aren't going to be seeing Mr De Menezes standing victorious next to his lawyer outside Wandsworth once the fabricated case against him is blown apart

  75. ElFatbob

    Right Action, Wrong Person

    In the circumstances where you have a suicide bomber who may be using a deadman switch, shooting the bomber in the mouth to sever the brain stem is the correct course of action.

    If the bomb is attached to a deadman switch the finger remains locked on the trigger, if not, the message to depress the trigger does not make it from the brain to the finger. I can only presume that using this type of ammunition was felt to increase the chances of this happening.

    What is unacceptable is the bungling intelligence / police operation that led to the death of an innocent man.

  76. AndyB

    Ignorant twit

    @ Luke Wells

    1. Menezes didn't 'run away' he was running to catch a train.

    2. Police did not give Menezes any chance to surrender. They bundled him to the ground and put several bullets into his brain.

    3. Even if he WAS running away. He was being pursued by plain clothes police, so he had no reason to realise who they were.

    4. Even if he WAS running away and he DID realise the people following him were 'officials' of some kind (possibly immigration as his visa had expired), that's still no excuse for blowing his brains out without giving him a chance to surrender.

    OK, I know why the police did what they did. They were convinced, albeit wrongly, that he was about to detonate a bomb, but that does not change the fact that Menezes wasn't a suicide bomber. He was guilty of no more than overstaying his visa.

    Tell you what, Luke. Next time some big ugly bastard starts chasing you, just stand there. He might, just, be a plain-clothes policeman.

    On the other hand, he might merely beat the crap out of you and take your wallet and phone.

  77. Anonymous Coward

    So who framed Roger Rabbit ?

    Anyone else think of that scene from the film - in toon-toon, the PI fires his gun and the bullets turn the wrong way. "Dumb Dumb" bullets of course !

  78. Tawakalna

    hear hear..

    "I couldn't give a monkeys if the police used specially trained badgers to beat De Menezes to death with fluffy cushions. The only real issue here is that police failed to follow procedure, were engaged on an operation that according to some had not even been authorised and winded up murdering an innocent civilian. They then proceeded to lie, spin and attempt to defame their victim to get out of it, and all we do in return is launch a f*cking health and safety investigation????"

    absolutely, but you know that this prosecution will be dumped as well; all pats on the backs and promotions all round, some low-middle ranking plod will get the blame as a scapegoat, then on 'till the next time someone with dark skin and the wrong postcode decides NOT to vault over the barrier in his bulky jacket after wazzing a line of coke up his nose.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    > Contrast the reactions of the post-9/11 refusal of Americans to get on aeroplanes with the post-7/7 reactions of Londoners who insisted on going back on the tube the next day.

    I don't think that's true. Lots of people stopped using the tube / public transport after 7/7 the deciding factor was whether the journey was essential or not. There was a study mentioned in NewSci about which Londoners had been affected by the terrorism and if your only way to carry on earning money was to travel again by tube or bus into work then those people put the news out of their minds, concentrated on the low odds of being targeted and went to work as usual. People taking avoidable journeys avoided public transport. There's a lot more similarities between Americans and British than there are differences. There was also an implicit PR campaign at the time to show that the British had not been affected by the disruption - tastelessly suggesting a "Dunkirk Spirit" - but in reality of course some people were afraid of travelling by public transport. Proportionally less were affected than by the 11/9 event, but that too is easy to fathom.

  80. Law
    Black Helicopters

    But Halo!!

    In halo the aliens have Needler guns.... it shoots darts of crystals at somebody, the initial stabbing doesnt kill them, but the explosion does... it is by far one of the coolest weapons in Halo.... why couldn't we develop something like that!! :)

    They are pretty and pink too...

  81. laird cummings

    @Mark - 'rather than a dumdum '

    Put LESS powder in the cartidge..?!

    Pistol cartridges are already bording on too week to serve their intended function, and you want to weaken them still more? Heh! Yeah, *that* would be impressive, when the need to shoot arises... Bullets dribbling out of the weapons to impotently hang up in the target's clothing. When you need to shoot someone, you *don't* want a wimpy bullet. You want one that will dump all of its energy into the target, ONLY into the target, and nowhere else. And you want that bullet to have a LOT of energy if at all possible. At the same time, you want a weapon that you can control, and that will not over-penetrate. This is one of the paradoxes inherent in side arms - what's poweful enough, but not too powerful? Specialty bullets are one attempt to answer that paradox.

    @Trevor Bayliss

    "A frangible bullet is one that is designed to disintegrate into tiny particles upon impact." Alternately: "Capable of being broken; brittle; fragile; easily broken."

    The current (and recent past) offerings from Glaser most certainly are frangible bullets. "Prefragmented" is a meaningless distinction. Sintered metal frangibles are the newest and niftiest frangibles, but they don't own the definition.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @el Fat Bob

    My putative dead mans switch will go off if I don't press it on and off within 30 seconds. Shooting my brainstem will make fsck all difference. There are dozens of fail(-well-un)safe ways of beating the police.


  83. John Waters


    What's worse than bullets dribbling from handguns are bullets lodging 1/2 way down the barrel and forming a blockage. The only pistol I know of that can demonstrably survive such a blockage is the HK Mark23 and USP45 (both are recorded to have *cleared* a barrel blockage w/o exploding during tests).

    (don't try this at home, kids)

  84. Anonymous Coward

    New tactics

    Those cunning suicide bombers will start attacking us wearing explosive headbands under their hats.

  85. Anonymous Coward

    Continued use of technology to blacken name

    I will point out that once the police/prosecution/establishment have fabricated a case against you, you will never stand victorious. Your life has been destroyed and you never get back the comfort that you live in a fair and just country. Being innocent and being shot is just an extreme version of that scenario.

    IMHO no officer will be chastised ( except in private) for this appalling tragedy. Just witness the continued use of technology to blacken De Menezes name ( cocaine traces & image manipulation).

    I cannot see a day when an official organization in the UK will ever tell a truthful account of a mistake it made

  86. Eduard Coli

    Still doesn't make it right

    In the footage on the BBC US Mr. De Menezes was standing alone at the terminal before he was shot in the head. If the police thought he was a suicide bomber and decided that he had to be shot because the terminal was more or less empty could they have not shot him in the leg and if he was a suicide bomber and set his vest, suitcase or left show off then they would have only lost use of the terminal but as was the case where he was not a suicide bomber they could have saved his life.

    But then again think of the law suit and the possible review/repeal of police powers regarding sniping civvies. Maybe it was better for police powers that Mr. De Menezes had to die.

  87. Tawakalna
    Dead Vulture

    target for tonight..

    "You want one that will dump all of its energy into the target, ONLY into the target, and nowhere else"

    providing of course that our wonderful boys in blue can get the right target. All the weapons technology and training in the world are meaningless if the plod and their erstwhile superiors can't tell the difference between a Brazilian electrician and an Asian suicide bomber. The officers also seem to have this odd problem with this little thing called "the truth" - but that's largely irrelevant in British courts these days.

    rather than concentrating on what sort of bullets should or should not be used, maybe we could concentrate our bobbies' minds on getting the RIGHT person.

    it was indeed very brave of them to pump all those bullets into an unsuspecting Brazilian electrician, clearly they were in great danger and did a wonderfully professional job of protecting us from cokehead Brazilians in bulky jackets (which he wasn't wearing, of course) Blighty will never be threatened by Brazilian electricians again!

  88. Matt Bryant Silver badge

    Not 100% ineffective.

    First off, good article, thank you.

    Bad bit first - they shot the wrong guy, it was a procedural fault and they need to (a) tighten up the procedure and (b) try not to do it again. This will require someone being convicted of at least manslaughter.

    Good bits - (a) someone had the guts to go the course - (b) they managed to quickly and efficiently kill the target without giving him a chance to explode a device (if the poor b*gger had've been carrying one), so at least we know it will work if it really is needed again.

    But a mistake like this does carry a deterant value - it warns terrorists that the British Police will kill if required. I remember the shock and squeals of disbelief after the SAS took-out/"murdered"/terminated-with-rightful-prejudice (select an option that fits with your own political views) the three IRA bombers in Gibraltar in 1988. I think it is very good that some of the less welcome visitors to these shores realise that, whilst we maintain a foppish air of metrosexual inadequacy, we are very capable of being thuggishly violent if required.

    Oh, and the "double tap" and finisher to the head pistol technique is known as the Mozambique drill or "failure to stop" drill. Much more inventive is the old Para trick with the 37mm launchers used in Belfast for truncheon rounds and gas cannisters, where the unofficial and very unauthourised loading was a stack of 2p pieces, fired into the groin and known as the "dew*nker" drill or "gelding". This was known to completely disable often quite frisky and violent rioters, can I suggest this to the Met as a tried-and-tested alternative to seven rounds in the head?

  89. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Alternative ammo...

    "This was known to completely disable often quite frisky and violent rioters, can I suggest this to the Met as a tried-and-tested alternative to seven rounds in the head?"

    The hungarian riot police usually uses tear gas canisters fired at head level from a short distance. It only blinds the target permanently but loosing one or both eyes doesn't kill. The only real problem so far was that small children have far weaker skulls and separating them from their parents before the police attack is not possible.

    The full metal jacket ammo used by swat squads do present a problem, because last time they managed to shot multiple hostages while taking out a bank robber. But they can't switch to normal ammo because most cirminals wear bulletproof wests. (and some normal city dwellers did too, until they got outlawed from civilan use)

  90. Tawakalna
    Dead Vulture


    .."But a mistake like this does carry a deterant value - it warns terrorists that the British Police will kill if required. I remember the shock and squeals of disbelief after the SAS took-out/"murdered"/terminated-with-rightful-prejudice (select an option that fits with your own political views) the three IRA bombers in Gibraltar in 1988. I think it is very good that some of the less welcome visitors to these shores realise that, whilst we maintain a foppish air of metrosexual inadequacy, we are very capable of being thuggishly violent if required."

    perhaps you could tell that to Stephen Waldorf? remember him? Shot 5 times and then pistol whipped by the Met in 1983 while waiting at the trafiic lights in his Mini; they thought he was a dangerous escaped prisoner because they both had long hair and a girlfriend. Haven't changed much, have they, and the "new procedures" were brought in as a consequence of the Stephen Waldorf shooting. And he was a British citizen. So how much credible do the cops have when they promise that they'll review their procedures when, time and again, they keep getting it wrong.

    I could have used as an example one of the following:-

    James Ashley, 1998

    Derek Bennett, 2001

    Harry Stanley, 1999

    or others around the country, but the point is that the same salient features keep on showing up on each occasion - the Police fail to adequately identify the target before opening fire, fail to challenge before opening fire, then claim that they were in "immediate danger" to explain away the first two points, then set about destroying the victim's character and reputation, say that they're very sorry and it won't happen again, but it does.

    And they always get away with it. After all, it would undermine the public's confidence in the law enforcement agencies if officers were made to face the consequences of shooting first, and only asking questions later. They'll get away with this one too.

  91. Anonymous Coward


    DAC Dick is now wriggling to try to get off the hook saying she only told her team to stop Menezes.

    Sounds a bit like "Bentley & Craig 1952"

    There is a lot of interpretation between "Stop this man" and "This man needs to be stopped"

    Read between the lines

  92. heystoopid


    Sadly for all including the unfortunate man who was for all intents and purposes killed out of hand by a combination by a chain of unfortunate events by persons who literally were neither properly trained or were basically incompetent and were incapable of handling events as they unfolded in a fit and proper manner.

    The saddest part about this the pure and utter stupidity of the wankers involved and the highest level of interference from the Sir Ian Blair who was in possession of the correct information in less then an hour after the shooting but deliberately and knowingly chose to take no action about all the malicious fiction and libel the gutter TV/Press printed and shouted to the world vilifying the unfortunate victim in the first five hours after the incident !

    Remember this the officers were deliberately handed the illegal ammunition and told to use it (strange no mention of the evil fact the shooter voluntarily chose to use every round)!

    Both Nuremberg , The Hague War Crimes and the Eichmann Trial has blown once for all the myth just following orders is a defence !

    The other fact is they were out of uniform failed to identify themselves at any time and just started shooting so for all the passengers in the rail car knew at the time was they were just a bunch of gangsters or crazed drug dealers committing wholesale murder in front of them !

    One fact not mentioned is if an ordinary person did such a crime the custodial sentence would be for the term of their natural lives period with no parole permitted !

    The bad thing and travesty of this case is that in the United Kingdom the perpetrators involved in this evil deed will be unpunished when they should be for this crime and the country has all but turned the final corner to become a "Police State" with the complicity of the National Media Conglomerates which are in bed with the government and printing what ever they are told as fact when it is pure fiction or propaganda even to this very instant in time(Thank you Tony Blair!) !

    If and when all police in the United Kingdom are all armed with fire arms to finalise the illusion of false safety , then country is in the final home stretch to become a "Police State"

    For remember the out come of this case means they are above the law in all accidental shootings without any penalty period and it also legalises the use of banned ammunition in all police weapons

    What price freedom and democracy indeed with the current wankers and incompetent wowsers in charge or do they perhaps yearn to reinstate all the bad things of King John's reign of absolute rule ?

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    >It's much harder than films make it appear to set up a bomb which will detonate if you release the trigger. Especially if you want to make sure it really won't go off until you release the trigger.

    Why not have two switches, in series, connected to the detonator, one toggle or slider SPST and one push-to-break SPST. THe toggle switch would naturally be off, unless the bomber were in the immediate vicinity of his target, or if he were threatened by police, but once switched on, it could be switched off at any time.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One rule for them...

    Time and again we are told by the authorities that surveillance of what ever kind is okay, because "if we have done nothing wrong, we have nothing to fear".

    Now it is time that the MET were held to the same standard: all those officers involved should be tried for murder. The cover-up alone shows that the MET is guilty of something.

  95. Matthew Smith

    The Joy Of Gun

    "Seriously, go load up some sinterfire projectiles into the cartridge of your choice, buy a thawed chickn, pot roast, or beef shank, and have at it."

    Erm... I'm sure I would have (aged 9) but this is a British web site, in case you hadn't noticed. We generally only fire what is available at the fun fair or what we are ordered to in warfare. And when we are at war, pot roasts tend to be scarce.

  96. Paul
    Paris Hilton

    if you must shoot, use a hello kitty AK47!!

  97. Mark
    Thumb Down

    Stop this man

    The problems with wording orders haven't changed since Henry II said of Thomas a Becket: "Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest!".

  98. Andrew Davenport

    Wrong Time, Wrong Place

    Sorry but i am tired of hearing the media harping on about the actions of the MET that day and the poor way in which the entire event was handled.

    If Mr Mendezes had followed the rules surrounding his presence in the UK, i.e. left when his Visa had expired rather than taking the piss like to many other illigals the MET would have had to take no action in the first place.

    Yes the MET shot someone who was later proven to NOT be a terrorist, but he was challenged and decided to run at a VERY bad time.

    He should never have been there.

  99. Eduard Coli

    Dumber and dum

    On the US BBC presentation of the sniping it appears the Mr. De Mendezes was standing at a empty platform. Even if the police thought they had enough evidence that Mr. De Mendezes was a "terrorist" then they should have risked damage to an empty station by giving him the benefit of the doubt by shooting him in the arm or leg first or something like that.

  100. Tawakalna

    re:- Wrong Time, Wrong Place

    ah, so it was all his own fault then; well, what can you expect from a crack-smoking darkie who hangs around with terrorists?

    that's what you're saying, Andrew, isn't it? unfortunately for your argument, he wasn't challenged, and he didn't run. He jumped onto a train and was grabbed and shot in the head seven times, just after he sat down. Maybe if the trigger-happy cops had challenged him to stop, then maybe he would and he'd still be alive? Or maybe they'd just have shot someone else with dark skin. Me, for example, if I'd been in London on that day?

    but according to you, he deserved to die because his Visa had expired, and it doesn't matter that he's dead. Warm compassionate human being that you are, would you like to explain that p.o.v. to his family?

    stop being a tw4t all your life, mate.

  101. AndyB

    Re: Wrong Time, Wrong Place

    To add to Tawakalna's comments.

    De Menezes was already being restrained by a plain clothes (but unarmed) surveilance officer (he had him pinned in an arm-lock against his seat). This officer was dragged off of De Menezes and, despite shouting "police, police" had a gun pressed against HIS head. He was dragged off the train at gunpoint.

    He then heard the shots being pumped into De Menezes head.

    So, I heartily agree with Tawakalna. Stop being an utter asshole, Davenport.

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