The British police are now saying that the shooting of a man on a London subway last week was a “mistake.” They have identified the man as Jean Charles de Menezes, 28, a legal immigrant from Brazil. Brazil is demanding an investigation into the shooting, and would like to see criminal charges filed against the police.
Now, while the late Mr. de Menezes has been exonerated as a terrorist, I have yet to hear the original facts of the shooting disputed. And let’s look at those facts:
1) It was the day after the second bombing.
2) The man was wearing a heavy jacket on a hot summer day.
3) The man jumped the turnstiles, violating the law.
4) The man ran from police.
5) The man ran towards a crowded subway car.
I would like to see the London police express their regret for Mr. de Menezes’ death, but NOT apologize. His death was his responsibility entirely. He did everything that a bomber would do, and deliberately chose not to do the things that would have allowed the police to determine he was not a threat before they were forced to shoot and kill him.
My sympathies go out to Mr. de Menezes’ family, but more sympathy for the officer who shot him. He did exactly the right thing, and has to live with the knowledge that he killed a (relatively) innocent man.