24 June 2017 | 17.5 °C

Police Fail To Shoot Us 250 Times

By sizemore Last edited 143 months ago
Police Fail To Shoot Us 250 Times
mind_the_cop.jpg

Being edgy on the tube following the bombings and attempted bombings of a few weeks ago may be a new way of life for Londoners, but it seems that the police are just as jumpy. Or more so. In an interview on Channel Four News (in some twisted justification of the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes) Sir Ian Blair pointed out that the police have dealt with 250 suicide bomb scares and been on the brink of acting no less than seven times.

'Acting' under the current Operation Kratos* we assume means shooting people in the head.

And since we don't remember 250 suicide bombers actually exploding in the last few weeks we can look at this another way. The police are so intimidated by a handful of terrorists that they have panicked over no less than 250 innocent people and been on the brink of killing seven of them.

Londonist feels safer every passing minute.

Elsewhere police have arrested two men at Grantham railway station under anti terror laws as they traveled from Newcastle to Kings Cross. This follows close on the arrest of four other men in Birmingham, one of which is now confirmed as one of the men wanted in connection with the failed attacks. This time the man was shot with a taser gun so it seems that there's still a place for regular police work and non lethal force in the investigation.

Police yesterday also arrested a white VW Golf in East Finchley.

None of the above is any consolation to Tube workers who are threatening to strike over safety fears.

* Nothing sadly to do with the Romanian Gothic/Black Metal band of the same name but everything to do with the word POWER from which it derives.

Thanks to Corran for the photo.

Last Updated 27 July 2005

Dixon

A cheap shot by Londonist

mike

Yep, but just the one shot as opposed to seven and we CLEARLY identified ourselves as a blog at the outset.

The editor will of course conduct a full investigation, but we can't rule out that this will not happen again.

yawn

... I am sure it won't Mike, after all it's another giggle over coffee.

johnny

i agree dixon,

what are you trying to do with this post? make a joke out of the situation and at the same time accuse the police and government of incompetence (this is a given) and of criminal acts and policy.

yes thanks for the photo corran, that helps alot

mike

No joke and there's not much to giggle at when we're supposed to feel safer because armed police almost 'intervened' seven other times.

It boils down to 'Sorry we shot one innocent man but we could have shot a lot more'.

It's not simple incompetence it's the audacity that they'll carry on in the same manner hoping that our fear of the terrorists will give them free reign.

If the NY Times are correct in their assumption that the police aren't even chasing 'suicide' bombers and that the police are aware of that then it questions even more this Shoot to Kill policy and the over reaction of our police to the situation.

Nick

What would you do in that situation, Mike? 250 times isn't that many - think about it: since 7/7, there must have been in the region of 25-50 million tube journeys. At worst, you have a 0.00001% chance of 'looking extremely suspicious' - and a 0.0000003% of 'almost being shot'. Fair enough, if you fall within that profile that the bombers fitted - dark-skinned, possibly muslim, wearing a rucksack - your chances are significantly higher.

The alternative is to let four guys get on the tube and kill many other innocent civilians. That's what they're dealing with.

I agree it does carry some potential problems. When we actually do get some cold weather, everyone will wear bulky clothes... How many times have you run to catch a tube while wearing a thick jacket and carrying a rucksack?

mike

What would you do in that situation, Mike?

I've been in that situation every time I've ridden the tube since the attacks. I don't do a damn thing every time I see a backpack, a bulky jacket or someone with dark skin. The odds on me riding with a suicide bomber are exactly the same as the police riding with a suicide bomber. The only difference is that if I over react all I'd do is get off the tube a stop early as opposed to pulling a gun.

250 times isn't that many

It's exactly 250 times too many as far as I'm concerned. More visible police is a good idea, but invisible police with concealed weapons ready to spring into action if we mistakenly act weird is a nightmare.

I carry a rucksack everywhere. I usually have headphones on when I'm alone so I wouldn't hear a police warning. Not only do I wear jackets that are sometimes at odds with the weather I occasionally ride the tube covered in fake blood thanks to all the crappy metal bands I go and see. Fuck knows what all that adds up to as far as an armed policeman is concerned, but before last Friday I could behave in any manner I saw fit (as long as I wasn't annoying the other tube travelers), wear what I like and carry what I like without the fear of being shot.

Katie

"Police yesterday also arrested a white VW Golf in East Finchley."

hmmmm...

nthdegx

"Police yesterday also arrested a white VW Golf in East Finchley."

They did? Crikey, they are getting desperate aren't they.

mike

We can only hope that other VW Golfs publicly denounce this one. Anything less obviously means they support its actions.

b

Suppose it was two weeks after 50+ people had been killed on the underground by coordinated attacks by men of asian appearance.

Suppose it was one day after a coordinated attack on the underground by men of asian appearance had narrowly failed.

Suppose a man seemingly of asian appearance had just left a block of flats under surveillance in connection with the investigation of the above.

Suppose he goes into an underground station.

Suppose when confronted by the police he hurdles the ticket barrier and runs.

Suppose he dives onto a train full of people.

Do you assume he's innocent and that it's all some kind of elaborate mistake?

Do you think it would be okay if you were wrong and twenty armed police watch a terror suspect leap onto a train and blow up dozens of innocent people?

No-one believes an innocent man should be killed, but it was not the police who acted excessively, it was the man who stayed here past his visa expiration and then chose to run away when facing capture. He made the decision to risk his own safety rather than be deported.

How many stories have we heard about people with brown skin feeling under the suspicious gaze of their fellow tube passengers?

I find it hard to believe this entire atmosphere of intense security, fear, and suspicion had escaped the Brazilian man as he decided to sprint through an underground station pursued by armed police. And sorrow for his unfortunate death should not occlude the fact that he brought it on himself. He did not deserve to die, but ultimately he brought it on himself.

No-one is going to be shot for wearing headphones, carrying a rucksack or wearing winter clothes, and to say otherwise is utter folly and the kind of overreaction you condemn. If you are concerned you might not hear police instructions because you have headphones on then don't wear headphones. It stops you hearing things, police or otherwise, that might harm you, exactly the way it did before July 7th.

To say 250 suicide bomb suspects is 250 too many is ridiculous. Do you actually expect the police to just intuitively know who is a terrorist then? No. As with any investigation the police follow lines of inquiry and most of them don't pan out. They are left with the few that look most probable. Given the number of commuters and stations and the level of fear since the attacks, I think 250 suspects is a remarkably low number, and to have only 7 of those cases where they came close to acting is, again, proportionate and restrained. If you re-examine the circumstances of the Brazilian case, police acted in only the most alarming situation, and even then they held back until the very moment they considered other people to be in danger.

Finally, whether or not the attackers on July 7th intended to kill themselves might be an important factor in the investigation, but it should not alter the treatment of other suspects. The fact remains that suicide bombing is the most common, and virtually the only, method used by islamic fundamentalist groups. Not just in recent years, but stretching back for decades in the Middle East and other areas. It would be lunacy for police to say "Oh, they bought return tickets. We'd better assume other suspects aren't prepared to die then". Also bear in mind the more sophisticated terrorist operations of recent years are well versed in disinformation techniques. It is perfectly feasible the attackers deliberately acted in a manner that appeared contrary to their intent. Either way, we will not know until the completion of forensic investigation, and it should not alter any police policy.

The article above appears remarkably naive or thoughtless, and one hopes better of the English during this time.

Elaine

Thankyou to b for voicing exactly what I was thinking but struggling to put into words. Shame on you Londonist for such poor 'journalism'.

mike

Hey B - Read back over the previous coverage and comments and you'll see that we've already covered some of these points, but as you went to the time and trouble to leave such a lengthy comment let me get back to you on some of them.

First off have you seen the photos of Mr Menezes? Being Brazilian he looks about as Asian as I do so the first thing to do is to change the word 'asian' for 'non white' in your little preamble.

We're still awaiting anyone else BUT the police to say that he hurdled those barriers. And that doesn't take into account ALL the other opportunities they had to stop him including before he got on a bus. As has been pointed out elsewhere the police's assumption that he was a terrorist committed to killing himself and those around him is flawed for many reasons. Why run down into the tube if he's wired and ready to blow when he's surrounded by innocent people at just about every instant AFTER the police claim they identified themselves.

You lost a LOT of points for bringing up that Visa bollocks. Even if he WAS here illegally then that doesn't excuse the police shooting him, however it would explain why he (and many other people in the capital) would run. The police should have taken THAT into account. As it stands though according to our own Foreign Secretary he was here LEGALLY so again I wonder why you and the right wing press think it has a damn thing to do with anything.

If these guys had come in from abroad then maybe the idea of them being willing to die for a cause would be more acceptable. Guys from Leeds here for a couple of days to drop off some bombs and then scarper seems more likely given the stuff they left behind. As it stands currently it's hard to say either way BUT the second group look more and more like dupes/mules which makes you wonder about the first group.

Sorry I'm letting your opinion of the English down by refusing to blindly accept the word of the authorities. Then again America (for example) swallowed that Iraq=WMD/911 bollocks all too easily (and it's not even accepted that all of the 911 terrorists were aware they were going to die either).

Again we're talking about a TINY threat and a terribly misjudged response.

Elaine - you're not the first one to accuse me of being a journalist. I'm a blogger.

stanley

Suppose the police are bungling liars.

Suppose the police assassination squad never properly identified themselves once they were greenlighted for the kill.

Suppose the victim was wearing a lightweight nylon jacket.

Suppose the victim never actually jumped the turnstile and was running because he was late for work.

Suppose he did jump it because three men pulled guns on him and never adequately identified themselves.

Suppose the victim had been mugged and beaten recently.

Suppose he didn't dive into the subway car, but was tackled into it, or tripped.

Suppose he never knew what hit him.

Suppose the police will concoct a story that puts the victim in the worst light possible.

Suppose that your belief that the victim was responsible for his own death is part of a process whereby you are allowing yourself to be made monstrous.

corran

Dear Johnny. I’m so deeply sorry for my image that shows a murder scene on a tube where an innocent man was shot by police. Let us all pray to our volcano gods that this never happens in reality. Let us pray that we can all focus and keep our heads and “not change our way of life” just because crazy people and morons are running the world.
You think I don’t have sympathy for the police? Well you’re very wrong. I was raised by a cop (a cop who would die to protect us). I appreciate the police more than most people I know. What I cannot tolerate anymore are the people with the bombs and the guns and the big army calling the shots and forcing their war agenda onto the table. It’s their quick repair jobs and revenge attacks that are destroying what took society so long to build.

Where is it getting us? Innocent people are being killed. Let’s at least try a new tactic for once.

Don’t worry about us keeping the police on their toes everyone. I think they should be criticized more now that they’re under pressure. If we all start getting sloppy, edgy, trigger-happy or paranoid, people die. And I don’t see why any you people are complaining about mike’s article (Or my image for that matter) more than you are about the police killing an innocent man??? Mike and I have never taken a gun and shot someone (or something) to death….. err…right mike?

I know your all jumpy. That’s no excuse. It could’ve been your brother.

Are we only supposed to be upset when terrorists kill innocent people? or can we please be at least a little pissed off about murder in general? I’ll stick to drawing flowers and birds and nice things shall I? Wouldn’t want to say anything real…Or perhaps I’ll draw an omelet with a few broken eggs around it? Maybe 250 broken eggs? Let me know. I’d love to solve this problem too.

mike

Mike and I have never taken a gun and shot someone (or something) to death….. err…right mike?

Dude, I even try to talk sense into the zombies in Resident Evil on the Playstation.

Maria

Shame on you Elaine for thinking something yet not being able to put it into words and in the same sentance accusing Mike of poor journalism. Those in glass houses...

B, You say that you expect better of the british, well I expect better of a citizen of the world, whichever country you are from, than to believe a version of events given by the people that pulled the trigger on an innocent man, without having seen, or heard evidence to confirm that version.

I will not believe that he jumped the barriers until I see evidence

Matt Ashby

Would you prefer that there were no armed police officers?


If you accept the need for armed police officers then you must also accept a certain number of times when those officers will get it wrong. All we can expect is that armed officers are trained to the highest possible standards (which I believe they are) and that they learn lessons from every action that they take, whether in error or otherwise.


So, it's a straight choice: do you want armed officers and therefore accept a small number of errors or would you prefer the police in the UK to be totally unarmed?


If your answer is the later, how do you suggest we deal with people who are about to detonate devices in crowded public places?

corran

""So, it's a straight choice: do you want armed officers and therefore accept a small number of errors or would you prefer the police in the UK to be totally unarmed?""

See what your problem is? You think everything comes down to the choices you’re given. Why should we expect ‘errors’ as one of our choices? The “oops wrong guy” lesson should’ve been learned when they shot the guy with the table leg.
If someone is going to shoot someone else in the head. Shouldn’t he be positive it’s the right thing to do? If not then WHY do you think that’s a good idea? Doesn’t seem to be working so well in other countries dose it? Do you think we can shoot terrorism off the planet?”

corran

I disagree corran. The “oops wrong guy” lesson should’ve been learned long before that.

corran

You are so right.
Again.

b

Okay, first of all you have responded to your (wrong) interpretation of what I wrote, not what I actually wrote. You are clearly making assumptions as to who I am and what politics I might subscribe to, and you are attacking what you think I symbolise. The only basis you have for this is that I disagree with you.

"First off have you seen the photos of Mr Menezes? Being Brazilian he looks about as Asian as I do so the first thing to do is to change the word 'asian' for 'non white' in your little preamble."

This is semantic and rubbish. The police did not chase and kill a photo of Mr Menezes. If you haven't seen him in person you are in no position to judge his skin tone, nor am I. However, you assume I am suggesting he looked like some kind of stereotypical asian. I am not. Terrorists come from many different regions, including Asia, the Middle East and Northern Africa. Given a general knowledge of Brazilian ethnicity it is not untoward, in the absence of knowledge to the contrary, to think someone of this origin might be mistaken for someone from the regions mentioned above.

"We're still awaiting anyone else BUT the police to say that he hurdled those barriers."

So what. It is one thing to complain about the police being reckless and quite another to suggest they are part of a conspiracy of lies. Furthermore, you are using your assumption of the latter to support your preconception of the former. None of us know whether it happened or not, but that information is out there. I don't feel my argument is any less in its absence, so discard it if you must.

"And that doesn't take into account ALL the other opportunities they had to stop him including before he got on a bus."

What experience do you have of terrorist investigations to support any suggestion the police should have intervened at an earlier time than they did? Furthermore, this is counter to your overall argument that the police are trigger-happy. They clearly held back until they felt it necessary to act.

"Why run down into the tube if he's wired and ready to blow when he's surrounded by innocent people at just about every instant AFTER the police claim they identified themselves."

This kind of logic is utterly bizarre. Faced with the type of situation they were in it is ludicrous to suggest the police should have been second-guessing the motives of the suspect. You mean to say the police should have instantly dismissed the possibility he could have been a suicide bomber just because he didn't detonate himself on the spot when confronted? That is ridiculous.

"Even if he WAS here illegally then that doesn't excuse the police shooting him"

I challenge you to quote me back any part of what I wrote that said the above. I never said that his immigration status warranted his being shot. I merely said he was prompted to run, thereby endangering himself, due to a feeling that he was committing a crime. Whether he actually was or not, he apparently thought he was.

"...it would explain why he... would run. The police should have taken THAT into account."

Why should they? When faced with any kind of critical situation, as they were, it is not possible to sit down and map out all the possible alternative explanations for what is happening. As far as they were concerned a terrorist suspect was running onto an underground train during the immediate aftermath of terrorist bombings of the underground. They need to act on that basis and that basis alone. Any other method of law enforcement would be completely unworkable.

"If these guys had come in from abroad then maybe the idea of them being willing to die for a cause would be more acceptable."

Do you care to explain why it is more likely that a non-national would be so committed where a British person would not? There is nothing to support this line of reasoning. British nationals are as equally capable of the psychology of suicide bombers, just as they are capable of murder, war crimes or police misconduct. Nationality is not a factor.

"Sorry I'm letting your opinion of the English down by refusing to blindly accept the word of the authorities."

That's not the issue. I do not know whether the police acted appropriately - it depends on whether the information with which we have been presented is factual. Nor am I 'blindly' accepting it. I am following the 'official' version of events in the absence of any definitive evidence to the contrary. The difference between us is that you are using hypothesis, extrapolation and flawed logic to support a preconceived view. I am being realistic, balanced and am avoiding assumptions.

You appear to be suffering from cognitive dissonance, twisting and contorting things to force them into your world view. If an official investigation clears the police of wrongdoing you will no doubt claim it is part of the conspiracy. If it finds the police acted disproportionately then you will no doubt claim it is verifying what you knew all along.

"Then again America (for example) swallowed that Iraq=WMD/911 bollocks all too easily"

Regardless of arguments either way on this point, this statement is a gross generalisation bordering on revolting prejudice.

"Again we're talking about a TINY threat and a terribly misjudged response."

On this we agree. The threat is smaller than perceived, and the response was misjudged with terrible consequences. But we have been discussing whether the police are to blame for this. Only time, thorough investigation and the emergence of facts will allow us to make this judgement. In the meantime though, I think it remarkably distasteful to condemn the police on the sketchbook argument you have presented.

"Elaine - you're not the first one to accuse me of being a journalist. I'm a blogger."

Irrespective of how you might label yourself, you exhibit your opinion in a public arena, and that is a mighty powerful thing.

mike

Hey B - I get that we disagree but I have no idea about your politics, whereabouts or even gender. Sorry if my response seemed to interpret anything incorrectly as that wasn't my intention. The problem with using the comment box in lieu of actual conversation is that it's easy for things to go walkabout. At some point we'll be trying to organise a Londonist social evening of some kind and if you happen to be in London at that time we can get into this and more properly over a few drinks.

Anyway... no I never saw Mr Menezes, but your own reasoning that terrorists come in every shape, size and shade is what makes the shoot to kill policy so dangerous. The police have no idea who the next terrorist is or what he or she will look like and following this death it seems that even the most detailed intelligence that they acted upon was flawed.

Until it's proved otherwise I'll keep suggesting that he didn't jump those barriers. The conspiracy tag is very loaded, but I'm not too concerned about being labeled a nut for suggesting that police finding themselves in the wrong will try and limit the damage by lying. They've done it before and they'll do it again. So far everything revealed about Mr Menezes suggests that he was a regular guy going about his regular business but something on that particular day made him run from armed police after he had been challenged. That does not make sense. There was no reason for him to run, no reason for him to leap barriers and try and outwit police on a tube system especially one under so much scrutiny. The more logical scenario is that he didn't run. He simply walked through the barriers as he normally did, went down for his train and the first thing he knew about the police was when they brought him down to the floor and killed him.

The police held back while he boarded a bus? Even though two other buses had already been targeted? I don't have to have any background in anti terrorism to spot that maybe that makes little sense.

That along with a few other things did stick out as odd to someone with army training in the comments left after my post on Monday. Scroll down to the last comment and see what you think as it also covers your next point.

No you didn't say that the police were within their rights to shoot him if indeed his visa had expired. But you now assume that he thought it had and that's why he ran when it still has to be established that he did indeed run from the police in the first place.

As far as they were concerned a terrorist suspect was running onto an underground train during the immediate aftermath of terrorist bombings of the underground

And that's the bit I have a problem with. Why and how had they come to that conclusion? The fact that there had recently been a bombing does not give them the right to assume that anyone falling under their gaze is a threat.

What if they had been following one guy and then lost him? Perhaps they got down onto the platform and then spotted a guy they thought was the same man and killed him. There are a number of ways that the events of last Friday could have gone down and I'm simply not predisposed to swallow the official line.

A suicide bombing is very different from a regular murder, any of the other crimes that you mention or indeed the IRA bombing campaign. It's much easier to recruit people as mules or dupes than it is to find a group so committed to a cause that they'll give their lives up for it. So far none of the information that has surfaced about the men involved points to them being so fanatical. It's one thing to live in Palestine or Afghanistan or Iraq where the options to fight back are limited and the actions of suicide bombers can be justified and are common place. That a teacher from Leeds suddenly decides to follow that path is harder to swallow than the idea that he thought he'd survive and escape.

If an official investigation clears the police of wrongdoing you will no doubt claim it is part of the conspiracy. If it finds the police acted disproportionately then you will no doubt claim it is verifying what you knew all along.

If the official investigation is transparent and covers mine and others concerns then I'll stand by its conclusions. Have official investigations turned into white washes in the past? Of course they have - so at this point who knows how that will go. If it is decided that the police acted rashly I'll be too busy pointing out the mistakes that other police or political figures have made to run around saying 'I told you so'.

As you point out we are very different people with very different viewpoints. You are happy to sit on the fence and await the outcome. I'd rather complain my guts out now if something happens that I feel strongly enough about. I complained that the terrorists had a go at us in the first place and now I'm complaining that the police made a bad situation worse.

You'll have to point out exactly where my revolting prejudice came in as I'm bemused by that. Feel free to pick this up in email (mikesizemore@gmail.com) as it's kind of off topic to the main post.

I'm sorry that you feel it's distasteful for me to condemn the police but don't worry - they're big boys and girls and part of a large organisation that can more than take care of itself. I'd rather be on the side condemning their Goliath than the position you seem to have taken which is to point out that an innocent man brought it on himself.

Damn right being a blogger is powerful. But the content and discipline is quite different and a hell of a lot more interactive as I hope this 'to and fro' of comments has proved. I'll keep voicing my opinions on Londonist for as long as I have a place here but I'll always try and defend my point of view and expand the discussion whenever possible.

Thanks to all for the feedback so far. The opinions shared here will help to frame the next round of posting when more information regarding the incident breaks. If indeed it already hasn't as I've spent most of the day stuck in tiny little comment boxes :)

durviscz

some points occurred to me in reading the comments.

A cheap shot by Londonist
and that wasnt, dixon?

dark-skinned, possibly muslim, wearing a rucksack - your chances are significantly higher
hey nick; how does one look muslim, just out of interest?


Suppose...
Suppose...
Suppose a man seemingly of asian appearance had just left a block of flats under surveillance in connection with the investigation of the above.

dude, have you seen bloclk of flats?
they have 20 floors and each floor has at least eight flats on it.
thats a shitload of variables to be playing with if you are a counter terrorist squad sending all of your main intercept team on what might be a wild goose chase.

Suppose he goes into an underground station.

most londoners do of a day.

Suppose when confronted by the police he hurdles the ticket barrier and runs.

many people would, even in the current climate of terror-noia.

Suppose he dives onto a train full of people.

okay. lets suppose he does that too.

Do you assume he's innocent and that it's all some kind of elaborate mistake?

no.
i do start thinking by this point that he has passed an awful ot of populated places and wonder why he has bucked suicide bomber tradition in not setting the bomb off when he was confronted, if he in fact was.
i also might wondering if the chief was right to put baz in charge of the binoculars back at the flats.
you know.
supposing he did.

sorrow for his unfortunate death should not occlude the fact that he brought it on himself. He did not deserve to die, but ultimately he brought it on himself.

what? are you serioous?
he may have exacerbated an already ridiculously dire and unpredictable situation, but he didnt bring anything upon himself.
the swhole sorry situation was brought to him because he happened to live in the wrong block of flats and have the wrong colour skin.

No-one is going to be shot for wearing headphones, carrying a rucksack or wearing winter clothes, and to say otherwise is utter folly and the kind of overreaction you condemn.

headphones are not an offence, no. they might stop you hearing the police shouting on you and therefore allow you to run for a bus or a tube at an innoportune moment.
that is clearly what the reference to headphones was about, and to suggest otherwise is disingenous.

If you are concerned you might not hear police instructions because you have headphones on then don't wear headphones.

sure.
blame the victim.
girls shouldnt wear those short skirts if they dont want raped either.

The fact remains that suicide bombing is the most common, and virtually the only, method used by islamic fundamentalist groups. Not just in recent years, but stretching back for decades in the Middle East and other areas. It would be lunacy for police to say "Oh, they bought return tickets.

its a common tactic, sure. its also a common tactic among the palestinians and the tamil tigers, who are not islamic fundamentalists. i believe most suicde bombings are tamil, the palestinians coming in second.
equally common over the decades of islamsism (google it) and islamic fundamentalism have been other types of attack.
against the russians there were other less self-immolating weapons deployed, as there have been in algeria(gia; kidnapping and throat slitting, car bomb assasinations), egypt(gamaat islamiya; shootings, car bombs), and in saudi arabia ecomnomics was the chief weapon.
in bahrain we have asalah and al wefaq; both political parties with no killings to their name as far as i am aware.

i realise you prolly meant islamic fundamentalist terror groups, but i find it telling that you didnt say that.

you seem swept up in the blatant islamaphobia sweeeping this country at the moment, and i would urge you to think about it a bit more deeply.


it should not alter any police policy.

why not?
shouldnt police policy be in a constant state of change to reflect changing attitudes and sutuations?


one hopes better of the English during this time.

there's no need to bring nationality into it, mate.


If you accept the need for armed police officers then you must also accept a certain number of times when those officers will get it wrong.

you said
you assume I am suggesting he looked like some kind of stereotypical asian. I am not.
and
Suppose a man seemingly of asian appearance had just left a block of flats under surveillance in connection with the investigation of the above.

Given a general knowledge of Brazilian ethnicity it is not untoward, in the absence of knowledge to the contrary, to think someone of this origin might be mistaken for someone from the regions mentioned above.
well, yeah...except then you're wandering dangerously close to "watch him; he's brown" territory.
i think that is dangerous no matter if he is or is not a terrorist in the final shuffle.

corran

yes...and i would like to just add the last word.
there.