Tuesday, 10 January 2017

'Justice' Philippines style?

The more we learn about the shooting of Mohammed Yassar Yaqub by West Yorkshire police last week the murkier this episode becomes. Mr Yaqub died after being shot by armed police at a junction on the M62 just outside Huddersfield. West Yorkshire police have said very little about the incident so far other than to say they were acting on 'information' they had received (by all accounts they had received a tip off from a bradford drug dealer who is a police informant).They have also said that a firearm was recovered from Mr Yaqub's vehicle and confirmed the incident was not 'terrorist related'.

The police officers involved in the incident were in civilian clothing, were travelling in four unmarked police vehicles and had not been wearing body cameras, meaning no relevant CCTV footage of the shooting exists. So we do not know if any attempt was made to stop the vehicle Mr Yaqub was travelling in, if he was presenting a threat at the time of his shooting or if there was any means of apprehending him without shooting him dead on the spot. And while the police have said a weapon was found in the vehicle given there were apparently other people in the vehicle Mohammed Yaqub was travelling in we cant be certain he was holding the gun when he was shot (or if the gun recovered was his even).

The fact the case has been referred to the IPCC (independent police complaints authority) means very little in practice im afraid, as it is now standard procedure for police forces to refer any incidents like this to the IPCC themselves. Past experience has alas shown us any IPCC investigation is unlikely to get to the bottom of this incident or advocate prosecution should any wrong doing by the police force involved be unearthed. The IPCC cleared those involved in the shooting of Mark Duggan in Tottenham in 2011  - despite the fact it was established he had thrown his gun away when he was shot dead - and it did the same in the disgraceful shooting of the brazilian student jean charles de menezes at stockwell tube station in 2005 https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Jean_Charles_de_Menezes

Mohammed Yaqub's family and many people in the local community have labelled the shooting a 'planned assassination' and spontaneous protests have taken place in the area  https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/09/yassar-yaqub-vigil-m62-man-shot-by-police. Like anyone else i dont pretend to know all the facts surrounding the shooting of Mohammad Yaqub - perhaps more details will emerge in the coming weeks - but i do know that if it's found that his shooting wasn't justified no one will be prosecuted for it and his family certainly wont get anything resembling justice. I'm also aware there's currently lots of speculation online and in sections of the press regarding Mohammed Yassar Yaquban's 'lifestyle' and again i don't know if these allegations are true or not. But whatever the veracity of such claims i thought it was only in places like the Philippines that police were summarily executing people in the streets http://time.com/4462352/rodrigo-duterte-drug-war-drugs-philippines-killing/


  1. In truth, there's a great many more that I'd happily have executed in the streets.

    For the sake of our children we need to clean up society. The police should shoot as many as they wish. It's a lot cheaper than making folk serve prison time and the streets will be a lot safer for ordinary law-abiding citizens.

    Yes, the shootings must be lawful. But apart from that who cares.

  2. Well anon you might be happy to execute people in the streets but if you haven't first established in a court of law if they are actually guilty of anything or not on what moral grounds could you possibly justify such extreme actions? You surely aren't saying hearsay and allegations are sufficient justification for the police to go around killing people?

    And far from making the streets safer such an approach would be likely to turn our streets into killing zones, with police death squads despatching summary justice left, right and center. Indeed that is precisely what's happening in the philippines at present (i presume you're an admirer of the Rodrigo Duterte school of 'justice').

    PS you never know some vindictve soul could make an allegation against you one day - im sure you wouldn't like it if you were blown away without at least having the opportunity to defend yourself in court).