On that police bullet

The report is that the bullet that lodged in the police officer\’s radio was actually a police issue bullet.

Well, sorta.

From what I\’ve seen it\’s a hollow point. Which is indeed what is police issue. And yes, it is illegal for most of us to get ahold of such ammunition.

Except if you happen to be a farmer or stalker who needs to control deer or other large wildlife. Agreed, not a lot of farmers or deer in Tottenham.

But are we all entirely happy to conclude that such limitedly legal ammunition could not under any circumstances end up in the hands of someone the police would like to arrest?

I agree, it could be that the bullet was indeed police issue and that there\’s more to find out. But that it was a hollow point does not prove (note, prove rather than indicate) that it was police issue.

51 thoughts on “On that police bullet”

  1. Or maybe by floating the idea it was a police bullet and letting the conspiracy theorists have a field day, it provides a ready excuse for kids to go stealing etc.?

  2. Or maybe by floating the idea it was a police bullet and letting the conspiracy theorists have a field day, it provides a ready excuse for kids to go stealing etc.?

    Anyway, as Comment macht Frei always says – it’s Maggie’s fault…

  3. I’d never use anything other than expanding rounds in a pistol. 230 gr. Federal HydraShok loads in .45 ACP and a GLOCK 21 is weapon of choice. You get less chace of shoot-through with hollow points. and of course much more satisfactory terminal wound ballistics.

  4. This has to be the most transparently selfish rioting in English history. They should be called the Bling Riots.

    Blingerloo perhaps.

  5. Well, surely, until forensic examination is complete, they can’t say which gun it came from?

    In fact, they may never be able to get a match, if it’s too deformed…

    “You get less chace of shoot-through with hollow points…”

    A key factor if you’re about to intercept a known crim on a public street.

  6. The Pedant-General

    If it wasn’t fired by the police, it would have been illegal whatever it was. Handguns have been illegal essentially everywhere for quite some time.

    In fact, that’s rather the point. This chap is really rather unlikely to have been shot if he wasn’t armed or behaving as though armed.

    This chap is now well on the way to be being a Stephen Lawrence type sainted figure, no matter what his actual background and I suspect that we will never know the circumstances surrounding his shooting as there is too much looting depending on it being nasty trigger happy rozzers.

  7. “This chap is really rather unlikely to have been shot if he wasn’t armed or behaving as though armed”

    The trouble is that recent history does not back this up. Menezes was shot, and his only crime was overstaying his visa. The Met originally tried to make it look like he’s sprinted from them, vaulted barriers, etc. They lied. They shot a man with a chair leg in a bag, which again is not an offence. Another man died, in circumstances that would admittedly have been very difficult to foresee, for having the temerity to walk down a street where a police officer thought he should not have.

    The first reports I heard about this shooting were implying very heavily that the police were responding to an armed threat. Now it seems that that might not be the case at all. Let’s wait for the evidence, by all means, but I do not understand the reflex that makes some posters here consider that the police are probably in the right.

  8. The Met have a record of lying, massively, every time they kill someone. There are no recent cases where the Met have killed someone and been honest about it. As a result, I’m obviously assuming the Met were lying in the early reports on this case, and anyone who believed them is insufferably naive.

    (this doesn’t alter the fact that Duggan was definitely a scrote. But extra-judicial executions of people who’re definitely scrotes but who aren’t pointing guns at coppers are Not OK).

  9. Got to ask the questions: How the Graun came by the info & why publish now?
    I’d imagine the evidence auditing on a thing like this’d be intense. Whose seen the bullet? Copper who’s radio it hit & his chums maybe but liklihood’s all they’d have seen’s a piece of equipment with a hole with some metal buried in it. Forensic tech & his superiors. The forensic report’s presumably for restricted viewing at this point so that should be a short list of people.
    On the bullet itself: Could be hollow-point but h/p’s aren’t exactly unobtainable. The gun’s going to be an illegal & the ammo’ll be whatever came with it. Might be one of the hundreds of thousands of law enforcement agency weapons around the world some of which are always going missing. An ordinary round that’s interacted with something else before reaching it’s final resting place might not look much different to h/p. Fire a bullet at concrete & what bounces off is pretty well a flat disc. It’s surprising how much a car window deforms a bullet on the way through. A windscreen will certainly even deflect a .22 at certain angles. If the round’s passed through a body panel it’d be similar.
    So back to the Graun. The only people who’d know if it was h/p at this point are the forensic guys & whoever they report to. So who’s got an interest in making this public & why?

  10. This chap is really rather unlikely to have been shot if he wasn’t armed or behaving as though armed.

    Well yes, obviously the UK police are not in the habit of gunning down citizens at anything approaching the deaths attributable to automobiles. The odds of any UK resident being shot by the UK police are very low, even those people indeed armed or behaving as though armed.

    However, the relevant question is, given that he was shot by police, what are the odds that he was behaving in a way armed or behaving as though armed?

  11. I think even the propaganda mill of the Left will have a hard time achieving a Lawrencian beatification of Duggan this time around. One drug dealing lowlife, you can get away with it. Two is pushing it, especially when your second one was armed against the police.

  12. “Two is pushing it, especially when your second one was armed against the police”

    I genuinely don’t believe that there is any level of evidence that could convince you that the police shot first, and wrongly.

  13. Surreptitious Evil

    I genuinely don’t believe that there is any level of evidence that could convince you that the police shot first, and wrongly.

    Dunno about Ian B but I would be convinced by there being no illegal handgun recovered. That would be enough for both.

    I’m less bothered about them having shot first – there is no requirement in the various rules about restraint to allow the crook to actually open fire.

  14. I genuinely don’t believe that there is any level of evidence that could convince you that the police shot first, and wrongly.

    You see this violin I have here? You’ll have to look closely, because it’s so very, very tiny.

    I’m no fan of the police as they currently are. But that doesn’t mean I must presume that every time they shoot someone it is a poor innocent lamb and they were playing Dirty Harry.

    And I entirely fail to see that even if the police have done a naughty again, where that turns into a right for everybody else to steal training shoes and bling and set fire to carpet shops. I really don’t.

  15. Gutbucket: “The first reports I heard about this shooting were implying very heavily that the police were responding to an armed threat. Now it seems that that might not be the case at all. “

    Poor logic. A gun was found, and even if it hadn’t been, the police would still have been justified on acting as if the target was armed and dangerous if there was good reason to believe that he was.

  16. “As a result, I’m obviously assuming the Met were lying in the early reports on this case, and anyone who believed them is insufferably naive.”

    Or someone who believes that, these days, it matters who gets their PR puff-piece out first..?

  17. “The trouble is that recent history does not back this up. Menezes was shot, and his only crime was overstaying his visa. “

    Menezes isn’t relevant (other than johnb’s point about Met misinformation), as he wasn’t shot for ‘overstaying his visa’, but for being (wrongly) identified as a suspect in a bombing.

    “They shot a man with a chair leg in a bag, which again is not an offence.”

    No, indeed, but if, when challenged, you fail to stop and follow orders, instead swinging a gun-shaped object around to bear, don’t expect to be given the benefit of the doubt…

  18. Or someone who believes that, these days, it matters who gets their PR puff-piece out first..?

    There’s a difference between “positive spin” and “lying”. The Met actively made up lies about JCDM (‘bulky jacket’, ‘jumped the barrier’).

  19. “No, indeed, but if, when challenged, you fail to stop and follow orders, instead swinging a gun-shaped object around to bear, don’t expect to be given the benefit of the doubt”

    Sorry, this is ludicrous. If I am walking about with a chair leg in a bag, I should anticipate a situation where the police will conclude that I am armed and dangerous? Menezes is entirely relevant: the police tried to lie to cover their own asses when they shot an innocent man.

    This is the trouble with idealogues – evidence is ignored if it doesn’t gel with the worldview. The police have plenty of form for lying when they’ve shot someone. Why believe them straight away this time?

  20. I don’t think anyone’s saying they should be believed, more than saying that they shouldn’t automatically be disbelieved.

  21. Gutbucket said: “If I am walking about with a chair leg in a bag, I should anticipate a situation where the police will conclude that I am armed and dangerous?”

    Well, no, but if (as JuliaM suggested) the police do arrive at that conclusion, you would be very well advised to do exactly as they ask until it can be shown that you’re not armed and dangerous.

  22. “There’s a difference between “positive spin” and “lying”. The Met actively made up lies about JCDM (‘bulky jacket’, ‘jumped the barrier’).”

    Was the person who (allegedly) gave that description ever traced and asked why?

    Or, was there no eye-witness?

    “Sorry, this is ludicrous. If I am walking about with a chair leg in a bag, I should anticipate a situation where the police will conclude that I am armed and dangerous? “

    Depends on what pub you drink in, I think…

    But certainly, on hearing ‘Armed police! Stand still!’, it’s probably best to…errr, stand still.

  23. Nobody has been publicly identified as the source of the jacket/jumping story. There are two schools of thought on the matter: one is that the Met made it up completely and off-record briefed friendly tabloid reporters; the other is that someone saw one of the non-uniform SO19 chaps jumping the barrier in his bulletproof vest and assumed he was the target, and the Met confirmed this when tabloids chased it. Possibly through lack of knowledge rather than deliberate dishonesty.

    And yes, standing still when you’re confronted by armed cops is a good idea. But “being drunk, Irish and belligerent in public” doesn’t carry the death penalty.

  24. ISTM the problem with the Harry Stanley case was not just that the police shot an man who turned out to be unarmed but also that the police may have positioned themselves such that shooting Stanley was inevitable, not ‘optional’.

    Similarly, in the de Menezes case ISTM that the circumstances flowed in such a way that when he entered a tube station his shooting was inevitable, not ‘optional’.

  25. Ian B,

    I don’t think anyone’s saying they should be believed, more than saying that they shouldn’t automatically be disbelieved.

    Agreed.

    Ian Bennett,

    Gutbucket said: “If I am walking about with a chair leg in a bag, I should anticipate a situation where the police will conclude that I am armed and dangerous?”

    Well, no, but if (as JuliaM suggested) the police do arrive at that conclusion, you would be very well advised to do exactly as they ask until it can be shown that you’re not armed and dangerous.

    I think it was after the London bombings in July 2005 that a friend reported to me that he had been walking along Oxford Street and witnessed police officers shouting “stop” at a man wearing a backpack, who was walking away from them and a number of yards away at this point. The man didn’t stop, the officers did not pursue him but shouted a further two times before a passerby attracted the attention of the man, turned him around and pointed out the police. The man was wearing headphones.

  26. “The man was wearing headphones”

    Doubtless another capital offence in the minds of some. It’s up to the police to do their jobs properly – as long as I am not breaking the law I have every right to expect them to refrain from shooting me.

  27. Surreptitious Evil

    as long as I am not breaking the law I have every right to expect them to refrain from shooting me.

    No, as long as your activities do not represent an immediate threat to the life or of serious injury to another person, you have every right to expect them to refrain from shooting at you. In the UK, for example, running away after looting a shop (which is breaking the law, regardless of your cultural background) is not sufficient justification for armed officer to open fire.

    On the other hand, merely carrying an overtly illegal weapon (i.e. a handgun) takes you a significant way down that particular line. Particularly if you then draw the weapon (even if your intent was to hand the gun over but you failed to make this clear.)

  28. XX From what I’ve seen it’s a hollow point. Which is indeed what is police issue. And yes, it is illegal for most of us to get ahold of such ammunition. XX

    WTF? It is illegal to have a firearm, it does not stop the fuckers though, does it?

    Buy an illegal firearm, you are likely to get illegal ammunition to go with it. Or are they going to beat someone to death with the butt?

  29. Surreptitious Evil

    Or are they going to beat someone to death with the butt?

    Goodness, I remember my issue Browning too.

  30. The chair leg man wasn’t even Irish if I recall correctly, he was Scottish but some cloth eared or malicious person reported him as an man with an Irish accent carrying a gun, naturally plod believed it. There are elements on the left who have been positively aching for some riots, which they hope to combine with union action to bring down the government . Fantasy of course but it would be just like the boneheads at the Met to give them some sort of spurious justification for extra Parliamentary action to achieve their ends.

  31. It’s going to transpire that Duggan was carrying an imitation firearm which he pointed at armed police. They shot him dead, justifiably.

    The round that hit the officer passed through Duggan. Unusual for a hollow point, but there you go.

    ‘Met lies’: I’m happy to stand corrected but I think the statements about Duggan firing at the police were issued by the IPCC not the Met?

    Harry Stanley and his chair leg: with hindsight a tragedy but they don’t issue the police with crystal balls.

    Armed police daily confront armed and violent criminals. The wonder is that more are not shot.

  32. interested.

    That’s all going to transpire is it ? I wonder how you know, handy that about the bullet doing something it’s not supposed to. Where do the IPCC get their information from ? The police presumably.

  33. How often does the Met shoot people? Is it something that happens several times a year or is this almost the 1st for a while?

  34. The IPCC were a bunch of chocolate teapots, as was the pathologist, when it came to trying to work out what had really happened in the curious case of the clubbed paper seller. If it hadn’t been for a tourist with a mobile camera we’d probably never have got the truth.

  35. Ross,

    How often does the Met shoot people? Is it something that happens several times a year or is this almost the 1st for a while?

    See http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/publications/about-us/non-personal-data/police/police-firearms-use-2007-2008?view=Standard&pubID=807224

    For 07/08, there were 7 conventional weapon discharges out of 21,181 authorised firearms operations.

    More recent figures do not seem to be available, but previous years are of that order (0.0N%) so I wouldn’t expect much difference.

  36. UKLiberty- thanks.

    That suggests that the police cannot be accused of being routinely trigger happy.

    It also means that the previous police efforts at spin can’t be treated as aberrations among a far larger number of honest reactions.

  37. ” But “being drunk, Irish and belligerent in public” doesn’t carry the death penalty.”

    Oooooh, tempting.. 😉

    “I wonder how you know, handy that about the bullet doing something it’s not supposed to.”

    I guess no-one told the bullet it was supposed to follow the laws of ballistics.

    Sometimes they do odd and unexpected things – people have shot themselves in the head at point-blank range only to have the bullet bounce off or run around their skull under the skin and leave them relatively unharmed.

  38. Philip Scott Thomas

    JohnB –

    Nobody has been publicly identified as the source of the jacket/jumping story.

    Not at all true. The source’s names were Christopher Wells and Mark Whitby. The “lies of the Met” are entirely fictitious. They were, instead, the result of the media, primarily the BBC, sticking microphones in the face of any fantasist who wanted his 15 minutes of fame. They uncritically reported the testimony of “eye-witnesses” who were supposedly only feet from Menezes and yet managed to get almost every detail wrong.

    See the Beeb’s own timelines of events here and here.

  39. So, Gutbucket. When was the last time you put you sad body between a gun and a citizen? Would you risk your life for me? Would you face down a man wielding a knife to save a stranger?

  40. Nick
    When was the last time you took a bribe from a criminal or a ‘holiday’ from some phone hacking journalist ? It works all ways and no one forces anyone else to be a police officer, the Met have a poor record when it comes to firearms and accountability, going right back to the Stephen Waldorf case when they did their damnedest to spread lies and misinformation about the totally innocent person they had shot, ably abetted by the tabloids. I don’t know any more than anyone else about the details of the Tottenham shooting but recent events don’t exactly fill me with confidence that the police version is the correct one.

  41. The police don’t “risk their lives for you”. The get paid and retire early in return for what risks they do take. As faor as they and the rioters go it is a shame they can’t finish each other off.

  42. “The “lies of the Met” are entirely fictitious. They were, instead, the result of the media, primarily the BBC, sticking microphones in the face of any fantasist who wanted his 15 minutes of fame. “

    Whew! Thank god the media has learned its lesson and isn’t doing that now as London goes up in fla…

    Oh. Right.

  43. Philip Scott Thomas, I agree with you to an extent about the responsibility of the media but it’s not true that the Met did not make misleading statements. For example, it was reported based on a statement made by the Met that de Menezes was challenged before being shot. The source of this falsehood was a press officer by the name of de Vries who simply assumed that this is what happened because she understood that to be SOP. Her draft release was cleared by senior officers. It appears no-one bothered to check. Sir Ian Blair, then chief of the Met, stated to the media and in a telephone call to the IPCC chief that he understood de Menezes was challenged before being shot. There is insufficent evidence of deliberate deception but this was a falsehood faithfully reported by the media. What is more like a lie is that no-one bothered to correct this story for some time.

    Similarly, for some time no-one bothered to correct the story originating from MOPs and the police that de Menezes was wearing suspicious clothing.

    Also, the-then AC Andy Hayman was found by the IPCC to have deliberately misled the public. And he and AC Brown deliberately held information from Sir Ian Blair.

    See IPCC’s Stockwell Two report (page 87 for findings specifically).

  44. Philip Scott Thomas

    UKLiberty –

    Point taken. What I said about the ‘Met lies’ being entirely the fault of the media was an overstatement. There is indeed some question over whether the police identified themselves before firing.

  45. Didn’t they insist, at the inquest, that they shouted the usual ‘Armed police!’ warning, despite all the witnesses claiming they didn’t?

    That never seemed right to me. If you thought he was such a danger you had to shoot him before he blew up a bomb, you wouldn’t give him a warning!

  46. In most (if not all) police shootings, they are either completely justified or accidental, in that police officers genuinely thought they were being threatened with a firearm (which is another way of saying completely justified).

    The only alternative is actual extra-judicial execution, and that doesn’t really happen despite what the likes of Johann Hari might believe.

    For every accidental shooting there are hundreds of safe operations and some which go the other way. For example, an AFO friend of mine who was confronted by a man waving a pistol at him; the officer decided not to shoot because ‘I thought it must be a fake or an air pistol’. When the guy eventually complied and they recovered the pistol it was a loaded Eastern European military automatic.

    While the police obviously need oversight, society needs robust police officers, sometimes to act in a split second. Mistakes will be made and they should not be crucified by the left wing media (or the right wing) when that happens.

  47. And yes, it is illegal for most of us to get ahold of such ammunition.

    Except if you happen to be a farmer or stalker who needs to control deer or other large wildlife.

    This whole hollow point/not hollow point thing is actually a red herring and unlikely to prove anything. Coppers get issued hollow points for sensible tactical reasons. Crims acquire hollow point rounds for very similar reasons. The Met are issued with 9mm Glocks and MP5s. Many illegal weapons in the UK are Eastern European 9mm.

    In other words the there are only two chances of telling if the round might have come from a scrotes gun rather than a copper’s.

    Either the scrotes had weapons not of 9mm calibre and the bullet fragments turn out to be not 9mm too.

    Or it can be shown that none of the illegal weapons captured at the scene had been fired.

    Anything else is speculation.

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