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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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Pirate

Dum-Dum?

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.

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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.

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@Trevor

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.

*shudder*

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 (teppojutsu.com). 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."

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@ 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.

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Happy

@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.

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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.

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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.

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JHPs

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.

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Alert

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.

Jerry

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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 ....

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Pirate

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?

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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.

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Pirate

DumDum

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!

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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.

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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.

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Coat

Arrows

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

(You need to be British to get that one)

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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.

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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.

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Stop

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

FFS

"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

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@Mark_T

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.

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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.

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Unhappy

Title

"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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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Coat

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 !

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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.

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Anonymous Coward

reactions

> 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.

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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...

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Boffin

@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.

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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.

Steve

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@Laird

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)

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Pirate

New tactics

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

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Pirate

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

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Unhappy

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.

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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!

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Silver badge
Go

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?

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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)

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Dead Vulture

but..

.."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.

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Pirate

Title

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

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Flame

Sadly

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 ?

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Anonymous Coward

Title

>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.

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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.

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Flame

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.

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Paris Hilton

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

http://www.akihabaranews.com/en/news-14992-Hello+Kitty+AK47%2C+let%E2%80%99s+bring+some+happiness+in+this+sad+world+%21.html

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Bronze badge
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!".

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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.

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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.

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Flame

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.

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