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This is when I don't like being right – man shot in London wasn't a bomber

I called it yesterday about the London bomber.

Was he or wasn’t he a terrorist? An earlier report referred to this man as “a would-be suicide bomber .” This AP report below seems to blunt any sort of description. If he wasn’t a bomber, then you know the threshold has been crossed when you have to start worrying about public safety on both sides — the terrorists and the nervous, trigger-happy police — an urban nightmare.

From the BBC:

A man shot dead by police hunting the bombers behind Thursday’s London attacks was unconnected to the incidents, police have confirmed.

A Scotland Yard statement said the shooting was a “tragedy” which was regretted by the Metropolitan Police. The man was shot dead after police followed him from a south London flat to Stockwell Tube station on Friday. Two other men have been arrested and are being questioned after bombers targeted three Tube trains and a bus.

The statement read: “We believe we now know the identity of the man shot at Stockwell Underground station by police on Friday 22nd July 2005, although he is still subject to formal identification. “We are now satisfied that he was not connected with the incidents of Thursday 21st July 2005.

For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets.” The statement confirmed the man was followed by police from a block of flats that was under surveillance. The man’s death is being investigated by officers from the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards, and will be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Now if this happened in the U.S, officials wouldn’t have so quickly admitted that the killed person wasn’t a target. At least Scotland Yard ponied up right away.

Oh, and the Freepi obviously got wind of this story and began posting crap, but I got there too late because the thread, “Scared UK Cops Murder Man In Cold Blood on Subway (Liberal Barf Alert)” was already pulled.

A BBC update identifies the man as Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, 27.

Thanks to House Blender and Julien’s List contributor Holly for the pointer.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding