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How to respond to fatal shootings

Step 1: Blame the victims

“The sixth ship, the largest, which had hundreds of people on it, not only did not co-operate in this effort [to search the cargo] peacefully, they deliberately attacked the first soldiers that came on the ship.

“[The soldiers] were mobbed. They were clubbed, they were beaten, stabbed. There was even a report of gunfire and our soldiers had to defend themselves, defend their lives or they would have been killed.”

ISRAELI Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, commenting on Israeli military’s attack on the flotilla of Gaza-bound ships, which resulted in the death of nine activists. (Source: As it happened: Israeli raid on Gaza flotilla, BBC News, 31 May 2010)

“Sometimes, there are individuals who behave in a suspicious manner and police have to check to ascertain if everything is all right.”

“Aminulrasyid and his friend behaved in a suspicious manner. They continued to speed around in Shah Alam despite being ordered to stop.”

Selangor police chief Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar, refusing to apologise for police claims that Aminulrasyid Amzah, 15, was a criminal suspect. He said police had a duty to uphold the law and maintain public order. Khalid had also told reporters earlier that a machete had been found in the car Aminulrasyid was driving, which was strongly disputed by the teenager’s family. (Source: Police will not apologise over shooting incident, msn News, 13 May 2010)


Step two: Express regret and sadness

“The United States deeply regrets the tragic loss of life and injuries suffered among those involved in the incident today aboard the Gaza-bound ships. We are working to ascertain the facts, and expect that the Israeli government will conduct a full and credible investigation.”

US State Department‘s official press release on the Israeli military’s attack on the flotilla of Gaza-bound ships, which resulted in the death of nine activists. (Source: Free Gaza Flotilla, US Department of State, 31 May 2010)

“I, too, am saddened by the fatal shooting and sympathise with Aminulrasyid’s family. But I ask that they give us a chance and place a little trust in the parties involved in the investigations.

“I call on all sides to be patient and put aside their emotions, as well as any prejudice against the police.”

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein, commenting on the fatal police shooting of Aminulrasyid. Hishamuddin called on the public not to sensationalise or politicise the shooting, saying it would not help any of the parties involved. (Source: Aminulrasyid shooting: Cops record witness’ statement for the third time, The Star, 5 May 2010)


Step three: Promise to understand and investigate

“The United States is currently working to understand the circumstances surrounding this tragedy.”

White House spokesperson William Burton, speaking on behalf of President Barack Obama’s administration. While the US government expressed regret at the death toll, it reserved judgment on apportioning blame on the Israeli military, unlike other international counterparts. (Source: Gaza flotilla attack: world unites in condemnation of Israel’s actions, The Guardian, 1 June 2010)

“The incident was most regretted.”

“The cabinet wants the panel and the police to carry out a comprehensive investigation to determine what actually happened on the fateful day.”

Statement released on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Office on the Aminulrasyid shooting. The cabinet expressed sadness and conveyed its condolences to Aminulrasyid’s family, but did not criticise the police’s actions. (Source: Aminulrasyid shooting: Cops record witness’ statement for the third time, The Star, 5 May 2010)


Step four: Reject independent inquiry

“We are rejecting an international commission. We are discussing with the Obama administration a way in which our inquiry will take place.”

“Israel is a democratic nation. Israel has the ability and the right to investigate itself, not to be investigated by any international board.”

Israeli ambassador to US Michael Oren, in an interview with Fox News. (Source: Israel will reject international inquiry, The Jerusalem Post, 6 July 2010)

“We concluded that police investigations into the case have been transparent and fair.”

“There is no vested interest here.”

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Abu Seman Yusop, saying there was no need for a royal commission of inquiry to be set up on Aminulrasyid’s fatal shooting. Abu Seman is also the chairperson of the ad hoc special panel formed by the Home Ministry to monitor police investigations into the shooting. (Source: No need for Royal Commission, says panel, The New Straits Times, 5 May 2010)


Step five: Never apologise

“Israel will not apologise for measures taken to defend its citizens, or measures taken to protect the lives of its soldiers.”

Oren, defending the Israeli military’s actions in storming the flotilla and causing the death of nine activists. (Source: Israel will reject international inquiry, The Jerusalem Post, 6 July 2010)

“I don’t want to comment on [whether the police should apologise for the Aminulrasyid shooting] as it has legal implications.”

IGP Tan Sri Musa Hassan, refusing to apologise on behalf of the police for Aminulrasyid’s death, saying a corporal had already been charged and the case was in court. Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan, however, subsequently pointed out that there were no legal impediments to the police apologising for branding Aminulrasyid a criminal. (Source: Police will not apologise over shooting incident, msn News, 13 May 2010)

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7 Responses to “How to respond to fatal shootings”

  1. siew eng says:

    Brilliant! This is the best “show them up” yet!

  2. Bernard Chang says:

    The government should apply the same amount of outrage and condemnation on the PDRM for liberally taking the lives of others.

  3. Lainie Yeoh says:

    Awesome work, Jo-Ann! Really puts things in perspective.

  4. Laurie says:

    Excellent but why is there no differentiation between United states and Israel? Is that another parallel for the Home Minster/police? (one which doesn’t really work).

  5. dundundun says:

    Sure there are parallels in their PR policies but come on, as the press, you have lost your sense of objectivity and rationality when you try to equate the significance of the two incidents.

    A kid and a cop got into a messy situation.

    Gaza and Israel is a decades old major [...]storm.

    Please don’t blow things out of proportions.

    You make Nut Graph look ridiculous.

  6. M.O.T.U says:

    BRILLIANT

  7. Fuzzy says:

    Hand-picking soundbites and jigsaw-puzzling them into a context specifically meant to consolidate your views and intentionally undermine the opposing [view] is not constructive criticism. Just a thought.


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