So let’s make a list of things Man Monis wasn’t doing:
- he wasn’t speeding
- he wasn’t jay-walking
- he didn’t light up a cigarette in Martin Place
- he wasn’t trying to get into a pub after 2am
- he didn’t fail to prove that he hadn’t consumed WADA banned drugs
- he didn’t refer to both males and females as ‘guys’
- he didn’t call anyone ‘hysterical’
- he didn’t [I’m sure the comments will add to this list].
No – what Man Monis did was take hostages and engage in an act of terrorism. No biggie. Today we read in The Australian why the NSW police seemed to stand around for hours on end doing very little. Well until Man Monis killed a hostage.
The police commander who held off ordering tactical officers to storm the Lindt cafe until after hostage Tori Johnson was killed has told an inquest gunman Man Haron Monis “had the same rights as anyone else”, prompting the victim’s mother to charge out of the courtroom, calling the officer “an absolute disgrace”.
I was entirely unaware that there was a right to take hostages, threaten to kill people, and engage in acts of terrorism. Maybe this is uniquely a NSW thing.
Apparently this is a good thing too.
“If someone is in the process of committing a crime, a serious crime, as Monis was, that person can be subjected to a lawful response,” the president of the NSW Council for Civil Liberties, solicitor Stephen Blanks, said. “A lawful response enables the police to use all necessary force in order to bring the commission of the crime to an end and to arrest the offender. The police don’t have a right to kill a person who is committing an offence unless the police or somebody else is being seriously threatened and there is no reasonable alternative to the use of lethal force.”
A Sydney criminal lawyer put forward a similar interpretation, and said Australia should be glad its police do not adopt the practice of being more inclined to kill hostage-takers, even it if meant people were likely to be hurt.
I think the Coroner realises these comments are out of step with community expectations.
… the police officer, whose name has been suppressed by state coroner Michael Barnes …
If Mike Baird is as tough on terrorism as he is grey hound racing I expect this anonymous police officer will be clearing out his desk later today. But … I’m not holding my breath.
Let’s have that quote, one more time.
I can’t ignore Man Monis as an individual, he had the same rights as anyone else.
When terrorists have rights, law abiding citizens cannot.