UK Police Officer Accused Of 'Planting' Song Titles Into Evidence Over Shooting

from the taking-things-seriously? dept

Well, this one is just a bit disturbing. Apparently a UK police officer, who "may" have shot and killed Mark Saunder -- who apparently got very drunk and started shooting a gun out of his apartment window -- has been accused of purposely inserting various song titles into his hearing on what happened. The officer, who is not named, apparently was able to work in the titles of at least half a dozen popular songs, in responding to questions about what happened. The Guardian notes at least the following song titles in the text: Enough is Enough by Donna Summer, Point of No Return by Buzzcocks, Line of Fire by Journey, Quiet Moments by Chris de Burgh, Kicking Myself by As Tall As Lions and Fuck My Old Boots by the Membranes. The guy really seemed to figure out ways to work them into what he was saying:
A transcript shows that the officer told the inquest that the shooting was not like in films, where "it's the bad guy who pulls the trigger and the good guy always gets there first". The situation had got "past the point of no return", he said.

"As I play it back in my mind, which is not something I do all the time, but in quiet moments I think about and I feel: 'is there any other way?'. But every time I play it back in my mind it's the same outcome -- unfortunately Mr Saunders gets shot because of his actions.

"I switched the light on, he turned towards me and I thought: 'Fuck my old boots, I've got a gun trained on me ...

"As he brings the gun down his finger could be on the trigger. Action will always beat reactions. We have to decide where that point is, and for me as he was bringing it down I thought, 'No. Enough is enough.'"

He told the court: "I would be buggered if I was going to turn my back on a guy with a shotgun. I've got people protecting me, or I'm supposed to, but there's nothing like protecting yourself -- self-preservation."
The officer in question has been suspended from firearms duty, and apparently the police commissioner is "furious."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 4:46am

    What is the problem here?
    Enough is Enough by Donna Summer
    Point of No Return by Buzzcocks
    Line of Fire by Journey
    Kicking Myself by As Tall As Lions

    Are all phrases that seems normal to me.
    Not sure about the 'Fuck My Old Boots'

     

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  2.  
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    tom, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 4:46am

    Its not his fault...

    That song writers use well-known phrases in lyrics. Its a cheap and easy to way to be catchy and easy to remember.

     

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  3.  
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    tom, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 4:55am

    Its not his fault...

    That song writers use well-known phrases in lyrics. Its a cheap and easy to way to be catchy and easy to remember.

     

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  4.  
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    CharlieM (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:00am

    Missing the point... not about the guy shot!

    You guys are all missing the point... did he get the copyright and pay a performance fee to use those lyrics in a public setting, like a testimonial? I think not! Ergh, sometime you people are so dense!

     

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  5.  
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    Jake, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:01am

    I remember this case, and it was almost certainly suicide by cop; he'd had some kind of nervous breakdown, and it's not certain he wasn't deliberately shooting to miss.
    Having no choice but to use deadly force against someone who isn't in his right mind and probably doesn't really want want to hurt anyone but themselves must be a pretty shitty feeling, very much like survivor's guilt in fact, and perhaps this touch of black humour was the officer in question's way of coping with that.

     

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  6.  
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    Tom Pritchard, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:05am

    Really?

    Are people taking this seriously? Seems like he's just making a testimonial here. Why would he make the effort to put song titles into it?

     

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  7.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:14am

    Re: Missing the point... not about the guy shot!

    Make sure you pay Al' Tariq for using "Think Not". :P

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:15am

    Re: Really?

    Well even if he were making a stand-up bit about it, I don't see what about it "disturbing" we should not require police to do anything more than their job. If it was within the guidelines to use deadly force than he has done his job, end of story, he should not be required to feel bad about it or even be solemn about it.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:21am

    THE RIAA WILL BE CALLING FOR THIER CUT

     

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  10.  
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    Chris in Utah (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:28am

    Perhaps this is the cop's version of a memory helper to get his facts strait?

     

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  11.  
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    Former DJ, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:36am

    Music by Huh?

    Mike,

    I know you copied the bits of text with the "Artist" FTA.
    Maybe they had the artist wrong? Maybe going for the Streisand effect?

    Enough is Enough by Donna Summer
    Enough is Enough by Barbra Streisand / Donna Summer
    Enough Is Enough by Chumbawamba
    Enough Is Enough by Ratt

    If it was the Donna Summers song the correct title is No More Tears (Enough is Enough).

    Point of No Return by Buzzcocks
    Point of No Return by Andrew Lloyd Webber
    Point of No Return by Exposť
    Point of No Return by Kansas

    Line of Fire by Journey, Fuck my old boots by My Membranes
    Ok, there's only one

    Kicking Myself by As Tall As Lions
    is actually I'm Kicking Myself by As Tall As Lions and yea, only one.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 5:52am

    A tad insensitive perhaps.....

    .... but possibly just a reaction to what he felt was the ridiculousness of being called to justify himself in such an air of media frenzy. I'm not saying shootings like this shouldn't be investigated, but especially in the UK there's usually an air of "there must have been something else you could do. Like it's the policeman's fault that in the approximately 1 second of reaction time he had with a gun being waved at him that he didn't consider dispassionately every factor and calmly choose the impossible task of shooting the guys gun out of his hand instead. There's an assumption in these things (often from the media who also watch too many films) that it must be someone's FAULT.

    Of course all that could be complete cr*p, but it's probably how I'd feel in his situation and might consider a certain amount of sarcasm was called for.

     

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  13.  
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    Richard (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:10am

    Re: A tad insensitive perhaps.....

    in the UK there's usually an air of "there must have been something else you could do
    Probably because of a string of cases in the past, starting with Stephen Waldorf (who thankfully survived) going though the 5 year old who was shot in his bed when the police raided his father's home and case of the man who was shot for carrying a table leg to the d' Menenez case. When this is combined with the fact that (unlike the US) we are an unarmed society with an unarmed police force - so we try to achieve a higher standard of safety than what may be possible elsewhere.

     

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  14.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:11am

    I'm more concerned about "unnamed".

    Typical of a police state, anonymous jack-booted thugs, can't be held to account without a specific decision by others up the chain of thuggery to reveal names. -- Lacking the name, all we have is that an anonymous thug murdered a man for no known reason. It's up to the police -- public *servants* whose every official act must be authorized -- to prove no wrong was done.

    My bet on this bit of drollery is that it's to derail inquiry into more serious details.

    As to the song titles, they're quoted in reasonably natural phrases, and some do think in catch-phrases.

     

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  15.  
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    KnownHuman (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:30am

    Re: Missing the point... not about the guy shot!

    Indeed. Where is the outrage? Police officers are sworn to uphold the law, not flaunt their disrespect of it.

    Those songwriters spent countless hours carefully crafting those song titles and to have an officer of the law callously weave those song titles into a coded mixed CD is beyond reprehensible.

    I can only hope that the legal system is able to hold the entire police department fully responsible. How else are those song writers expected to put food on their tables?

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 6:56am

    Will this transcript be publicly available?

    Or will it censored online due to the lyrics it contains?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:30am

    Oh please, there are so many more titles and lyricas he could have worked into that if he wanted to.

     

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  18.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:31am

    Re:

    And who could forget the catchy ballad, "I would be buggered if I was going to turn my back on a guy with a shotgun."

     

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  19.  
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    Scott, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:38am

    I won't believe it until...

    He includes Battery by Metallica!!! "BAAAATEREEEEEE!!!!"

     

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  20.  
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    Jimmy Rushmore, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:46am

    I think you should have a look at the original coroners record and correct your article Mike, espcially as you've reported the officer as saying;

    ""I switched the light on, he turned towards me and I thought: 'Fuck my old boots, I've got a gun trained on me ..." when the official coroner's record ( http://images.newstatesman.com/blogs/November2010/coroner-transcript.pdf) clearly states; -

    "So, yes, I switched the light on, he turned towards me, I saw the gun for the first time, give it out, my old boots type sketch, you know, he has a gun trained on me."

    Having read the full coroner's transcript, this seems increasingly like a story created out of nothing, by plucking some commonly used phrases; which I dare say could be find in any speech or prose, that happen to be song titles, for the sole purpose of whipping up controversy.

     

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  21.  
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    Tom Landry (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:50am

    what....I don't.....I can't...what the bloody hell?

     

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  22.  
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    The eejit (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:55am

    Re: Really?

    He's been suspended because he put them in for a bet.

     

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  23.  
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    Frosty840, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:59am

    Re: Really?

    There's a rather famous set of interviews from one of England's World Cup campaigns where the footballers attempted to get as many song titles as possible into their interview answers.

    That's where someone would've gotten the idea from, most likely.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 8:14am

    Hey former DJ, actually, Kansas' title is "Point of Know Return", not "Point of No Return"

     

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  25.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:41am

    Life as art

    So, is this an instance of life imitating art, or art imitating life? Given the situation, his inclusion of those song titles, made up of everyday phrases, could have easily been coincidental. Of course, he also may have just had an artistic epiphany when giving his report. So, is someone going to sue him for copyright infringement? :LOL:

     

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  26.  
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    Jim O (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 9:47am

    Re: Really?

    "Why would he make the effort to put song titles into it?"

    Why does anyone do anything now a days? This is the story all about how a cop was given a stage and decided to try to be cute. My opinion is that his life got flipped-turned upside down and he wanted to capitalize in some small way. I'd like to take a minute, just sit right there, and I'll tell you all about how I think this guy....

    ahh screw it. I can't think of how to get Bel-Air in there.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 11:58am

    Re:

    You mean like in "The Usual Suspects"?

     

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  28.  
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    Former DJ, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 12:32pm

    Re: DOH!

    SSShhhhhh!!! Damit!!
    Last time I don't look at the full page before using it...
    http://goo.gl/nX0SI [Amazon]

     

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  29.  
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    Montezuma (profile), Nov 4th, 2010 @ 1:20pm

    I am a little confused by all of this. I guess I am not following the story correctly, but what I read was that:

    A. The officers had a firearm
    B. Some asshole idiot was discharging a firearm while drunk
    C. The gun leveled the gun, at the officer, and the officer discharged ammunition of his own to protect his life, because, and I am just guessing, the officer thought his life was endanger.

    Just what the fuck is going on here? Fuck that police commissioner for not wanting his officers to be safe. As a matter of fact, fuck the United Kingdom for not arming all of their police officers. Yeah, I respect the officers that are actually discharging their required duties, but it sounds like the upper brass is totally useless.

    Here, if what I read did happen, the officer would get a "Smith and Wesson Vacation", be cleared, be praised for doing his job and staying safe, get some psychological support(if needed), and go the fuck back to work. In the UK, it seems, using a firearm in defense of one's life is not a justification.

    Well, I guess all of the armed officers are for fucking show and everyone, everywhere should avoid visiting, or living, in the UK. I guess that, unless you are protecting someone deemed "important", or some special place from "terrorist attacks", then fire the fuck away. If someone is coming at you with a knife, or some other deadly weapon, then you had better know how to dodge said weapon. Also, you better go all fucking Neo and learn to dodge bullets*.



    *Bullet video slowdown not included.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 3:54pm

    Other than "Fuck my old boots" (is that a common phrase in Britain?) they all seem to be regular phrases and appropriately used.

     

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  31.  
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    Jake, Nov 4th, 2010 @ 7:05pm

    Re: I'm more concerned about "unnamed".

    If his name was being made public then he'd be subjected to a smear campaign in the popular press (since the man who died was a respectable middle-class citizen and therefore important to their readership, unlike say de Menezes), and then have his house set on fire.

     

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  32.  
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    RandomGuy (profile), Nov 7th, 2010 @ 9:47pm

    Re: Its not his fault...

    So is repetition

     

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