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John Gibson "Ain't Backing Down" on London Shooting

Reported by Judy - August 17, 2005

John Gibson showed his Nazi colors again Wednesday (August 17, 2005) on Fox News' "The Big Story" when he said, "I ain't backing down" from an earlier column which supported the London cops for putting "five in the noggin" of a man wrongly suspected of being a subway bomber.

After reading letters from viewers attacking his callous attitude toward the shooting, Gibson acknowledged that London police had admitted that "nothing they said that day was true" regarding the shooting of an innocent man in the subway. The man was not wearing a bulky jacket and did not try to run away, as police said at the time, but instead walked toward them when police identified themselves.

Then I heard something I thought I would never hear on Fox News. Judge Andrew Napolitano said, in reference to the London cops, "They committed murder. ... And the person who pulled the trigger ought to be prosecuted." Napolitano said that in order to justify the shooting, the police needed "some certain knowledge" that the man was a bomber, which was lacking in this case. "He was murdered by the police," Napolitano said.

That was not good enough for Gibson. "Here's the rub: If a man on the subway really is a suicide bomber, if he really does have a vest bomb under his coat, how are the cops supposed to stop him except by shooting him? And how come you critics are so quick to assume the cops are wrong? You critics accuse me of bias against suspects. Is that so worse than bias against cops?"

One reason people are so quick to assume the cops are wrong is that they so often have been wrong in the past. Cops have wrongly beaten or shot people numerous times. Have we all forgotten Rodney King? Besides, if somebody with a gun shoots somebody without a gun, I get suspicious right away. Having a gun and a badge does not make a cop always right.

Gibson's other question -- how are the cops supposed to stop a bomber except by shooting him -- is really beside the point. Napolitano said if police have "certain knowledge" they can shoot. Nobody ever said they couldn't shoot if they know someone is a bomber. What they cannot do is go around shooting anyone who does not even act like a bomber.

While Gibson conceded that the fact that the murder victim had not tried to run away from police and was not wearing a bulky coat "makes a big difference," he said he would have supported the police shooting the man if he had done those things. I doubt that meets Napolitano's standard of "certain knowledge."

All of which means that if police adopt Gibson's criteria for shooting, there will be a lot of dead commuters in the subway this winter, shot for wearing bulky clothes and running away from police because they didn't hear them through their Ipod earphones.

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