Friday, September 23, 2005

Bus fire kills Rita evacuees - London civilian harassed by police - NO flood alert

A short post as I battle a cold. Three pieces of news — all bad.

Evacuees on a bus to Dallas, TX have been killed by a fire on the bus carrying them away from Hurricane Rita’s path. The 24 elderly people were trapped and killed when the fire broke out spontaneously and was fed by oxygen they were carrying.

The Times-Picayune reports water seeping back into streets in New Orleans adjacent to the Industrial Canal on its west side.

A civilian in London was detained, checked, found to be innocent and then arrested by other officers while his house was searched and possessions taken.

Police first detained him because he was wearing a jacket ‘too warm for the season,’ did not make eye contact with police at the entrance to Southwark tube station, kept his rucksack with him at all times, and looked at other people while waiting for a train.

His rucksack was checked by bomb squad officers and found to contain a laptop; he was allowed to collect his belongings and start to leave but was then arrested on the insistence of other officers who entered the station afterwards. Further enquiries and a search of his house found nothing untoward but the man has not been reunited with his possessions and no proper apology has been given.

This is outrageous: London Metropolitan Police operations should only be undertaken where there is a credible threat to public safety, and not engaged in when police wish to conjure an illusion of absolute safety for PR reasons by violating an individual’s civil liberties in circumstances where there is clearly no threat. MetaFilter discussion.

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