Brickbat: I'm on My Break


Credit: marcodede / photo on flickr

Bristol, England, police officers Helen Harris and Leanne Winter have been fired for failing to help a disabled man who was beaten unconscious and burned to death by a mob that falsely believed he was a pedophile. Bijan Ebhrimi made multiple calls to police for help. They were not answered. One of the officers told dispatch she would not talk to him because he was a "pest." 

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  1. Realistically though, what is a fat, middle aged woman going to do to an angry mob? Mobs are tricky enough when you are armed and aren’t a dumpy woman.

    Still, England has such an odd justice system. On that same page is a story about a guy who threatened people with a BB gun getting a life sentence.

    Which apparently means he’ll be out on parole in 6 years.

    1. According to ‘Tombstone’ the best way to stop a mob is put a ‘peace maker’ between the eyes of the leader.But,really,this is a awful story.

  2. They can find work here in the colonies now. American law enforcement are under no obligation to stop crime and, in fact, if the situation happened here the two ladies could have beat Bijan themselves for extra points.

  3. PC Kevin Duffy, who failed to investigate because he “disliked” Bijan and PSCO Andrew Passmore, who lied about how long he spend on patrol were found guilty and jailed.

    They did find suitable scapegoats.

  4. Burned to death?

    Sounds like the Fire Department is to blame.

    1. Improper fire safety education for angry mobs?

  5. But she was actually “stuffing her face” with a Pot Noodle at the police station, an earlier court hearing was told.

    I don’t get British English. They use “police station” for “tough”?

    1. Blimey! “trough”.

    2. A Pot Noodle? WTF?

      1. Imma guess it’s a Cup O’Ramen

  6. The summary doesn’t do the case justice.

    The victim repeatedly called the police over harassment he was being subjected to, culminating in a standoff with a mob outside his home. Rather than deal with a mob, they arrested the victim. They spent the night harassing him at the police station – probably because they were annoyed at having to deal with him over and over again.

    Still, when he was again threatened he went to the police. They ignored him…. and then he was beaten and set on fire.

    Per the norm, the courts declined to hold the police criminally liable. Also per the norm, it has been 3 years since this incident. They just now got around to firing the officers who were most culpable.

    Just so I can check all the boxes, I’ll add this: It is a good thing that they have strong gun control laws, or the victim might have sought to buy a gun in order to protect himself. Then he might have had the gun taken from him and he could have been a victim of gun violence.

    1. Thanks, that’s a little better explanation than I’d gotten from the linked article. Why was the mob suspicious of him at all? The article says they thought he was making kid pornies. Or thought someone they’d confused with him was making them.

  7. Sooooo why did all the cops hate the guy?

    1. Because he wasn’t a cop?

      1. But why didn’t they hate everybody else too?

    2. Well I finally did some google research:

      Not sure about “the mob”, looks like mainly just the one guy was harassing him, who beat him to death before burning the body with the help of another guy.

      The complaint against him was for taking pictures of children in the neighborhood, but the cops found no evidence on his camera or computer (also, apparently such a complaint is enough to allow cops to search your computer…).

      And cops ultimately ignored him because he constantly called them about minor things over a period of several years. Actually they didn’t ignore him, they were just really halfass about helping him, doing a quick patrol of his street then leaving on the night he died. They had probably been giving only lip service to his complaints for a very long time by this point. Kind of a “boy who cried wolf” story.

      And his name is spelled “Ebrahimi”…

  8. Thank god that this would never happen in the U.S. (I mean the termination of cops for not doing their job. What did you think I meant?)

  9. officers Helen Harris and Leanne Winter have been fired for failing to help a disabled man who was beaten unconscious and burned to death

    And by “fired”, I trust the British mean “beaten unconscious and burned to death”.

    1. why would it automatically include beaten unconscious? I can understand “fired = lit on fire”, it’s the rest of that which puzzles me.

      1. I know, right? British slang is inscrutable.

  10. Starting with the headline, the linked article throws around pronouns & names and presents events in a thoroughly confusing order and manner, alluding to details that raise more questions than are answered. It’s a near perfect example of bad news writing.

    All I gather from this is that someone had, for unexplained reasons, been suspected of producing kiddie porn, and had been threatened numerous times and complained to police, who treated him brusquely, and that then either the same or another person suspected of being that person (at least one of whom was an immigrant) had been beaten & killed while police refused to answer the call; and that among the police who refused to answer, one had been a work problem on the job previously and was dismissed.

    1. Seriously, 1st thing I wonder from the article is, why does the fact of someone’s eating a pot noodle inflame a mob? And downhill from there.

  11. The second time I’ve said this:

    “Give up your guns,” they said. “We’ll protect you” they said…

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