Lyrical Testimonies: Looking for burglars under the bed
From the Metro 03/11/10:
A police marksman has been accused of putting song titles in evidence he gave at the inquest of a barrister shot during an armed siege.
The Metropolitan Police firearms officer, known only as Alpha Zulu 8 (AZ8), allegedly mentioned [song titles] during his verbal testimony on the death of Mark Saunders
It was not confirmed what the song titles are said to be. However, a review of the evidence has led to speculation about examples.
Ah – so it’s speculation then…
At one point he used the phrase ‘enough is enough’, – the subtitle of single No More Tears by Barbra Streisand and the name of a track by US band Stick To Your Guns.
He also said ‘point of no return’ – a Duran Duran hit – and used the words ‘line of fire’ recorded by rock band Journey.
He declared in one sentence ‘I am kicking myself’, which is the title of a song by New York rockers As Tall As Lions.
The officer described how ‘in quiet moments I think if there was another way we could have done it’. Quiet Moments is the title of a song by Chris de Burgh.
The Metro, such as it is, goes on to suggest other, even more tenuous possibilities. These are all common turns of phrase and it seems to have escaped common attention that this may have been pure coincidence.
If you cross check any testimony against the list of song titles ever released, I’m sure there would be a lot of matches. Couldn’t this possibly be the case of an unfortunate collection of phrases and perhaps a colleague with a grudge who’s spent a bit of time Googling song titles?
As it is, I’m not convinced either way. For the officer’s own sake, though, thank goodness ‘hit me baby one more time’ didn’t feature.
What’s clear is that the full circumstances need to be investigated before anyone starts calling for heads to roll. But even if it was deliberate, who’s to say this wasn’t symptomatic of this officer’s coping strategy for deaths which occur as part of his work? People suffering from post traumatic stress disorder have certainly been known to do more bizarre things.