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Erroneous shooting spurs British debate on racial profiling, shoot-to-kill policy

[JURIST] Last week's subway shooting death [JURIST report] of a Brazilian man erroneously believed to be a suicide bomber has sparked a debate in Britain over anti-terrorism tactics and racial profiling. Under the Terrorism Act of 2000 [bill text], British police have wide latitude to question, search and detain those suspected of terrorist activities, but UK government studies show that blacks are eight times more likely to be stopped and searched than whites, and Asians five times more likely. Labour MP Dianne Abbot [official website; press release] said, "we cannot have a situation where non-white men feel that they are at the mercy of a shoot-to-kill policy by the Met because they happen to fit the profile of a terrorist in a superficial way, for instance by carrying a rucksack." UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said Tuesday that he hoped Britain would avoid using racial profiling [PakTribune report]. The Washington Post has more. Black Britain has local coverage.

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