[Marxism] Marxism Digest, Vol 62, Issue 56 A tale of murder of two teenagers

goes0001 at flinders.edu.au goes0001 at flinders.edu.au
Fri Dec 19 20:32:52 MST 2008

re: a tale of murder of two teenagers

Hi Gary
I am responding to your post about the tragic loss of life of two teenagers at
the hands of police. But first I will disclose that before having my kids
I was a police officer in Melbourne for 5 1/2 years: mid eighties when the Vics
were quite trigger happy but in return were being shot and blown up themselves
by an unhappy public.  I went to five or six police funerals in that time, one
being Angela Taylor who was in the academy with me and killed by a car bomb at
Russell Street HQ. I am also a Christian, Lutheran in fact, like Bonhoeffer. If
you read Bonhoeffer I think you would discover that "fundamentalist" would not
be an apt description of someone inspired by him. However, like with Marxism,
there are many variations and interpretations of how individual's enact their

I think it is important to distinguish between the behaviour of the police in
the Athens incident and in the Melbourne case of Tyler Cassidy. Both losses are
heart-breaking and unnecessary. But on the basis of information given, in
there is evidence of police misconduct. The groundswell of public reaction is
understandable. In Melbourne, I would argue, the police response was not one of
misconduct. Early in my career I made the decision, and not lightly with my
beliefs and the high value I place on human life, that if it was in proportion
to the situation, I would be willing to kill to protect innocent life
(preservation of the peace or protection of property would not be enough
justification for me). The trouble here is that the threat to innocent life was
being made by an innocent himself. I agree entirely there should be a better
way. I am a strong advocate for better care and protection for those with
mental illness. However, I know the many times I have had my Smith and Wesson
revolver out and my finger on the trigger (at a massacre moments before Julian
surrendered and was arrested by my squad mate in Hoddle Street in '87 was one).
I dare to say, I think I too would have shot Tyler Cassidy had I been on duty
confronted by the urgency and limitations of the situation, that day last week.
I would also be joining in the outpouring of grief over his loss and the
unfairness of it.

Contrary to your comments that Australians are taking the death in their stride
and that is "godforsaken" state of affairs, in fact, Australians are responding
with intelligence and
compassion to something revolting. A "revolt" against police performing a
protective role in the context of our existing society would hardly address the
issues in a constructive way that would lead to a safer community and better
Terry Goessling 

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