How pre-trial publicity works

Take a look at these two pictures:

Guns Jean

Yesterday’s newspapers contained a photograph of the living room of a suburban semi packed with guns that the police described as a ‘weapons cache’. A 55-year-old man, Michael Shepherd, who is a licensed and well-known gun collector, was charged with gun trafficking and supplying illegal wapons to black gangs in London. The police supplied the photograph; they also supplied numerous comments about Mr Shepherd, by the end of which he seemed responsible for arming most of London’s gangland.

Now look at the second photo: a bloodied tube carriage; a man in jeans and a denim jacket sprawled dead in the walkway. This was the scene after Met Police officers shot dead an innocent man: Jean Charles de Menezes. This photograph was not given out freely by the police. In fact, the police made dawn raids on those who put it in the public domain.

The first photograph was deemed perfectly acceptable to be put in the public domain; the second was considered a Contempt of Court. What’s the difference between the two photographs? Simple – one portrays the police in a good light, the other in a bad light.

The biggest abusers of the Contempt of Court laws are the police, but who’s going to prosecute them?

2 Responses to “How pre-trial publicity works”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Comment removed at the request of the poster – site admin

  2. Michael says:

    Yes, we must always keep the police in the white light of publicity.

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