What I am trying to justify is that commenting on the actions of others is human nature and yes, the inquiry will look at all the facts. What you say I dont get is, I think what you dont get in that the actions of 'professionals' in some ways is dictated by its acceptability to the public. One of my observations is that you sometimes take comments as absolutes. If I recall correctly I stated that using taser on someone covered in petrol sounds like a non option to me - that is not stating they acted outside their boundaries. If I felt they had I probably would have said so. The rest of the posts thereafter are pretty much defending my opinion - and I am entitled to my opinion. It will be for the IPCC to decide based on their investigation, but that does not negate discussion in the meantime. One other thought is that if we (non police officers) were not 'allowed' to comment on what was reported then attitudes would not change - we only have to look at the reporting of news events where (as you would say) not all the facts are known to see that it has led change that would not have happened or, individuals being brought to account. This has been going on for years ranging from Rodney King to the latest incident where South African Police have been charged with murder. So my question to you would be do you not think it is more dangerous not to comment on reported actions whilst acknowledging we need to see what the official investigation throws up (whilst accepting that investigations do not always get it right either!)
Acceptable to you - or the public in general? Because I think that's something you don't really get: your own views are not necessarily representative of the public and indeed you will find many differing views out there. Whilst many will jump on the bang-wagon and slate the officers and deem their actions unacceptable, others will have greater sympathy and be more supportive of the Officers. Public opinion, or what the public find acceptable, is hardly a exact absolute. And ultimately, whether meeting with universal approval or not, the Police still have to make the very difficult choices of which I speak and shying away from those responsibilities because it may attract an adverse public reaction (in some quarters at least) is not always an option. If only things were so simple.
You shouldn't compare what has happened here with what happens in the states or South Africa. I appreciate you might liken us to our counterparts in other countries - but this matter will be afforded the greatest levels of scrutiny, irrespective of what is reported in media, which similar incidents elsewhere in the world simply would not attract.
There is a good deal of difference between debating something and passing a judgement, which goes beyond the facts known at the time. I have manged to debate this throughout without prejudging the Officers and more so, sticking to discussing the facts currently available. For instance, you have made repeated references to the taser being the cause of ignition, yet at this stage we do not know at what stage taser was even used or whether it was in fact the cause of ignition.
When someone, who has not got the required knowledge and training, comments that a particular course of action is an non-option, then as far as I'm concerned that is a criticism of the decisions made by the Officers. A suggestion that the Officers shouldn't have used taser, when in fact that is not strictly the case - and had you had greater insight before commenting then you might have considered your view more carefully.
You certainly have the right to an opinion. You can, if you choose, comment on whatever your choose to. Equally, it is the right of others to correct you if they feel you are wrong. My default position will always be to show support for Officers in situations like this. It's not because I think the Police are beyond criticism or because I think we are always right; but because I know the difficulties we face daily and the ever present potential for things to go wrong. There but for the grace of god go I. Tonight I may be called to deal with a situation, which may get the keyboard warriors tittle tattling tomorrow - and I would find that incredible frustrating and to a degree upsetting. Not least because I wouldn't be able to defend my actions and correct the inaccuracies of what was being said.
When all is said and done, at the heart of this, are real people. Human beings. Dedicated public servants. They should be afforded the benefit of the doubt until we know differently. The presumption should be that they did their very best in dealing with an extremely difficult situation and acted correctly - not to question that judgement with a degree of suspicion at the earliest opportunity.
I think I have made my view clear. I do not intend to comment further.