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Thursday, 18 December 2008

there's nothing wrong with a little shooting as long as the right people get shot

advert for the Robert de Niro and ­Al Pacino police thriller Righteous Kill, which used the line "there's nothing wrong with a little shooting as long as the right people get shot", was criticised by a watchdog for running ­during the inquest into the police shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.The promotional campaign for the film, which used the tagline "Most people respect the badge, everybody respects the gun", led to six complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority from people who argued that the advert glamorised ­violence and gun crime by suggesting it was "morally acceptable to kill in the right circumstances".The authority lodged its own challenge, saying that the placing of one of the ­posters at Stockwell tube station, in London, was likely to cause serious or widespread offence at the time of the inquest into the death of de Menezes. The train station was where police officers shot the 27-year-old Brazilian. The jury in the de Menezes case had inspected the Stockwell site of the shooting in September.Lions Gate, which released the film, said the advertising line came from the film and was the "kind of dialogue expected from a film or TV portrayal [of the New York police department] and contained an element of humour". However it said placing the poster at Stockwell was an "unfortunate oversight".The standards agency dismissed the public complaints about the advert, ­stating that it was not irresponsible and was unlikely to glamorise or glorify gun crime. However, it said that having the poster displayed at Stockwell tube station was likely to cause serious or widespread offence. The poster advert therefore breached the advertising code.Lions Gate removed the poster from Stockwell tube station as soon as the company was made aware of the inquest into the shooting of de Menezes.The Brazilian was shot seven times on 22 July 2005 as police hunted for terrorists in a planned operation. In the early hours of that day police traced a gym card, found in a bag holding an unexploded bomb, to an address in Scotia Road, south London. They believed the premises were being used by a suspected terrorist, Hussain Osman. The police followed de Menezes – never identified as Osman – on his way to work. He was attacked by officers after he entered a tube train at Stockwell station.An inquest into his death recorded an open verdict this month.



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