Socialist Worker

Cops can't agree why CS gas was used before shooting of Anthony Grainger

by Eleanor Claxton-Mayer
Issue No. 2547

Anthony Grainger

Anthony Grainger

Police failed to record their advice and discussion of tactics before the killing of Anthony Grainger, a public inquiry heard this week.

Greater Manchester Police shot Anthony while he sat in a car on 3 March 2012. The inquiry resumed last week.

The inquiry was read out the standard procedure that, “It is a key requirement of the Human Rights Act that the deployment of armed officers is both auditable and accountable. Tactical advisers are required to record and retain auditable record of their advice.”

But Steven Allen, a tactical adviser for Operation Shire, which led to Anthony’s death, said there had been “a failure in recording”.

Superintendent Mark Granby, tactical firearms commander, spoke to Operation Shire’s senior operating officer on 2 March.

He confirmed that no tactical adviser had given advice at that stage. He said he had planned to consult them the next morning.

But when questioned, senior firearms commander Terry Sweeney agreed that by then the plan could be seen as “sort of set in stone”.

A CS gas canister was used when Anthony was shot. During questioning it became clear that there was no consensus as to why.

Advice on CS gas falls to tactical advisers. Allen said it’s “to help stop the subjects from getting out” of the car.

But he agreed that there was potential for involuntary movements, or for people to try to get out to breathe.

Another tactical adviser, Y19, stated that they didn’t know whether the gas was used to make subjects stay in the car or get them out.

Sweeney, who authorised the tactic, said it is “to get them out safely”.

He conceded that his risk assessment had not recorded the risks of involuntary movement that could result in someone being shot.

Asked why they didn’t give advice on the risks of using gas, Y19 said that “there is an assumption that they are also aware of those risks”.


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