At this time, the public didn't know the identity of this madman, but it seemed the police did. His name was Haron Monis, a criminal out on bail for indecent and sexual assault, who had been tried for murdering his ex-wife, and who wrote poisonous letters to the families of those who lost loved ones overseas in the fight against terrorism. This deranged individual was obviously a "person of interest" to the authorities, and yet he'd been walking the streets among us, but with a ticking time bomb inside his head. Unfortunately, the time bomb went off on Monday, 15 December, 2015, at around 9.45am, and the would-be terrorist decided to go into the city and take hostage the staff and customers at the Lindt Chocolate Cafe in Martin Place, Sydney CBD.
As the horror kept unfolding last night, no one knew how this would end. It was clear to me, however, that unless police took this guy out someone was going to get hurt. At certain stages the madman was seen using a hostage as a human shield, but at other times he was clearly seen pacing in front of the windows in an agitated manner--especially when 5 hostages managed to escape in the late afternoon. Still, police kept waiting.
I don't know about police protocol when it comes to this kind of thing, but in my opinion it's common sense to take out the assailant if a sniper can get a clear shot. And it seems the wannabe terrorist gave the police quite a lot of opportunity to do this. So why did the police hesitate?
I say to Commissioner Scipione: Don't try and defend the police for doing what they did. In fact, they should have taken a shot at this crazy man a hell of a lot earlier--and perhaps now the two young people who died would still be among us.
Sometimes action is called for. We DON'T negotiate with terrorists (or would-be ones), and we certainly DON'T negotiate with people who've lost their minds, as is clearly the case with Haron Monis.
To date, no one has asked this question on TV nor have any of the reporters speculated as to why we didn't use a sniper to put an end to this horrendous act of madness. The fact that the police were hoping to end things peacefully was a "pie in the sky" wish. I could have told them this and I'm not a cop.
This morning, when I woke up to the news of how the siege had finally ended, tears ran down my face for those who lost their lives.
Perhaps the sniper thing may not have worked. But now we'll never know. Even so, I still want to know what the police were waiting for. I'm sure they had a chance to take a shot at the delusional criminal or divert him in some way so they could get at him. The police already knew by this time who he was; the man had killed before. They also had information given to them by the 5 hostages who managed to escape early on in the siege. So I have to ask, "Police, what exactly were you waiting for?"
My heart is broken over the unnecessary deaths, and my thoughts are now with those who've lost their loved ones, their friends, and the community. I also have to commend the police for acting so swiftly in response to the situation.
Please don't get me wrong, I am proud of our boys in blue. But I simply have to question that bit of judgement, which I feel was misplaced (and I know the orders come from above so I understand that a sniper would not have acted alone--even if he had a clear shot). It seems the whole law/protocol needs a good shake up in Australia, and I hope those poor hostages didn't die in vain. I hope the police and powers that be will learn from this atrocity.
Everyone knows a terrorist, would-be terrorist, and/or madman will not negotiate. Their purpose is to create terror, fear and confusion. Well, Haron Monis had his day of grotesque fun. It's a pity the police allowed him have it.