Above: Louisa Hope. Source: Common Grace / Youtube
Sydney Siege survivor Louisa Hope has urged the community to support the police, after the findings of the 18-month inquest into the 2014 siege were handed down.
Ms Hope, a survivor of the Lindt Café siege, has a deep Christian faith and refuses to hate the man who could have killed her. She didn’t criticise the police for their actions on the day of the siege, but agreed authorities needed to find better ways to handle terror threats.
“Critical analysis is not a bad thing. It’s good for all of us as we all try and negotiate living in this new age of terror,” she told the media pack outside the NSW Coroner’s Court in Glebe.
Coroner Michael Barnes’ found that the police should have stormed the Lindt Café 10 minutes sooner than they did, but Ms Hope expressed no bitterness.
“As a community, we all come together and support our police,” she said.
Watch: Louisa Hope speaks about why she insists on love over hate.
Thomas Zinn, the partner of siege victim Tori Johnson, had similar feelings towards the police involved but spoke out against the “systematic failures” of some of the authorities.
He was shocked that they seemed “at times confused, ill-informed, unprepared and under-resourced to deal with Monis”. But he also upheld those who worked throughout the siege under tough conditions.
“I would like to make it clear that our family has high regard and respect for the officers who put their lives at risk after waiting so long for orders to act, and we acknowledge the grief and trauma that they have experienced,” he said.
“It’s been a very stressful time…and getting back to normal will be lovely.” ~ Louisa Hope
Tom Steinfort, senior reporter with Channel 9 news, told Hope 103.2’s Katrina Roe that the NSW Coroner did not blame the police for the deaths of café manager Tori Johnson and Sydney barrister Katrina Dawson, but gave recommendations on how authorities needed to improve their procedures.
“The coroner said the only person to blame for this is Man Monis the terrorist responsible,” Mr Steinfort said, “however there were findings that suggested things could have been done differently.”
Coroner Barnes believes police should have stormed the café when Man Monis fired a warning shot. His 472-page report recommends that snipers should be given greater powers in a terror incident, to choose when to fire.
Louisa Hope said she was looking forward to life returning to a more normal pace.
“It’s been a very stressful time…and getting back to normal will be lovely.”