Caso Jean Charles de Menezes

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Atos em Londres marcarão três anos da morte de Jean Charles

Polícia ‘desperdiça’ lições do caso Jean Charles, diz relatório

Policiais do caso Jean Charles ganham direito a anonimato

Selton Mello vai a Londres reviver o drama de Jean Charles

Jean Charles de Menezes

Origem: Wikipédia, a enciclopédia livre.

"BRASILEIROS NO MUNDO"

“Propomos para o dia 22 de julho de 2008 o lançamento do Dia do Migrante Brasileiro, numa referência ao migrante brasileiro assassinado em Londres, Jean Charles de Menezes. Diante da proximidade da data ainda neste ano 2008, propomos que no dia 22 de julho de 2009 haja articulações para manifestações no Brasil e no Mundo, chamando atenção para o caso do cidadão Jean Charles e para a situação geral das comunidades brasileiras no exterior. No dia 22 de julho de 2010, dia em que se completam cinco anos da morte de Jean Charles, seria oficializado o Dia do Migrante Brasileiro, através de projeto de lei de iniciativa do Governo do Brasil.”
__________________________________

Rede de Brasileiras e Brasileiros no Exterior

DOCUMENTO ENCAMINHADO PELA REDE DE BRASILEIRAS E BRASILEIROS NA ESPANHA AO MINISTÉRIO DAS RELAÇOES EXTERIORES DO GOVERNO DO BRASIL.

Associação Amigos do Brasil.Barcelona.

Associação de Pesquisadores e Estudantes Brasileiros na Catalunha – APEC. Barcelona.

Casa NOAR – Associação Cultural da Nova Arte. Barcelona.

Can Brasil. Barcelona.

Associação Brasileira de Assistência ao Estrangeiro – ABRAE. Barcelona.

Clube da Música Brasileira. Barcelona.

Associação de Capoeira Banzo da Senzala. Barcelona.

Coletivo Brasil Catalunha. Barcelona.

AHBAI – Associação Hispano Brasileira de Apoio ao Imigrante. Madrid.

NEBE – Núcleo de Entidades Brasil Espanha. Madrid.

Núcleo do Partido dos Trabalhadores de Madrid.

Associação AME – Articulação das Mulheres Empreendedoras. Madrid.

Associación El Camino. Madrid.

SpanBrasil. Madrid.

Observatório das Migrações Brasileiras na Espanha. Madrid.

Marcela Peixoto –  Integrante do Comitê de Apoio ao MST / Madrid.

Clube de Intercâmbio de Idiomas de Vilafranca del Penedés, Barcelona.

Alter Nativas, Espanha.

Artigos da BBC BRASIL:

Atos em Londres marcarão três anos da morte de Jean Charles

Jean Charles foi morto a tiros por policiais em Londres em 2005
Parentes e amigos de Jean Charles de Menezes vão realizar na terça-feira dois eventos para marcar o terceiro aniversário da morte do brasileiro, em uma operação mal-sucedida da polícia londrina em julho de 2005.
Pela manhã, parentes e amigos farão uma vigília em frente à estação de metrô de Stockwell, no sul da cidade, onde policiais executaram o brasileiro por engano, dentro de um vagão do metrô, após o confundirem com um terrorista.
Segundo a prima de Jean Charles, Vivian Figueiredo, flores serão depositadas no local e será feito um minuto de silêncio, às 10h06, hora exata em que Jean Charles foi executado.
Às 13h30, será realizado um ato na Praça do Parlamento, no centro da cidade, onde será exibida uma escultura de flores na forma e nas cores da bandeira do Brasil.
O centro da escultura é formado por um círculo de 1.093 flores azuis, que representam o número de dias que se passaram desde a morte do brasileiro.
A obra ainda trará os dizeres “Menezes – 3 anos sem Justiça”.


‘Lições desperdiçadas’
Até o momento, nenhum policial foi condenado pela morte do brasileiro e o chefe da Scotland Yard, Ian Blair, continua no cargo apesar das pressões por sua renúncia. Ele foi acusado de acobertar informações sobre a tragédia após o erro.
Na semana passada, um relatório divulgado pelo órgão que fiscaliza a polícia, a Autoridade da Polícia Metropolitana (MPA, na sigla em inglês), apontou que a corporação “desperdiça lições” a serem aprendidas com a morte do brasileiro.
Duas investigações já foram concluídas por uma comissão independente da Polícia e, no ano passado, a Scotland Yard foi multada em mais de R$ 600 mil por colocar o público em risco durante a operação que matou Jean Charles com sete tiros na cabeça.
Um novo inquérito terá início no dia 22 de setembro, com duração máxima de 12 semanas.
O relatório da MPA criticou a demora na conclusão do caso. “Ainda que reconhecendo que os procedimentos têm ser seguidos, não pode ser correto que, três anos depois, ainda não haja um relato definitivo do que aconteceu no dia 22 de julho de 2005”, observou o órgão.

Polícia ‘desperdiça’ lições do caso Jean Charles, diz relatório

Jean Charles foi morto a tiros por policiais em Londres em 2005
Um relatório divulgado nesta sexta-feira pelo órgão que fiscaliza a Polícia londrina diz que a corporação “desperdiça lições” a serem aprendidas com a morte do brasileiro Jean Charles de Menezes em uma mal-sucedida operação em julho de 2005.
O documento, produzido pela Autoridade da Polícia Metropolitana (MPA, na sigla em inglês), reconhece que a Scotland Yard tem implementado medidas para evitar a repetição do que considera “uma tragédia que nunca deveria ter acontecido, independentemente das circunstâncias no momento”.
Entretanto, prossegue o relatório, as respostas dadas pela corporação têm sido “insatisfatórias” – o que suscita a preocupação de que “lições valiosas serão perdidas”.
A avaliação é publicada poucos dias antes do terceiro aniversário da execução do brasileiro, por engano, dentro de um vagão de metrô na estação de Stockwell, sul de Londres, em 22 de julho de 2005.
Duas investigações já foram concluídas por uma comissão independente da Polícia e, no ano passado, a Scotland Yard foi multada em mais de R$ 600 mil por colocar o público em risco durante a operação que matou Jean Charles com sete tiros na cabeça.
Um novo inquérito terá início no dia 22 de setembro, com duração máxima de 12 semanas. A demora levantou críticas da MPA.
“Ainda que reconhecendo que os procedimentos têm ser seguidos, não pode ser correto que, três anos depois, ainda não haja um relato definitivo do que aconteceu no dia 22 de julho de 2005”, observou o órgão.
Críticas
Até o momento, nenhum policial foi condenado pela morte do brasileiro e o chefe da Scotland Yard, Ian Blair, continua no cargo apesar das pressões por sua renúncia. Ele foi acusado de acobertar informações sobre a tragédia após o erro.
Mesmo sem ser mencionado no relatório, o comissário é criticado implicitamente no trecho em que a MPA considera “preocupante” o gerenciamento de informações após a execução, “particularmente em relação à identificação da vítima e à informação passada aos meios de comunicação”.
Em diversos momentos o órgão de fiscalização ataca o que chama de cultura de “silo” – ou seja, de corporativismo e de hermetismo – “impregnada” na Polícia.
“A Polícia Metropolitana necessita de uma mudança cultural a partir de seus chefes e de uma liderança ativa e sustentável de seu Conselho”, afirma o relatório.
“Isto inclui se afastar de uma cultura de ‘silo’ para uma que reconheça que contribuições podem ser feitas a partir de todas as partes da organização.”
O órgão recomenda mudanças nos procedimentos da Polícia, como o fim da prática de policiais de preencher conjuntamente as anotações sobre operações de que participam.
“Não há sugestões de comportamento inapropriado dos policiais envolvidos neste caso, mas a prática de conferir as notas com os colegas é claramente aberta à interpretações equivocadas e a suspeitas”, afirma o relatório, que recomenda que as reuniões sejam gravadas em áudio e vídeo.
Para a MPA, a necessidade de uma revisão ambiciosa nos procedimentos da Polícia se torna “urgente” com a proximidade dos Jogos Olímpicos de 2012, que serão realizados na capital britânica.
“Muitos dos desafios que a Polícia enfrentou em julho de 2005 devem se apresentar novamente em 2012, se não antes, e possivelmente em maior escala”, alerta o documento.
“O risco de mais ataques em Londres e a necessidade de realizar operações múltiplas e coordenadas durante as Olimpíadas de 2012 sublinham a urgência com que as ações devem ser tomadas.”

Policiais do caso Jean Charles ganham direito a anonimato

Jean Charles foi morto a tiros por policiais em Londres em 2005
A Justiça britânica acatou os pedidos de 44 policiais para ter a sua identidade preservada no novo inquérito que vai investigar a morte do brasileiro Jean Charles de Menezes, morto a tiros por policiais em Londres em julho de 2005 ao ser supostamente confundido com um homem-bomba.
Com o anonimato garantido, os policiais poderão ter os seus nomes modificados e prestar depoimentos com os seus rostos ocultos.
A decisão foi anunciada nesta segunda-feira pelo juiz Michael Wright, encarregado de conduzir a investigação, durante uma audiência em um tribunal de Southwark, no sul de Londres.
Wright permitiu apenas que os familiares do brasileiro possam ver os depoentes, depois que a família apresentou questionamentos sobre a lisura do processo.
O magistrado justificou a decisão com o fato de muitos policiais continuarem a participar de operações contra o terrorismo e o crime organizado.
Segundo ele, esses policiais e as suas famílias poderiam ficar em perigo se prestassem depoimento sem anonimato.
Nem todos os agentes que devem prestar depoimentos escritos ou orais pediram anonimato, incluindo a vice-comissária assistente Cressida Dick, que estava no comando da operação que acabou com a morte do brasileiro.
Família ‘desapontada’
Um porta-voz da família de Jean Charles disse em uma mensagem divulgada à imprensa que eles estão “profundamente desapontados” com a decisão favorável ao anonimato dos policiais, que vai contra o espírito de uma investigação aberta e transparente.
“Nós achamos muito difícil acreditar que todos esses policiais precisam de tal nível de proteção”, diz a mensagem enviada por email a meios de imprensa.
“Ao invés disso, parece que a Polícia Metropolitana continua a promover táticas para garantir que indivíduos nomeados escapem da responsabilidade pelo assassinato deliberado de um homem inocente.”
O juiz também confirmou que o inquérito terá início no dia 22 de setembro e que terá um cronograma rígido, com duração máxima de 12 semanas. Segundo Wright, haverá um site na internet com informações sobre o processo.
No ano passado, a Polícia Metropolitana de Londres foi multada em mais de R$ 600 mil, além de custos legais, por quebrar regras de segurança pública.
No entanto, nenhum policial foi condenado pela morte do brasileiro.

G1 Globo: Selton Mello vai a Londres reviver o drama de Jean Charles

Ator fará o brasileiro morto pela polícia inglesa após ser confundido com terrorista.
Agora, ele experimenta pela primeira vez o prazer de lançar seu próprio filme.
Paula Huven/Divulgação
Selton Mello faz sua estréia como diretor em ”Feliz Natal” (Foto: Paula Huven/Divulgação)

Selton Mello “respira cinema”, como ele mesmo diz. Já fez todo tipo de personagem, do rebelde André de “Lavoura Arcaica” passando pelo cômico Chicó de “O auto da compadecida” e chegando ao traficante de “Meu nome não é Johnny”. Agora, embarcará para Londres onde vai reviver o drama do brasileiro Jean Charles de Menezes, assassinado em 2005 pela polícia após ser confundido com um terrorista.

Neste momento, no entanto, Selton experimenta o êxtase de ter pronto, em sua mãos, o primeiro longa-metragem que dirigiu: “Feliz Natal”. Com previsão de estréia em 21 de novembro, o filme teve sua primeira apresentação no Festival Paulínia de Cinema, no último dia 11, e já rendeu prêmio de melhor diretor ao cineasta estreante.

Na história, Leonardo Medeiros é o dono de um ferro velho que decide ir passar o Natal com a família. No fatídico jantar, todas as feridas que pareciam cicatrizadas afloram novamente.

Em entrevista ao G1, Selton contou sobre sua estréia como diretor, falou da melancolia do filme e contou um pouco mais sobre o filme “Jean Charles”, que terá a direção de Henrique Goldman. Leia abaixo a entrevista.

G1 – Na apresentação de “Feliz Natal”, em Paulínia, você estava muito emocionado e disse que nascia naquele momento. Quão sonhado foi esse projeto e quão difícil foi realizá-lo?

Selton Mello – Para uma pessoa que respira cinema há mais de 15 anos como eu,realizar o próprio filme foi de uma alegria que não dá para medir. A realização foi rápida, se comparada com outras produções, mas a objetividade se deve ao fato de eu ser capricórnio com virgem. Não tem viagem, é muita determinação e foco [risos].

G1 – De onde e quando surgiu a vontade de abandonar o trabalho de ator e assumir a função de diretor? Acha que pode, num próximo projeto, conciliar os dois trabalhos?

Selton – Dirigi uns videoclipes, um curta-metragem, programas de TV. Foi natural a
transição para o primeiro longa. Tem algo que se quer dizer e não é como ator. No próximo [filme], penso em atuar e dirigir.Falta decidir qual será o projeto.

G1 – Ainda em Paulínia, você pediu que a platéia esquecesse tudo o que você fez como ator, mas observei em seu filme influências de diretores com os quais você trabalhou, como Luiz Fernando Carvalho. Considera que suas experiências como ator te deram referência para criar “Feliz Natal” da forma como ele foi feito?

Selton – Sem dúvida. E inclusive dedico o meu prêmio de melhor diretor a todos os diretores que já me dirigiram. Luiz Fernando Carvalho é minha referência sempre. É o camarada mais corajoso artisticamente que já conheci.

G1 – Gostaria que você falasse sobre a sua visão de Natal e festas de fim de ano no geral. A melancolia que domina o filme é sua?

Selton –

Melancolia é meu nome do meio. Mas as festas de Natal de que tenho participado foram muito agradáveis, com minhas sobrinhas, meus pais, meu irmão. O que fiz no filme foi colocar uma lente de aumento em coisas que senti, fantasmas que me visitam há algum tempo. Parece louco? Mas é mesmo. O artista não deve representar a verdade e sim transfigurar a verdade para atingir uma outra realidade.

G1 – Como foi a escolha do elenco e especialmente de Darlene Glória e Leonardo Medeiros?
Selton – Léo Medeiros é um dos grandes atores com quem já trabalhei. É quem me deixa seguro para ficar por trás da câmera. Darlene Glória conheci no programa “Tarja preta”. Foi tão arrebatadora sua entrevista que fiz o convite imediatamente para meu filme e hoje não consigo imaginar o “Feliz Natal” sem sua presença luminosa e comovente.

G1 – Como está se preparando para, em “Jean Charles”, viver o protagonista de uma história real, que comoveu tanta gente aqui no Brasil e também na Inglaterra?

Selton – Achei o convite tentador do diretor Henrique Goldman. É uma história real e bem interessante. Afinal, quem era o sujeito que tomou sete tiros na nuca da polícia inglesa, que o confundiu com um terrorista? Quem era? O que fazia? Isso tudo o filme pretende responder. E ainda tem o Stephen Frears, diretor de “A rainha”, “Ligações perigosas”, que tanto admiro e que participa da produção. Vou morar quase dois meses em Londres, e isso será muito prazeroso.

Jean Charles de Menezes

Origem: Wikipédia, a enciclopédia livre.

Jean Charles de Menezes (Gonzaga, 7 de janeiro de 1978Londres, 22 de julho de 2005) foi um imigrante brasileiro confundido com um homem-bomba e morto no metrô de Londres com oito tiros à queima-roupa, por forças da unidade armada da Scotland Yard britânica, SO19.

"Santuário" de Jean de Charles de Menezes, na entrada da estação de Stockwell

“Santuário” de Jean de Charles de Menezes, na entrada da estação de Stockwell

Jean vivia há três anos no sul da capital inglesa e, segundo as autoridades, foi confundido com um terrorista árabe que teria participado dos atentados da véspera, contra ônibus e estações do metrô de Londres. O erro foi admitido pela Scotland Yard, que informou que o brasileiro não tinha nenhuma relação com qualquer grupo terrorista. Segundo ela, o acidente ocorreu porque o brasileiro se recusou a obedecer às ordens de parar, dadas pelas autoridades.

No entanto, as investigações da Comissão Independente de Investigação de Queixas da Polícia (CIIQ, em inglês) revelaram que Ian Blair, chefe da Scotland Yard, tentou impedir que a morte de Jean Charles fosse investigada.[1]

O jornal britânico The Observer, em sua edição do Domingo, 21 de agosto de 2005, revelou que os três agentes que vigiavam Jean Charles não estavam armados nem uniformizados e não consideravam o brasileiro uma ameaça ou suspeito de portar armas ou bombas e só tinham a intenção de detê-lo. [2] No entanto, estes homens tinham ordens de ceder o controle da operação a grupos especiais das forças armadas (SAS[3]), caso estes interviessem. Os militares julgaram Jean uma grave ameaça e seguiram seu modus-operandi – atirar para matar.

O primo de Menezes, Alex Pereira, que morava com ele, afirmou que Menezes foi baleado por trás.

Segundo a Agência Brasil, o Ministério das Relações Exteriores publicou nota oficial na qual afirmou que o governo brasileiro ficou “chocado e perplexo” ao tomar conhecimento da morte do brasileiro, “aparentemente vítima de lamentável erro”.

Em nota oficial, o Ministério das Relações Exteriores afirmou que “o Brasil sempre condenou todas as formas de terrorismo e mostrou-se disposto a contribuir para a erradicação desse flagelo dentro das normas internacionais”, e que aguarda explicações das autoridades britânicas sobre as circunstâncias da morte de Jean Charles.

Em 16 de novembro, o jornal Daily Telegraph publicou uma reportagem acusando a polícia britânica de utilizar munição de ponta oca, conhecida como dundum, para matar Jean Charles. O armamento foi proibido pela Convenção da Haia de 1899, por motivos humanitários (o projétil se estilhaça dentro do corpo do indivíduo atingido, provocando dores lancinantes, o que normalmente não acontece com uma bala comum).

Biografia

Menezes cresceu numa área rural do Brasil. Depois da descoberta de um talento precoce para a Eletrônica, ele deixou a fazenda, aos catorze anos, para morar com seu tio em São Paulo e prosseguir seus estudos. Aos 19 anos recebeu um diploma técnico da Escola Estadual São Sebastião. Entrou no Reino Unido, em 2002, com um visto estudantil, e com apenas quatro meses na Inglaterra já tinha um bom domínio do inglês e trabalhava para mandar dinheiro para a família.

A polícia alegou que seu visto havia vencido quando foi morto – o que foi desmentido por seu primo.

Antecedentes

No dia anterior à execução, quatro atentados a bomba foram realizados em três lugares no metrô e num ônibus em Londres. Nem todos os perpetradores morreram no local, o que levou a polícia a fazer uma investigação em larga escala com o objetivo de caçar os fugitivos. Um indício material, encontrado em mochilas que não explodiram dos terroristas, levou os investigadores a um bloco de apartamentos de três andares em Scotia Road, Tulse Hill. Por volta das dez da manhã, agentes que observavam o local viram Jean sair do prédio de apartamentos onde morava com dois primos. Os agentes deveriam estar vigiando três homens de aparência somali ou etíope.

Jean, que trabalhava como eletricista, acabara de receber uma chamada para consertar um alarme de incêndio quebrado em Kilburn. Os agentes seguiram-no por cinco minutos, até a parada de ônibus. Ele embarcou em um ônibus da linha número 2. Entre dez e quinze minutos depois, o ônibus chegou à estação de Stockwell. Jean telefonou para um colega de trabalho, Gésio de Ávila, dizendo que iria se atrasar por causa do congestionamento provocado pelos atentados do dia anterior. Fora da estação de Stockwell, a polícia alega que lhe ordenou que parasse, fato questionado pelas revelações preliminares da investigação independente [4], [5].

Inicialmente, a polícia alegou também que Jean trajava um pesado blusão, o que teria deixado os policiais preocupados com a possibilidade de que ele estivesse carregando explosivos escondidos junto ao corpo. O jornal britânico The Observer, no entanto, relatou que ele estava vestindo baseball cap, blue fleece and baggy trousers (boné, um casaco e calças largas). A Reuters relatou que, segundo uma testemunha do tiroteio, Mark Whitby, Jean Charles estaria usando um grande casaco de inverno e “parecia deslocado” (“looked out of place”). Outra testemunha, Anthony Larkin, “talvez interessado em fazer piada ou ridicularizar o precipitado julgamento” contou à BBC que Menezes parecia estar vestindo um “cinturão de bombas, com fios saindo ligados à uma tomada elétrica ” (“bomb belt with wires coming out”). Nenhum artefato assim foi encontrado, mas sua ocupação como eletricista poderia explicar a presença dos fios nessa imagem, já que ele não carregava sua maleta de ferramentas, deixada com seu colega no fim do dia anterior. Ademais, na hora do tiroteio a temperatura em Londres era de dezessete graus centígrados, o que é fresco o suficiente para alguém criado em região de clima tropical, querer se vestir com agasalhos.

Foi dito também que o motivo para ele supostamente ter corrido de policiais sem uniforme, foi ter sido atacado, poucas semanas antes, por uma gangue de Skinheads – criminosos arruaceiros tolerados pela policia britânica e que costumam agredir pessoas de aparência semita. Se verdadeiro o fato, algumas pessoas conjecturam que, sendo o Brasil um dos países com alta taxa de homicídios, sair correndo foi uma reação instintiva de Menezes, quando abordado pelo grupo de homens à paisana .

Nos primeiros dias, havia relatos contraditórios sobre se os agentes disfarçados se identificaram devidamente, se tentaram contê-lo no chão ou se algum aviso foi dado antes de atirarem. O Comissário da Polícia Metropolitana, Sir Ian Blair disse, durante uma coletiva de imprensa, que o aviso foi dado antes de dispararem contra ele e que uma ambulância aérea foi chamada depois. Contudo o rapaz foi declarado morto instantaneamente.

Mídia

(not�cias)
Brasileiro é confundido com terrorista e morto pela polícia britânica por engano, 24 de Julho, 2005
A polícia britânica afirmou que matou por engano o brasileiro Jean Charles de Menezes, 27 anos, oriundo de Minas Gerais. Segundo as autoridades, ele foi confundido com um terrorista que teria participado dos atentados no metrô de Londres na quinta-feira (21).


Referências

Ligações externas

Jean Charles de Menezes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jean Charles de Menezes

Jean Charles de Menezes
Born 7 January 1978(1978-01-07)
Flag of Brazil
Gonzaga, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Died 22 July 2005 (aged 27)
Flag of the United Kingdom
Stockwell Underground Station, London, UK

Jean Charles de Menezes (7 January 197822 July 2005) was a Brazilian national living in the Tulse Hill area of south London. De Menezes was shot dead at Stockwell tube station on the London Underground by unnamed Metropolitan Police officers. Initially witnesses incorrectly claimed that he was wearing bulky clothing and that he had vaulted the ticket barriers running from police. A police spokeman said on the day that, “his clothing and behaviour added to their suspicions,” and that he ran onto the train after police had issued warnings.[1] It soon became clear that de Menezes did not vault and run from the police, but police did not alter their statement until the correct information was leaked to the press. They later issued an apology, saying that they had mistaken him for a suspect in the previous day’s failed bombings and acknowledging that de Menezes in fact had no explosives and was unconnected with the attempted bombings. The officers involved in killing de Menezes have not been charged; the jury at the corporate trial of the Metropolitan Police for violations of health and safety law attached a rare rider to their verdict that they attached “no personal culpability” to Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, the officer in charge of the operation that day.

Biography

The son of a bricklayer, de Menezes grew up on a farm in Gonzaga, Minas Gerais, Brazil. After discovering an early aptitude for electronics, he left the farm at age 14 to live with his uncle in São Paulo and further his education. At 19 he received a professional diploma from Escola Estadual (State School) São Sebastião. He had originally wanted to go to the United States of America but was refused a work visa.

The Home Office said he arrived in Britain on 13 March 2002, initially being granted a six-month visitor’s visa. He then applied to stay on a student visa, receiving permission to remain until 30 June 2003. It said it had no record of any further correspondence. A spokeswoman added: “We have seen a copy of Mr de Menezes’ passport, containing a stamp apparently giving him indefinite leave to remain in the UK. On investigation, this stamp was not one that was in use by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate on the date given.”

The family of de Menezes however deny this, and then Foreign Secretary Jack Straw stated that he believed de Menezes was living in the UK legally, but had no precise information to confirm this.[2]

On Friday July 22, 2005 de Menezes was shot dead by Metropolitan Police armed officers.

On Wednesday July 27, 2005, de Menezes’ body was flown to Brazil for burial. His funeral took place in Gonzaga on July 29, 2005.[3] A public memorial service for de Menezes was presided over by Cormac Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor at Westminster Cathedral around the same time.

[edit] Background to the shooting

Almost all of the facts regarding the de Menezes shooting were initially disputed by various parties. Contradictory witness accounts, “off the record” statements from police, and media speculation added to the confusion. An ITV report on 16 August 2005 claimed to contain leaked documents from an IPCC investigation which provided additional information. For a summary of the facts and events initially disputed, see Disputed facts and events. For a step-by-step BBC news animated guide to what actually happened, from the day the trial concluded see: “What happened: Death of Jean Charles de Menezes” (in English), BBC News Online (200711-01).

21 July London Bombing Suspects

21 July London Bombing Suspects
Hussain Osman, whose description de Menezes allegedly matched based on the CCTV images. (NB this photo was taken later, after Osman was arrested.)

Hussain Osman, whose description de Menezes allegedly matched based on the CCTV images. (NB this photo was taken later, after Osman was arrested.)

On 22 July 2005, London police were searching for four suspects in four attempted bombings carried out the previous day; three at Underground stations and one on a bus in Hackney. As the perpetrators had not died in the failed suicide bombing, a large police investigation began immediately, with the aim of tracking them down. A written address on a gym membership card had been identified from materials found inside the unexploded bags used by the bombers, located within a three-storey block of nine flats in Scotia Road, Tulse Hill.[4]

At around 9:30 a.m., surveillance officers observing the address saw de Menezes emerge from the communal entrance of the block. The officers were watching three men who they claimed were Somali, Eritrean, or Ethiopian in appearance.

De Menezes, an electrician, lived in one of the flats with two of his cousins, and had just received a call to fix a broken fire alarm in Kilburn.

An officer on duty at Scotia Road, referred to as ‘Tango Ten’ in some reports on the incident, and as ‘Frank’ in Stockwell One, compared de Menezes to the CCTV photographs of the bombing suspects from the previous day, and felt “it would be worth someone else having a look”, but “was in the process of relieving [him]self”, and was thus unable to immediately turn on a video camera to transmit images to Gold Command, the Metropolitan Police (“Met”) operational headquarters for major incidents. The BBC’s Panorama programme of 8 March 2006, a special feature on the shooting by Peter Taylor, claimed that ‘Tango Ten’ was an undercover soldier.[5]

On the basis of Tango Ten’s suspicion, Gold Command authorised officers to continue pursuit and surveillance, and that the suspect was to be prevented from entering the Tube system.

Documents from the independent agency investigation of the shooting later concluded that mistakes in police surveillance procedure led to a failure to properly identify de Menezes early on, leading to rushed assumptions and actions later at Stockwell Tube station.[6]

Pursuit and shooting

The officers followed de Menezes for 5 minutes as he walked to a bus-stop on Tulse Hill for the Number 2 bus routes. As he boarded a bus, several plainclothes police officers boarded, continuing the pursuit.

At Brixton Station de Menezes briefly got off the bus, saw the station was closed, and reboarded the bus to continue to Stockwell. The three surveillance officers later stated that they were satisfied that they had the correct man, noting that he “had Mongolian eyes”.[7] Finally the bus arrived at Stockwell Tube station, 3.3km (2 miles) away.

At some point during this journey, the pursuing officers contacted Gold Command, and reported that de Menezes potentially matched the description of two of the previous day’s suspects, including Osman Hussain.[8] Based on this information, Gold Command authorized “code red” tactics, and ordered the surveillance officers to prevent de Menezes from boarding a train. According to a “senior police source at Scotland Yard”, Police Commander Cressida Dick told the surveillance team that the man was to be “detained as soon as possible”, before entering the station.[9] Gold Command then transferred control of the operation to CO19, which dispatched firearms officers to Stockwell Tube Station.

At some point de Menezes phoned a colleague, Gesio de Avila, saying he would be late due to the disruption of public transport caused by the previous day’s attempted bombings.

De Menezes entered the Tube station at about 10:00 a.m., stopping to pick up a free Metro newspaper. He used his Oyster card to pay the fare, walked through the barriers, and descended the escalator slowly. He then ran across the platform to board the newly-arrived train. De Menezes boarded the train and found one of the first available seats.

De Menezes' body shown lying on the floor of a carriage, wearing a denim jacket.

De Menezes’ body shown lying on the floor of a carriage, wearing a denim jacket.

Three surveillance officers, codenamed Hotel 1, Hotel 3 and Hotel 9, followed de Menezes onto the train. According to Hotel 3, de Menezes sat down with a glass panel to his right about two seats in. Hotel 3 then took a seat on the left with about two or three passengers between de Menezes and himself. When the firearms officers arrived on the platform, Hotel 3 moved to the door, blocked it from closing with his left foot, and shouted ‘He’s here!’ to identify the suspect’s location.

The firearms officers boarded the train and may have challenged the suspect[citation needed], though later report indicates he was not challenged.[10] According to Hotel 3, de Menezes then stood up and advanced towards the officers and Hotel 3, at which point Hotel 3 grabbed him, pinned his arms against his torso, and pushed him back into the seat. Although de Menezes was being restrained, his body was straight and not in a natural sitting position. Hotel 3 heard a shot close to his ear, and was dragged away onto the floor of the carriage. He shouted ‘Police!’ and with hands raised was dragged out of the carriage by one of the armed officers who had boarded the train. Hotel 3 then heard several gunshots while being dragged out.[11] Two officers fired a total of eleven shots according to the number of empty shell casings found on the floor of the train afterwards. De Menezes was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder at close range, and died at the scene. An eyewitness later said that the eleven shots were fired over a thirty second period, at three second intervals.[12] A separate witness reported hearing five shots, followed at an interval by several more shots.[13] It later emerged that hollow point bullets had been employed and a senior police source said that de Menezes’ body had been “unrecognisable.” The bullets are illegal in warfare, but are widely used in law enforcement where it may often be necessary to quickly stop an armed assailant. A Home Office spokesman said, “Chief officers can use whatever ammunition they consider appropriate for the operational circumstances.”[14] Immediately after the shooting, the Metropolitan Police stated that the shooting was “directly linked” to the investigation of the attempted bombings the previous day. It was revealed that police policy toward suspected suicide bombers had been revised, and that officers had been ordered to fire directly toward suspects’ heads, the theory according to British authorities being that shooting at the chest could conceivably detonate a concealed bomb.[15]

The SO19 firearms officers involved in the shooting were debriefed and drugs and alcohol tests were taken as a standard procedure. The officers were taken off duty pending an investigation into the shooting.

Later, a security agency source said: “This take-out is the signature of a special forces operation. It is not the way the police usually do things. We know members of SO19 have been receiving training from the SAS, but even so, this has special forces written all over it.”[16]

Aftermath of the shooting

The day after the shooting, the Metropolitan Police identified the victim as Jean Charles de Menezes, and said that he had not been carrying explosives, nor was he connected in any way to the attempted bombings. They issued an apology describing the incident as “a tragedy, and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets.”

The de Menezes’ family condemned the shooting and rejected the apology. His grandmother said there was “no reason to think he was a terrorist.” It was reported that the dead man’s family were offered almost £585,000 compensation.[17]

His cousin, Alex Alves Pereira, said, “I believe my cousin’s death was result of police incompetence.” Pereira said that police claims regarding the incident had been conflicting, and took issue with their pursuit of de Menezes for an extended period and their allowing the “suspected suicide bomber” to board a bus. “Why did they let him get on a bus if they are afraid of suicide bombers?… He could have been running, but not from the police… When the Underground stops, everybody runs to get on the train. That he jumped over the barriers is a lie.”[18]

The Brazilian government released a statement expressing its shock at the killing, saying that it looked forward “to receiving the necessary explanation from the British authorities on the circumstances which led to this tragedy.” Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, who had already arranged to visit London, said he would seek a meeting with the UK’s Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. He later met ministers and had a telephone conversation with Straw.

The Muslim Council of Britain expressed immediate concern about the apparent existence of a “shoot-to-kill” policy and called on police to make clear their reasons for shooting the man dead.

Public reaction

The reaction of the British public to the shooting was mixed. While some sympathised with the need for the police officer in question to make a split-second decision, and saw it as a case of collateral damage, others condemned the killings as an example of police brutality.[19]

The reaction of the Brazilian public was overwhelmingly negative. Protests and demonstrations were held in Brazil,[20] and some Brazilian commentators noted that incidents such as de Menezes’ killing are more typical of a developing country such as Brazil than a developed nation like the UK.[21] The level of Brazilian protest raised criticism with some British commentators who noted that extra-judicial executions by the police in Brazil are far from rare. Others questioned whether the United Kingdom should use this standard to justify its own failing in this instance.

A vigil at Stockwell Station was held with some of the relatives on the Sunday immediately following the shooting and police apology. Another, called by the Stop the War Coalition, was held on the 25 July. They state that a thousand people attended and then several hundred people, led by a group of Brazilians (some of whom had been friends with Jean Charles), began an impromptu demonstration. When they approached Westminster they were stopped and turned back by police at Vauxhall Bridge, the location of the MI6 building.[22]

On 23 August 2005 Dania Gorodi, whose sister Michelle Otto was killed in the 7 July 2005 London bombings, asked for an end to the criticism of Sir Ian Blair over the de Menezes shooting, which she felt had moved the media focus away from the bombings. “People have lost sight of the bigger picture,” she said. “We need to support the police right now, not crucify one man. This is unprecedented in British history. He [Sir Ian] is doing the best he can.”[23]

When on 12 September 2006 the Metropolitan Police Authority promoted Commander Cressida Dick to the role of Deputy Assistant Commissioner, the family said they were “absolutely disgusted”.[24]

Independent Police Complaints Commission inquiry

Several days after the discovery of the mistaken shooting, it was announced that the incident would be subject to an internal investigation by officers from Scotland Yard‘s Directorate of Professional Standards and would be referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), as is the case with all fatal police shootings.

In the hours immediately after the shooting, Commissioner Sir Ian Blair telephoned the Chairman of the IPCC and wrote a letter to the Home Office stating that “the shooting that has just occurred at Stockwell is not to be referred to the IPCC and that they will be given no access to the scene at the present time.” The Commissioner’s intent, according to the letter later released by the Met under the Freedom of Information Act, was to protect the tactics and sources of information used in a counter-terrorism operation from public disclosure.[25]

Controversy between the Met and IPCC

On 18 August, lawyers representing the de Menezes family met with the IPCC and urged them to conduct a “fast” investigation. After the meeting the lawyers, Harriet Wistrich and Gareth Peirce, held a press conference where Ms. Peirce stated: “This has been a chaotic mess. What we have asked the IPCC to find out is how much is incompetence, negligence or gross negligence and how much of it is something sinister.”[26]

On 18 August, the IPCC issued a statement in which they alleged that the “Metropolitan Police Service initially resisted us taking on the investigation”.[27] They also announced that the inquiry was expected to last between three and six months. Initial press reports indicated that the inquiry was not handed over until 27 July,[28] though the IPCC itself announced it took over the inquiry on 25 July.[29]

In May 2006, the Metropolitan Police Federation released a 12-page statement which was highly critical of the IPCC in general, and specifically criticized the handling of the “Stockwell inquiry”.[30]

Leak of inquiry

On 16 August 2005 British broadcast network ITV released a report said to be based on leaked documents from the IPCC investigation. The report conflicted with previous statements by Police Chief Sir Ian Blair.[31] The Metropolitan Police and the IPCC refused comment on the allegations while the IPCC investigation was ongoing, though an anonymous ‘senior police source’ claimed that the leak was accurate. Lana Vandenberghe, the IPCC secretary thought to be responsible for the leak, was suspended.[32]

The IPCC launched an investigation into the leaking of the documents. On 21 September Leicestershire Constabulary Serious Crime Unit initiated dawn raids on behalf of the IPCC on one Scottish and two London residential premises, at which time Vandenberghe was arrested. On 5 October two more dawn raids took place, during which ITN journalist Neil Garrett and his girlfriend were arrested.[33]

On 4 May 2006 the Leicestershire Police and the Crown Prosecution Service announced that no charges would be filed against Vandenberghe, Garrett or his partner.[34]

Stockwell 1

According to a press release made on 9 December by the IPCC’s chairman Nick Hardwick and John Tate, its Director of Legal Services, the inquiry’s report will list some of the criminal offences that the commission thought may have been committed by police. Though without having reached any conclusions, they also admitted the commission’s judgement would be a “lower threshold” than the standard prosecutors would apply in making any final decision to prosecute.[35]

On March 14, 2006, the IPCC announced that the first part of the inquiry, known as “Stockwell 1” had been completed and recommendations were passed on to the Metropolitan Police Authority and Crown Prosecution Service, but the report “[could not] be made public until all legal processes have concluded.”[36]

The report was published on November 8, 2007.[37]

Stockwell 2

“Stockwell 2”, the second part of the inquiry, focuses on the conduct of Sir Ian Blair and Andrew Hayman following the discovery of de Menezes’ identity, was released on 2 August 2007.[38] The allegations are that MPS officers “made or concurred with inaccurate public statements concerning the circumstances of the death. The alleged inaccurate information included statements that Mr de Menezes had been wearing clothing and behaving in a manner which aroused suspicions.” (ibid.)

Brian Paddick

On 17 March 2006, the Met was threatened with legal action by Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Brian Paddick. In evidence to the IPCC, Paddick had stated that a member of Sir Ian’s private office team believed the wrong man had been targeted just six hours after the shooting, contrary to the official line taken at the time.[39] When this information became public, Scotland Yard issued a statement that the officer making the claim (Paddick) “has categorically denied this in his interview with, and statement to, the IPCC investigators”. The statement continued that they “were satisfied that whatever the reasons for this suggestion being made, it is simply not true.” Paddick’s interpretation of this statement was that it accused him of lying.[40]

After a statement was released on 28 March by the Met that it “did not intend to imply” a senior officer had misled the probe into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, Mr. Paddick accepted the “clarification” and considered the matter closed.[41]

Revealingly, in a substantial campaigning Daily Telegraph interview (17 November 2007 – “I know how to make Londoners feel safe”) which Paddick gave to support his suitability to become Mayor he addressed a matter that he would probably not have had in mind but for the death of Menezes. “Policing is a dangerous job, we should trust the professional judgement of officers on the front line. We shouldn’t prosecute them or their bosses if they decide to put their lives on the line for the public”.

Result of CPS investigation

In July 2006, the Crown Prosecution Service, which like the IPCC operates independently of the Metropolitan Police, announced that it would not carry forward any charges against any individual involved in the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes. The Metropolitan Police did, however, face charges under sections 3(1) and 33(1)(a) of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 for “failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare of Jean Charles de Menezes”.[42] The decision not to prosecute individuals was made on the grounds of insufficient evidence.[43] The family of de Menezes are appealing against that decision in the High Court.[44]

The Metropolitan Police entered a not guilty plea to the charges, “after the most careful consideration”.[45] The trial started on October 1, 2007.[46]

On November 1, 2007 The Metropolitan Police were found guilty of the above offences, and were fined £175,000, with £385,000 legal costs.[47] The Metropolitan Police published a terse release about this decision.[48] and Len Duvall, Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority, asked that the full report on the investigation be published.[49]

Controversy over police procedure

Much discussion following the shooting centred on the rules of engagement followed by armed police when dealing with suspected suicide bombers. Roy Ramm, a former commander of specialist operations for the Metropolitan Police, said that the rules had been changed to permit officers to “shoot to kill” potential suicide bombers, because a head shot is the only way to disable the bomber without risking detonating their explosives.[50]

The possibility of a police confrontation with a suicide bomber in the United Kingdom had reportedly been discussed following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 in the United States. Based on this possibility, new guidelines were developed for identifying, confronting, and dealing forcefully with terrorist suspects. These guidelines were given the code nameOperation Kratos“.[51]

Based in part on advice from the security forces of Israel and Sri Lanka — two countries with experience of suicide bombings — Operation Kratos guidelines allegedly state that the head or lower limbs should be aimed at when a suspected suicide bomber appears to have no intention of surrendering. This is contrary to the usual practice of aiming at the torso, which presents the biggest target. A successful hit to the torso may detonate an explosive belt.[52]

Sir Ian Blair appeared on television on 24 July 2005 to accept responsibility for the error on the part of the Metropolitan Police, and to acknowledge and defend the “shoot to kill” policy, saying:

“There is no point in shooting at someone’s chest because that is where the bomb is likely to be. There is no point in shooting anywhere else if they fall down and detonate it.”[53]

The Met’s commissioner Sir Ian Blair, and his predecessor Lord Stevens, had expressed concern about the legal position of police officers who might kill suspected suicide bombers. There is no explicit legal requirement for armed officers to warn a suspect before firing, although guidelines published by the Association of Chief Police Officers say that this “should be considered”. A potential suicide bomber is thought to represent a circumstance where warning the suspect may put the public at greater risk because the bomber may detonate his explosives after being warned.[54]

Lord Stevens defended the policy he introduced, despite the error that had been made. Azzam Tamimi of the Muslim Association of Britain was critical, saying: “I just cannot imagine how someone pinned to the ground can be a source of danger.” Other leaders of the UK’s Muslim community took a similar view.[55] Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, defended the police as having acted in the way they thought appropriate at the time, and with the aim of protecting the public.[56]

The Jean Charles de Menezes Family Campaign

Shrine to Jean Charles de Menezes outside Stockwell Underground Station

Shrine to Jean Charles de Menezes outside Stockwell Underground Station

On 16 August 2005, the Jean Charles de Menezes Family Campaign, also known as “Justice4Jean”, began calling for a public inquiry into the shooting. In 2005, the Justice4Jean campaign stated its aims as being to:

  • find out the truth about Jean’s unlawful killing
  • bring those responsible for his death to justice
  • end the ‘Shoot to Kill’ policy and so prevent a similar tragedy happening again[57]

A fourth objective, “to campaign against the rising tide of racism and the attack on civil liberties in the UK”, was removed from the site in a subsequent site redesign, but was present at the site’s inception and in early press releases.[58]

As there has been no legal process to assess the lawfulness or otherwise of the killing, critics argue that the inclusion of ‘unlawful’ in the Campaign’s first aim reflects a prejudging of the issue. Critics such as Conservative Party London Assemblyman Brian Coleman have suggested that the involvement of Asad Rehman, a former leader of the Stop the War Coalition and adviser to MP George Galloway, in the Justice4Jean campaign shows that the family’s campaign had been “hijacked” and the death of de Menezes was being used to “advance a political aim.”[59]

Galloway’s secretary said that Rehman was acting in “a personal capacity, … not in his role as political adviser”. De Menezes family members Alessandro Pereira and Vivien Figueiredo have stated that “the campaign is not using or manipulating us.”[60]

The family campaign has organised three events in 2005:

  • On 29 July 2005, a vigil in Parliament Square and a multifaith memorial service at Westminster Cathedral were held at the same time as Jean’s funeral in Brazil.
  • On 22 August 2005, a petition asking for a public inquiry was delivered to Downing Street by de Menezes family member Alessandro Pereira and members of Justice4Jean. The protestors made their way from Downing Street to Scotland Yard, together with the relatives of Paul Coker and Azelle Rodney, individuals who also died in London police incidents in 2005.[61]
  • On 10 October 2005, the campaign was publicly launched at the London School of Economics with de Menezes’ parents, the family lawyer Gareth Peirce, Bianca Jagger, Matthew Taylor MP and Irene Khan from Amnesty International.

The family and their campaign continue to be actively supported in their struggle for justice by Newham Monitoring Project and on 22 July 2007 held a minute of silence outside Stockwell Tube station to commemorate the second anniversary of Jean’s death. Two days earlier the campaign projected a massive image, 20 m x 30 m, of Jean’s face with the slogan “Two Years, No Justice” on the walls of the Houses of Parliament.[62]

Disputed facts and events

Many of the “disputed” facts in this section were very quickly resolved. Some were later demonstrated as being patently false and to be fabrications of various “eyewitnesses” and journalists, with the media drawing connections between the incident and similar incidents investigated by the Devlin committee.[63]

Clothing

With regards to his dress on the day of the shooting The Observer reported that he was dressed in “baseball cap, blue fleece and baggy trousers.” Mark Whitby, a witness to the shooting, told Reuters that he observed de Menezes wearing a large winter coat, which “looked out of place”.[64] Vivien Figueiredo, a cousin of de Menezes, was later told by police that de Menezes was wearing a denim jacket on the day of the shooting.[65] Anthony Larkin, another eyewitness, told the BBC that de Menezes appeared to be wearing a “bomb belt with wires coming out.”

Based on these eyewitness reports, press speculation at the time said that wearing such heavy clothing on a warm day raised suspicions that de Menezes was hiding explosives underneath, and was therefore a potential suicide bomber. At the time of the shooting, the temperature in London (at a Heathrow Airport weather station) was about 17 °C (62 °F).[66]

No device resembling a bomb belt was reported as found. De Menezes was also not carrying a tool bag, since he had left it with his work colleague the previous evening. According to the report on leaked IPCC documents, de Menezes was wearing a pair of jeans and a light denim jacket. This was confirmed by a photo of his body on the floor of the carriage after the shooting.[67]

Police challenge

Police initially stated that they challenged de Menezes and ordered him to stop outside Stockwell station. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair said in a later press conference that a warning was issued prior to the shooting. Lee Ruston, an eyewitness who was waiting on the platform, said the police did not identify themselves. The Times reported “senior police sources” as saying that police policy would not require a warning to be given to a suspected suicide bomber before lethal action was taken.[68]

The leaked IPCC documents indicated that de Menezes was seated on the train carriage when the SO19 armed unit arrived. A shout of ‘police’ may have been made, but the suspect never really had an opportunity to respond before he was shot. The leaked documents indicated that he was restrained by an undercover officer before being shot.

Ticket barrier

Witnesses stated that up to twenty police officers in plain clothes pursued de Menezes into Stockwell station, that he jumped over the ticket barrier, ran down an escalator and tried to jump onto a train.[69] The de Menezes’ family were briefed by the police that their son did not jump over the ticket barrier and may have used a Travelcard to pass through; this was subsequently confirmed by CCTV recordings shown at the Metropolitan Police’s trial.[65]

The pathologist’s post mortem report, which was written in the presence of senior police officers five days after the shooting, recorded that Jean “vaulted over the ticket barriers” and that he “ran down the stairs of the tube station”. By this time the police knew that this version of events was incorrect.[70]

Police initially refused to release CCTV footage while the IPCC investigation was ongoing, even to the family. It had been suggested that the man reported by eyewitnesses as jumping over the barrier may have been one of the police officers in pursuit.[71]

CCTV footage made available to the press following the Health and Safety prosecution of the Police show him passing through the barrier normally using his pre-paid Oyster card.

Missing CCTV footage

Initial UK media reports suggested that no CCTV footage was available from the Stockwell station, as recording media had not been replaced after being removed for examination after the previous day’s attempted bombings. Other reports stated that faulty cameras on the platform were the reason for the lack of video evidence. An anonymous source confirmed that CCTV footage was available for the ticket area, but that there was a problem with the platform coverage. The source suggested that there was no useful CCTV footage from the platform or the train carriage.[72]

Extracts from a later police report stated that examination of the platform cameras had produced no footage. It said: “It has been established that there has been a technical problem with the CCTV equipment on the relevant platform and no footage exists.” It also reported there was no footage from CCTV in the carriage where de Menezes was shot, saying “Although there was on-board CCTV in the train, due to previous incidents, the hard drive had been removed and not replaced.”

The platform CCTV system is maintained by the Tube Lines consortium in charge of maintaining the Northern Line; unofficial sources from inside the company insisted that the cameras were in working order. It was also reported that London Underground sources insisted that at least three of the four cameras trained on the Stockwell Tube platform were in full working order, and rejected suggestions that the cameras had not been fitted with new tapes after police took away footage from the previous day, 21 July, when suspects in the failed bombings caught trains there.[73]

Motivations

Several reasons were initially posited by media sources and family members for why de Menezes may have run from police, as indicated by initial reports. A few weeks prior, he had been attacked by a gang and may have perceived that he was in a similar situation upon seeing plainclothes officers chasing him. Several sources have speculated that irregularities about his immigration status may have given him reason to be wary of the police,[74] however, evidence that emerged during the course of the criminal trial into the Health and Safety charge showed that Mr de Menezes was lawfully in the country on 22 July 2005. This is mentioned in the Stockwell One report, at footnote 4 on page 21.[37] The Sydney Morning Herald reported that a work colleague believed that de Menezes ran simply because he was late for his job.[75] It was later indicated by the leaked IPCC documents that de Menezes may have run across the platform to get a seat on the train, and did not know at the time that he was being watched or pursued.

Gunshots

It was initially stated by police that de Menezes was shot five times in the head. Mark Whitby, a passenger on the train de Menezes had run onto, said: “one of [the police officers] was carrying a black handgun—it looked like an automatic—He half tripped… they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him.” Another passenger, Dan Copeland, said: “an officer jumped on the door to my left and screamed, ‘Everybody out!’ People just froze in their seats cowering for a few seconds and then leapt up. As I turned out the door onto the platform, I heard four dull bangs.”[76] De Menezes’ cousin Alex Pereira, who lived with him, asserted that de Menezes had been shot from behind: “I pushed my way into the morgue. They wouldn’t let me see him. His mouth was twisted by the wounds and it looked like he had been shot from the back of the neck.” Later reports confirmed that Jean Charles de Menezes was shot a total of eight times: seven times in the head and once in the shoulder.[77]

The leaked IPCC documents also indicated that an additional three shots had missed de Menezes. One witness claimed that the shots were evenly distributed over a timespan of thirty seconds. However this has not been substantiated by other witness reports or the leaked IPCC documents.[78]

Involvement of special forces

Several commentators suggested that special forces may have been involved in the shooting. Professor Michael Clarke, Professor of Defence Studies at King’s College London, went as far as to say that unless there had been a major change in policy it was likely that it was not the police who had carried out the shooting, but special forces:

“To have bullets pumped into him like this suggests quite a lot about him and what the authorities, whoever they are, assumed about him. The fact that he was shot in this way strongly suggests that it was someone the authorities knew and suspected he was carrying explosives on him. […] You don’t shoot somebody five times if you think you might have made a mistake and may be able to arrest him. […] Even Special Branch and SO19 are not trained to do this sort of thing. It’s plausible that they were special forces or elements of special forces.”[50]

Later, on 4 August 2005, The Guardian reported that the newly-created Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR), a special forces unit specialising in covert surveillance, were involved in the operation that led to the shooting. The anonymous Whitehall sources who provided the story stressed that the SRR were involved only in intelligence-gathering, and that de Menezes was shot by armed police not by members of the SRR or other soldiers. Defence sources would not comment on speculation that SRR soldiers were among the plainclothes officers who followed de Menezes on to the No. 2 bus.[79] On 21 August, the Sunday Herald reported that SRR men are believed to have been in the tube train when the shooting occurred.[16]

Stockwell One states, of the SO12 surveillance teams: (p.28)

‘During July 2005 each surveillance team had a member of the military attached to them. Those soldiers were unarmed.’[37]

False rape allegations

In February 2006, a woman claimed to police that a man who resembled de Menezes attacked her in a hotel room on New Year’s Eve 2002 in West London. Scotland Yard spent several weeks investigating the claim.[80] After the claim was made public in March 2006, the de Menezes family denied the allegation and claimed that the Metropolitan Police were trying to smear de Menezes.[81] Although the family initially denied the request, a blood sample was eventually taken with their permission from de Menezes’ autopsy. On 25 April 2006 Scotland Yard announced that forensic tests on the sample had cleared de Menezes.[82]

Similar incidents

Comparisons have been made between the death of de Menezes and other innocent or unarmed people shot by British police officers in disputed circumstances,[83][84] including Stephen Waldorf, James Ashley, Harry Stanley, and the 2 June 2006 Forest Gate raid.

Use of deadly force in anti-terrorism policies played a role in a similar event in the USA, resulting in Rigoberto Alpizar‘s death.

In another incident, West Yorkshire police tasered a man in hypoglycemic shock, believing that he was a potential security threat.[85]

Police comments

In a very substantial article by David Rose in the Observer (“Top police “clear” Met chief over Menezes” – 19 March 2006) a senior Scotland Yard officer, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alan Given who had operational responsilities in relation to the officers who had actually killed Menezes reportedly expressed the following view: “… when it came to the Stockwell shooting, there was a sense that it was no different from an incident such as police shooting a bank robber”.

Ian Blair, on the day of Menezes death, at his mid afternoon press conference, stated: “I need to make clear that any death is deeply regrettable” (Financial Times report: “Law of the Gun raises Fresh Doubts” – 23 July 2005). At the time of this statement Commissioner Blair claims not to have been aware that an innocent man had been killed.

Notes

  1. ^ BBC NEWS | UK | Man shot dead by police on Tube
  2. ^Police shot Brazilian eight times“, BBC News (25 July 2005).
  3. ^Home town buries shot Brazilian“, BBC News (29 July 2005).
  4. ^Tragic trail of police blunders over shooting“, Daily Mail (17 August 2005).
  5. ^BBC Panorama (video)“, BBC (8 March 2006).
  6. ^New claims emerge over Menezes death“, The Guardian (17 August 2005).
  7. ^Doubt over shoot-to-kill policy“, The Independent (21 August 2005).
  8. ^ BBC NEWS | UK | 21 July bombs were ‘just hoaxes’
  9. ^Brazilian “was to be taken alive”“, News (18 August 2005).
  10. ^Menezes could not have saved his life“, Telegraph (3 August 2007).
  11. ^Executed: Anatomy of a police killing“, Daily Dispatch (23 August 2005).
  12. ^De Menezes ‘shot 11 times during 30 seconds’“, Daily Telegraph (26 August 2005).
  13. ^De Menezes ‘Two bursts of gunfire at Tube death, say witnesses’“, Daily Telegraph (27 August 2005).
  14. ^Police used dum-dum bullets on Brazilian shot at tube station“, The Guardian (16 November 2005).
  15. ^ See press commentary, e.g. “British Police: Sorry But Policy Is Shots To Head“. themoderatevoice.com. Retrieved on 29 July 2005.
  16. ^ a b Cusick, James (21 August 2005). “A COVER-UP? AND IF SO … WHY?“, Sunday Herald.
  17. ^London police chief defends handling of shooting“, New Zealand Herald (22 August 2005).
  18. ^Cousin of innocent shooting victim speaks“, Life Style Extra (24 July 2005).
  19. ^Is police anti-terror policy justified?“, BBC News (26 July 2005).
  20. ^Protest in Brazil after shooting“, BBC News (26 July 2005).
  21. ^ Kingstone, Steve (25 July 2005). “Brazilian’s death was ‘third-world error’“, BBC News.
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