End Evil

Menezes Shooting

Leaked documents obtained by ITV contradict the official account of how the police managed to kill a perfectly innocent Brazilian man whom they (allegedly) mistook for a suicide-bomber. The police claimed that Mr de Menezes had been acting suspiciously and had hurdled the barrier and run from them. They also claimed that he was wearing a padded jacket that could have concealed a bomb.

However, the leaked documents confirmed that Mr de Menezes did not hurdle the barrier at Stockwell tube station and was not wearing a padded jacket but a light denim jacket. He walked into Stockwell Tube station and picked up a free newspaper. He then walked through ticket barriers, starting to run when he saw his train arriving. He got on the train and sat down. He was approached by a community officer who restrained him and then he was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder.

The document also suggests that the information given to the pathologist who carried out the post-mortem examination on Mr de Menezes was incorrect. Then there is the matter of the "missing" piece of CCTV film taken from the carriage. Railway staff have stated that they "don´t know" why the CCTV did not record the shooting!

The Sunday Mirror alleged that the surveillance officer who restrained De Menezes stated he was "totally shocked when the suspect was repeatedly shot while he was holding him".

Harriet Wistrich, solicitor for the family of Mr de Menezes, urged the government and police to review the shoot-to-kill policy, noting "What sort of society are we living in where we can execute suspects?" In this case, this man was not even their suspect, but even if he had been the man they were after, the three surveillance officers confirmed that they did not consider him to be a threat. They only wanted to detain him, but were ordered to pass control to the armed police who shot him dead in a carriage full of people.

The Government response

Charles Clarke, Home Secretary, is "very happy" with Police Commissioner Blair´s conduct, and thinks the police have handled the aftermath of the London "atrocities" "very well". He continued, "Obviously the death of Mr de Menezes is a terrible tragedy as everybody acknowledges, and it needs to be very properly and fully investigated, which is what the independent - I emphasise the "independent" - Police Complaints Commission is doing and will do.'

The family´s response

Mr Pereira (his cousin) confirms that the family have demanded a full public inquiry into all the circumstances into the death - including the shoot-to-kill policy and the lies told by the Metropolitan Police. Of course, they won't get one. Instead the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) will investigate, and clear the police of wrongdoing. At most they will hang a scapegoat.

The family also accuses the Metropolitan police of pressuring them and patronising them because British officials travelled to Brazil to offer them a payment of £15,000. Needless to say they rejected the offer, confirming that they want justice for Menezes not money. They feel the offer was made because they are poor, and so it was assumed they could be bought-off.

The police response

Sir Ian Blair has apologized for the killing, but denies there is a cover up in progress. He claimed that some of the disputed statements had never been provided by his force, but he himself told journalists on 22nd July that Menezes failed to obey instructions from surveillance police who were following him. That was a lie.

IPCC said it does not know where the documents came and cannot comment on them until their report is complete, at the end of the year.

Scotland Yard confirmed that a £15,000 ex-gratia payment had been offered to the family, but stressed that this did "not inhibit any future claim that the family may have against the Metropolitan police service."


Posted 24th August 2005

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