[Marxism] New claims emerge over Menezes death

Charles Brown cbrown at michiganlegal.org
Wed Aug 17 08:51:19 MDT 2005


This is pretty amazing.

CB

^^^^^


New claims emerge over Menezes death

. Brazilian was held before being shot
. Police failed to identify him
. He made no attempt to run away

By Rosie Cowan, Duncan Campbell and Vikram Dodd
Wednesday August 17, 2005
The Guardian

The young Brazilian shot dead by police on a London tube train in mistake
for a suicide bomber had already been overpowered by a surveillance officer
before he was killed, according to secret documents revealed last night.

It also emerged in the leaked documents that early allegations that he was
running away from police at the time of the shooting were untrue and that he
appeared unaware that he was being followed.

Relatives and the dead man's legal team expressed shock and outrage at the
revelations. Scotland Yard has continued to justify a shoot-to-kill policy.

Jean Charles de Menezes died after being shot on a tube train at Stockwell
station in south London on July 22, the morning after the failed bomb
attacks in London.

But the evidence given to the Independent Police Complaints Commission
(IPCC) by police officers and eyewitnesses and leaked to ITV News shows that
far from leaping a ticket barrier and fleeing from police, as was initially 
reported, he was filmed on CCTV calmly entering the station and picking up a
free newspaper before boarding the train.

It has now emerged that Mr de Menezes:

. was never properly identified because a police officer was relieving 
himself at the very moment he was leaving his home;

. was unaware he was being followed;

. was not wearing a heavy padded jacket or belt as reports at the time 
suggested;

. never ran from the police;

. and did not jump the ticket barrier.

But the revelation that will prove most uncomfortable for Scotland Yard was
that the 27-year-old electrician had already been restrained by a
surveillance officer before being shot seven times in the head and once in
the shoulder.

The documents reveal that a member of the surveillance team, who sat nearby,
grabbed Mr de Menezes before he was shot: "I heard shouting which included
the word 'police' and turned to face the male in the denim jacket.

"He immediately stood up and advanced towards me and the CO19 [firearms
squad] officers ... I grabbed the male in the denim jacket by wrapping both
my arms around his torso, pinning his arms to his side. I then pushed him
back on to the seat where he had been previously sitting ... I then heard a 
gun shot very close to my left ear and was dragged away on to the floor of
the carriage."

The leaked documents and pictures showed the failures in the police 
operation from the time Mr de Menezes left home.

A surveillance officer admitted in a witness statement that he was unable to
positively identify Mr de Menezes as a suspect because the officer had been
relieving himself when the Brazilian left the block of flats where he lived.

The police were on a high state of alert because of the July 7 and July 21
bombings, and had been briefed that they may be called upon to carry out new
tactics - shooting dead suspected suicide bombers in order to avoid another
atrocity.

The IPCC investigation report states that the firearms unit had been told
that "unusual tactics" might be required and if they "were deployed to
intercept a subject and there was an opportunity to challenge, but if the 
subject was non-compliant, a critical shot may be taken".

But it now appears, that contrary to earlier claims, Mr de Menezes was
oblivious to the stakeout operation. On the morning of July 22, police
officers were in Scotia Road, Tulse Hill, watching a property they believed
contained one or more of the would-be bombers who had tried to detonate four
bombs on London transport less than 24 hours before.

One firearms officer is quoted as saying: "The current strategy around the
address was as follows: no subject coming out of the address would be
allowed to run and that an interception should take place as soon as
possible away from the address trying not to compromise it."

But the report shows that there was a failure in the surveillance operation
and officers wrongly believed Mr de Menezes could have been one of two
suspects.

The leaked papers state: "De Menezes was observed walking to a bus stop and
then boarded a bus, travelling to Stockwell tube station.

"During the course of this, his description and demeanour was assessed and
it was believed he matched the identity of one of the suspected wanted for
terrorist offences ... the information was passed through the operations
centre and gold command made the decision and gave appropriate instructions 
that de Menezes was to be prevented from entering the tube system. At this
stage the operation moved to code red tactic, responsibility was handed over
to CO19."

CCTV footage shows Mr de Menezes was not wearing a padded jacket, as 
originally claimed, and that he walked calmly through the barriers at
Stockwell station, collecting a free newspaper before going down the
escalator. Only then did he run to catch the train.

A man sitting opposite him is quoted as saying: "Within a few seconds I saw
a man coming into the double doors to my left. He was pointing a small black

handgun towards a person sitting opposite me. He pointed the gun at the
right hand side of the man's head. The gun was within 12 inches of the man's
head when the first shot was fired."

A senior police source last night told the Guardian that the leaked 
documents and statements gave an accurate picture of what was known so far
about the shooting. But the IPCC refused to confirm the documents were 
genuine adding: "Our priority is to disclose any findings direct to the
family, who will clearly be distressed that they have received information
on television concerning his death."

The home secretary, Charles Clarke, said: "It is critically important for
the integrity of the independent police investigating process that no
pressure is put upon the IPCC before their full report is published and that
no comment is made until that time."

Harriet Wistrich, lawyer for the family, said: "There is incompetence on the
part of those watching the suspect and a serious breakdown of
communication."

Asad Rehman, spokesman for the family's campaign, called for a public
inquiry. "This was not an accident," he said. "It was serious neglect.
Clearly, there was a failure both in police intelligence and on an
operational level."

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