David Noble – Sovereign Independent March 24, 2011
Jean Charles de Menezes: SAS style execution or tragic police mistake?
Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes was fatally shot by police at Stockwell tube station on July 22nd 2005 after being mistaken for one of the failed July 21st 2005 London bombers.
Witnesses claimed at the inquest that plain-clothes officers opened fire without shouting any warning, while the officers claim that there were several warning shouts of “armed police” before shots were fired.
Both Rachel Wilson and her boyfriend Ralph Livock told the inquest that nothing was said to alert the man before shots were fired. Here are their accounts of what happened.
They had been sitting opposite Mr. de Menezes in a tube carriage on the day of the shooting when officers boarded the inquest was told. Ms. Wilson said nothing had been said to alert her that the men were plain-clothes officers and that she initially thought they were just messing around.
Mr Livock, when asked by Nicholas Hilliard QC, counsel to the inquest, “Had you heard anything said about police?” Mr Livock replied: “No, certainly not. I remember that specifically because one of the conversations that Rachel and I had afterwards was that we had no idea whether these were police, whether they were terrorists, or whether they were somebody else. The thing that made me realise it wasn’t a group of lads playing around or something else happening was when the first shot was fired.” Mr Livock described Mr. de Menezes’ reactions when an officer pointed a pistol at his head. “He looked as if he was expecting somebody to say something but he didn’t look frightened,” said Mr Livock.
Contradicting these statements a firearms officer codenamed ‘Terry’ claimed, “As I came into the carriage I could hear verbal challenges. I could hear ‘police’ and ‘armed police’ being shouted.”
The Jury returned an open verdict at the inquest. It rejected claims by police that Mr. de Menezes was killed lawfully by two officers who shot him seven times. The key questions put to the jury and there answers were:
“Did firearms officer C12 shout armed police?” ANSWER: NO
“Did Mr. de Menezes stand up from his seat before he was grabbed in a bear hug by officer Ivor?” ANSWER: YES
“Did Mr. de Menezes move towards C12 before he was grabbed in a bear hug by Ivor?” ANSWER: NO
From the above, two things are abundantly clear. The police lied at the inquest and an innocent unarmed man was executed without being given any chance of life. After being grabbed in a bear hug by one of the officers he was then shot in cold blood while restrained.
What makes things even worse for his family was that six months after Mr. De Mendezes was killed, he was wrongfully linked with a sex attack in London. This came from a rape victim who named Mr. de Menezes as her attacker. His family reacted with fury to the allegations. They accused the Metropolitan police of deliberately leaking the details of the rape inquiry in an attempt to deflect attention from the investigation. Blood samples later attained showed that he was not guilty of any rape allegations.
When you look more closely at the death of Mr. de Menezes it resembles an SAS style execution rather than a tragic mistake by police. The evidence shows that the officers were not interested in taking their suspect alive and used tactics that have been used by the SAS on known terrorists. It is hard to imagine any trained police officer acting in this way.
The actions of the police during the inquest must also be called into question after a police surveillance officer admitted that he had deleted a computer record of Cressida Dick’s instruction to allow Mr. de Menezes to run onto the tube as he was not carrying anything. This calls into question the shooting as the officers claimed that they thought he was going to detonate a bomb. If this was the case why was he allowed to board the tube if they thought he was carrying a bomb?
The actions of the press must also be looked upon with suspicion. The press speculated that Mr. de Menezes was wearing a large winter coat which would have looked out of place at that time of year and a belt with wires sticking out of it. What he was really wearing was a pair of jeans and a light denim jacket which did not look out of place or suspicious. In fact it would be hard to hide a bomb under these clothes as video evidence shows us that his jacket was open and there were no suspicious bulges under his t-shirt or wires sticking out of his belt.
Senior Scotland Yard officer Deputy Assistant Commissioner Alan Given said, ” 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” I have to strongly disagree with this as there is a big difference in being caught robbing a bank and taking a ride on the tube. You do not expect to be executed while on the tube by the people who are paid to protect us.
In November 2009, the Metropolitan Police reached a compensation deal with the family of Jean Charles de Menezes thought to be just above £100,000; not a lot for the death of a loved one.
Those involved in this wrongful killing, just like the officer who, on camera, caused the death of Ian Tomlinson who was not guilty of any crime, should be held accountable as the police cannot be above the laws that everyone else has to abide by.
Ian Tomlinson was an English newspaper vendor who died on his way home from work during the 2009 G-20 summit protests after being assaulted for no reason by a police officer who struck him on the leg with his baton before pushing him to the ground. Mr. Tomlinson got up and staggered away only to die moments later. All this was caught on camera showing clearly the guilt of the officer involved. But as with the death of Jean Charles de Menezes the policeman involved did not face any charges.
These are only two examples of many where the police have been caught breaking the laws they are paid to uphold. This is especially disturbing as it backs up claims by many that we are now living in a police state where only those in authority are above the law.
Take also into consideration how few of our politicians faced charges when many of them were caught committing fraud.
We are surrounded by security cameras watching our every move and discouraged from peaceful protest by police officers using unlawful tactics. We must put pressure on those in office to make the right decisions and make sure the police are held accountable for their actions and put an end to this police state that we find ourselves living in.