Thursday, August 18, 2005

The Clash of Civilizations: "Man shot by London police was sitting on seat in subway"

Reports: Man shot by London police was sitting on seat in subway train

Last Updated Tue, 16 Aug 2005
19:14:48 EDT

CBC News

An innocent Brazilian man shot dead by British police who mistook him for a London bombing suspect had taken a seat on a subway train and was tackled by a police surveillance officer before being shot, according to an account of events broadcast Tuesday.

British police had claimed that 27-year old electrician Jean Charles de Menezes didn't obey an order to stop as they tailed him into London's Stockwell underground train station a day after a series of bombs planted on London's transit system failed to fully detonate.

Menezes had emerged from a house that police had under surveillance, believing it was linked to the bombings.

On Tuesday, Britain's ITV news, citing security footage, said that Menezes entered the station at a normal walking pace, stopping to pick up a newspaper.

The television station claimed that witness accounts, included in an investigation report into the shooting, said Menezes was seated on the train before being shot.

A man sitting opposite Menezes 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 (30 centimetres) of the man's head when the first shot was fired."

A police surveillance officer described how he wrapped his arms around Menezes and pushed him down into a seat. "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 onto the floor of the carriage."

The report obtained by ITV said while Menezes was shot eight times, a further three bullets were fired but missed. ITV said the documents came from an official investigation into his death.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, who have been charged with investigating the shooting, refused Tuesday to comment on the veracity of the documents. The IPCC said it would not speculate or release partial information about the investigation, and that others should not do so.

London Metropolitan Police said they could not make any comment while the police complaints commission investigation was ongoing.


He walked to the train, sat down and was shot

August 18, 2005

The Daily Telegraph

LONDON: Anti-terror police are under pressure after leaked documents revealed a catalogue of alleged errors that led to the shooting of a Brazilian man who was mistaken for a suicide bomber.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, investigating the controversial killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, refused to confirm or deny the information, broadcast by ITV News this week, which contradicted police and eye witness statements.

Police shot the electrician, 27, at point blank range on a Tube train on July 22, one day after four suspected would-be suicide bombers tried to attack London in a botched re-run of the July 7 atrocity.

Initial reports said Mr de Menezes had been acting suspiciously – wearing a bulky jacket, jumping a ticket barrier at Stockwell Underground station, south London, and sprinting on to the subway train.

But witness accounts and photographs leaked to ITV paint a very different picture, showing the young man in a light denim jacket, walking calmly through the station to the train and taking a seat on board.

They also revealed Mr de Menezes was restrained by a police officer on the train before being shot eight times.

In addition, a police officer outside his flat said he failed to videotape Mr de Menezes when the Brazilian left home as he had been on a toilet break.

The revelations prompted relatives and campaigners to call for a public inquiry into the shooting. "My family deserve the full truth about his murder," cousin Allessandro Pereira said.

"The truth cannot be hidden any longer. It has to be made pub

The ITV report said the operation was flawed from the start as police monitored Mr de Menezes' block of units where they believed two suspects in the July 21 attacks were living.

The undercover officer outside, who was supposed to identify anyone exiting the building, admitted he had been away from his post when the Brazilian left.

Closed circuit television footage later captured the electrician entering the station at a normal walking pace, even collecting a free newspaper, and descending to the platform on an escalator.

Contrary to dramatic witness accounts on the day, Mr de Menezes is seen to board the train through the middle doors before pausing, looking left and right, then sitting down in either the second or third seat facing the platform.

Moments later, police burst in and apparently restrained the Brazilian before pumping seven bullets into his head and one into his shoulder. Three more bullets missed him and the casings were left lying on the floor.



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