Socialist Worker

Jean Charles De Menezes: two reports, one conviction, but no charges

Issue No. 2077

Last week’s Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report into the shooting of the Jean Charles de Menezes notes that not one of the 17 witnesses on the Northern Line tube train could recall hearing armed police identify themselves as they rushed into the train carriage where Jean was shot dead.

However, eight police officers that were there said that they remembered either shouting out who they were or hearing others do so.

The report describes how two officers grabbed Jean Charles, while another two fired nine shots at him from close range, hitting him in the head, neck and shoulder.

The report makes it clear that they all believed that they were dealing with a suicide bomber.

Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Ian Blair has admitted that during the shooting, and for 24 hours afterwards, he had no idea what was going on.

However, only 42 minutes after the shooting Sir Ian gave orders that the IPCC was to be excluded from investigating the incident.

It was three days before the IPCC was finally allowed to start its investigation.

During those three days a police surveillance log was altered. The only reason why no prosecution has been brought for this offence is that it is unclear which officer did it.

Members of the London Assembly passed a vote of no confidence in Sir Ian, but seven Labour members and one Green, Jenny Jones, supported him.

London mayor Ken Livingstone said the “vote by the London Assembly on the Met Commissioner shows why the government was right to give the London Assembly no powers whatever in policing.

“Al Qaida must be laughing at us while we busy ourselves pillorying the police who keep us safe.”

Despite two IPCC reports and a conviction for breaching health and safety law not a single officer has faced criminal charges or been disciplined.


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Tue 13 Nov 2007, 17:50 GMT
Issue No. 2077
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