Socialist Worker

De Menezes Family demands justice for their murdered son

Issue No. 1971

Maria de Menezes, the mother of Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot dead by police at Stockwell tube, south London, in July, has accused Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair of a cover up.

Jean Charles, a 27 year old Brazilian, was shot in the head seven times. Police claim they suspected him of being a suicide bomber — but it was quickly revealed that he was innocent.

Maria’s husband, Matozinho added, “I am sure that in a poorer country Ian Blair would already have resigned.” Jean Charles’s parents, who live in Brazil, travelled to London to visit the site of the killing.

Within two hours of the shooting, Ian Blair wrote to the home office in an attempt to block an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into Jean Charles’s death.

Ian Blair wrote that he should be able to suspend the law that requires police to hand over information to the IPCC.

His actions delayed the start of the IPCC investigation, preventing investigators from attending the scene of the shooting immediately after it took place.

Ian Blair has also admitted that he “did not do enough” to correct the incorrect versions of events that circulated through the media following the shooting.

One question that remains unclear is whether the police’s “shoot to kill” policy has ever been subjected to the scrutiny of MPs or any other elected body.

It appears that the Association of Chief Police Officers introduced the policy earlier this year.

A public meeting Shoot first — ask questions later? is set to take place at 6.30pm, Monday 10 October, in the New Theatre, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, central London.

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Sat 8 Oct 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1971
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