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'Police Didn't Warn De Menezes'

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'Police Didn't Warn De Menezes'

Post  Guest on Thu 30 Oct - 15:55

The men who shot Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes after mistaking him for a terrorist never warned him they were police officers, witnesses have told an inquest.

A commuter on the platform at Stockwell Underground on July 22 2005 said he first thought the gun-wielding plainclothes officers who jumped onto a Tube train and shot Jean Charles de Menezes might be "a group of lads who were just having a laugh".

Ralph Livock said he had no idea that it was anything more serious until one of the armed men fired at Mr de Menezes at point blank range.

His girlfriend, Rachel Wilson, also insisted she did not hear a warning and had no idea who the men that killed the 27-year-old Brazilian were.

At the inquest, Mr Livock was asked by counsel if he knew the men were police. "No, certainly not," he said.

"And 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, whether they were somebody else. We just had no idea."

Mr Livock described how he and his girlfriend heard shouts from outside the train saying something like "he's here".

A few seconds later a man holding a pistol entered their carriage and levelled it at Mr de Menezes, who was sitting opposite Ms Wilson, the hearing was told. Mr de Menezes was shot seven times in the head at point-blank range.

He had been mistaken for the failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman.

None of the passengers in the Tube train were called to give evidence at the Metropolitan Police's Health and Safety trial over the shooting last year.

This is the first time they have spoken in public about what they saw.

The firearms officers involved in the operation earlier told the inquest that they shouted "armed police" at Mr de Menezes before shooting him.

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Re: 'Police Didn't Warn De Menezes'

Post  Susan on Fri 31 Oct - 12:18

What a horrific story this one is....imagine having to tell the parents that their son has been killed the way he did!

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De Menezes Cops 'Out Of Control'

Post  Susan on Mon 3 Nov - 19:17

6:09pm UK, Monday November 03, 2008
The inquest into the death of Jean Charles de Menezes has heard that police were "out of control" in the moments before they opened fire on him.

Witness Anna Dunwoodie also told the hearing she did not hear officers shout any warnings before they killed the Brazilian on a tube train in south London.

Mr De Menezes, an electrician, was shot dead by counter-terrorist police who mistook him for a suicide bomber in July 2005.

Ms Dunwoodie was two or three seats to the left of Mr de Menezes when he boarded the train at Stockwell Tube station.

She told the inquest she felt police were nervous, scared, hyped-up and out of control in the moments before they shot the 27-year-old.

"I think it was the man, who I now know to be a surveillance officer, (who) really seemed to be frightened or hyped-up and when he was calling the other men they seemed... you know, when people are full of adrenaline and they move quickly and their movements are a bit jerky," she said.

"I felt they were a bit out of control, that's what it felt like."

She added that the Brazilian had his eyes closed before the shots were fired, and he appeared calm.

"I would like to say that on whether I heard anything from police officers, I am very, very clear," she said.

"I had absolutely no idea who they were and had they shouted I would have latched on to that."

Her evidence echoes what other witnesses have previously stated.

Last month, Ralph Livock said he had no idea the incident was serious until one of the armed men fired at Mr de Menezes at point blank range.

At the inquest, Mr Livock was asked if he knew the men were police. "No, certainly not," he answered.

His girlfriend, Rachel Wilson, also insisted she did not hear a warning and had no idea who the men that killed Mr de Menezes were.

The officers involved in the operation earlier told the inquest that they shouted "armed police" at Mr de Menezes before shooting him.

The Metropolitan Police was convicted on a general health and safety charge at the Old Bailey last November.

The inquest continues.

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De Menezes jury record open verdict and rejects police version of shooting

Post  Guest on Fri 12 Dec - 18:46

The inquest jury examining the death of Jean Charles de Menezes has returned an open verdict - refusing to accept the police’s contention that he was lawfully killed in a fast-moving anti-terrorist operation.

The jurors also answered a series of questions about the circumstances of Mr de Menezes's death on board a Tube train at Stockwell, South London, in a way which rejected much of the account of the shooting given by police firearms officers.

Asked if they believed that the policemen had shouted a warning of armed police, the jury answered no. They also answered no when asked if Mr de Menezes had moved towards the officers before he was shot.

The jury had been banned by Sir Michael Wright, QC, the coroner, from considering a verdict of unlawful killing. His ruling led the de Menezes family to withdraw from the proceedings and brand the inquest "a complete whitewash".

But the outcome of the inquest is a damaging result for the Metropolitan Police and could lead to a legal challenge to the verdict in the High Court.

The coroner said he would be preparing a report on what practices of the Metropolitan Police required changing. It will be sent to the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, the police authority and the Home Secretary and should be made public.

Sir Paul Stephenson, the acting Met Commissioner, responded to criticism of the counter terrorism officers by apologising for their mistakes.

“The death of Jean Charles de Menezes was a tragedy. He was an innocent man and we must and do accept full responsibility for his death,” he said today.

“For somebody to lose his life in such circumstances is something the Metropolitan Police Service deeply regrets.

“In the face of enormous challenges faced by officers on that day, we made the most terrible mistake. I am sorry.”

Sir Michael, who came out of retirement to hear the inquest, expressed his "sincere condolences" to the de Menezes family after the verdict was read.

Mr de Menezes’s mother said she was delighted that the jury had recorded the harshest verdict possible on the conduct of the police.
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Re: 'Police Didn't Warn De Menezes'

Post  Guest on Fri 12 Dec - 18:47

Maria Otone de Menezes said, in a message sent from Brazil, “I am very happy with the verdict. Since the moment the coroner ruled out unlawful killing, I was feeling very sad. But today I feel reborn.”

A spokesman for the Justice4Jean campaign group called on the Crown Prosecution Service, the Metropolitan Police and the Independent Police Complaints Commission to re-open their investigations into the shooting in the light of evidence heard during the inquest.

“The jury have come back with a damning critique of the police and its failures,” a spokesman said. “The jury clearly said that the police lied. . . It is clear that if they were given the option of an unlawful killing verdict they would have reached an unlawful killing verdict.”

The majority verdict of 8-2 came at the end of seven days of deliberations by the jurors, whose number was reduced from 11 to 10 earlier this week.

The inquest, held at the Oval Cricket Ground, south London, has lasted for 12 weeks and is estimated to have cost around £6million in court costs and legal fees. It heard evidence for the first time from the two armed officers who shot Mr de Menezes, 27, a Brazilian electrician.

They fired nine shots, hitting Mr de Menezes in the head seven times, after mistaking him for a suicide bomber on July 22 2005 - the day after four terrorists failed to set off suicide bombs in London then went on the run.

The officers, identified only as Charlie 12 and Charlie 2, said they had shouted "armed police" as the ran onto the Northern Line train at Stockwell, south London, and that Mr de Menezes had stood up and moved towards them aggressively. They claimed his reaction led them to shoot him because they feared he was about to detonate a bomb.

But passengers on the train said they did not hear warning shouts and did not see Mr de Menezes leave his seat. One woman claimed that the policemen appeared to be "out of control".

During the evidence, the court heard that surveillance officers deployed to search for Hussain Osman, one of the fugitive bombers, did not have a picture of the man they were looking for. Mr de Menezes was thought to be a likeness for Osman but never positively identified as the terrorist before he was shot.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick, who was Gold Command officer in charge of the operation, told the hearing that she did not believe any officer had done anything wrong or unreasonable. She also said she feared that a similar incident could happen again.

Last year, an Old Bailey jury found the Metropolitan Police guilty of breaching health and safety law in the operation which led to Mr de Menezes's death. The force was fined £175,000.

Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, claimed this afternoon that the details of the inquest had reinforced the difficulty of the task facing the police.

“The death of Jean Charles de Menezes was a profoundly shocking tragedy and the de Menezes family have my deepest sympathy,” she said.

“What we have learnt from the accounts of the tragic events that day reminds us all of the extremely demanding circumstances under which the police work to protect us from further terrorist attack.”

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/crime/article5330085.ece

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