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Wednesday, August 17, 2005 

Jean Charles de Menezes - It was murder.

The truth has come out. Jean Charles de Menezes was already being held with his hands at his side by a surveillance officer when he was shot dead.

From a Guardian article, following up the leaking of documents to ITV News:

The documents reveal that a member of the surveillance team, who sat nearby, grabbed Mr de Menezes before he was shot: "I heard shouting which included the word 'police' and turned to face the male in the denim jacket.

"He immediately stood up and advanced towards me and the CO19 [firearms squad] officers ... 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 on to the floor of the carriage."

Let's just get this completely straight. It's been admitted that Jean Charles was not aware he was being followed. He was not positively identified by the police watching the Tulse Hill flats, as the officer at the time was 'relieving' himself. It doesn't say whether he was masturbating or urinating, unfortunately. He was followed by plain clothes police on the bus to the Stockwell tube station. He was not wearing a heavy jacket or belt, rather as the above photo suggests, he was wearing a light denim jacket. He used a rail card to gain access to the tube station; he did not leap the barriers. It's now thought that was one of the armed officers in high pursuit. He may have ran to get onto the train as it arrived, details of that are rather sketchy. He sat down on the train. A shout of police was apparently made, and Jean Charles stood up and walked towards the surveillance officer and the CO19 (SO19?) gunmen. The surveillance officer grabbed Jean Charles, pinning his hands to side, and pushing him back into his seat. The witness then describes hearing a gun shot, and being dragged away.

It's now quite obvious from these reports that Jean Charles de Menezes was executed. An additional report in the Financial Times said that he was believed to have been Hussain Osman, the July 21st suspect arrested in Rome. If that is true, it doesn't make any difference. The only reason that this man was now shot is that it was an exercise in demonstrating the use of the shoot to kill policy, and also a further attempt to stop automatic investigations into police shootings. Imagine the tabloids on hearing that one of the evil terrorists had been killed by a heroic police officer just as he was about to detonate his explosives in a crowded tube train. The only problem with this was that they shot and killed an innocent man.

It's becoming clear that the police almost instantly recognised their mistake. They've been attempting to cover it up ever since. They planted witnesses or paid them off to speak to the press. Mark Whitby, one of the most interviewed witnesses has refused to comment on these revelations. There must now be questions about the independent inquiry itself. Why were these documents leaked to ITV News, and how did it happen? Both the Observer and Guardian reported that most of the CCTV cameras were not working at the tube station, according to the police. The image at the top of this post now already refutes that suggestion. Were these pictures and documents leaked by someone involved in the inquiry who knew that a cover-up and whitewash were being prepared? The police has already encountered problems with its CO19 (SO19?) fire-arms squad going on strike after two of its members were suspended from work following an investigation into the shooting of Harry Stanley. Stanley was shot in the back, after raising a chair leg in a plastic bag at an armed police officer. A similar setback here, with charges against the gunman now seeming likely, would be a disaster.

This is a huge mess of the Mets own making. They could have come clean straight away, admitted they had shot the wrong man in a tragic accident, and corrected the misinformation and lies which was spread immediately afterwards. While they did call the shooting a tragedy, they didn't stop the lies and the spinning. It's took a leak from the inquiry to do that. Instead it now seems as if a cover-up was in progress. Most of all however, there was no need to shoot the man, terrorist suspect or not. He had been held. He could have instantly been handcuffed. Instead he was shot 7 times in the head, once in the shoulder and 3 or 4 bullets even missed him. The perpetrators of this execution must now be brought to justice. The terrorist attacks were acts of criminal inhumanity. That an innocent man was murdered by police to win tabloid plaudits and stop legitimate investigations into avoidable incidents ranks on the same level.

An excellent comparison of the original stories and the leaked documents version of events is available here. Thanks to the Guardian and ITV News for the image at the top of this piece.

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