Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/509/3385
Jean Charles de Menezes
Unanswered questions after court case
AT LAST, the grieving family of Brazilian migrant worker, Jean Charles de Menezes, have received partial justice of a sort after the successful prosecution of the Metropolitan Police under health and safety laws. But the findings can never console Jean-Charles' family or the local community.
Rob McDonald and Steve Nally
19 catastrophic failures in a botched police operation in July 2005 led to the killing of Jean Charles, who was mistaken for a 'terrorism suspect', in Stockwell station. The police then spun a web of lies to deny their responsibility.
After the shooting, the local community was kept in a constant state of siege for a week. You could hardly turn a corner without seeing a police vehicle and many local people were stopped by the police.
The big question is, if the police thought they were dealing with a terrorist, why did they not arrest Jean-Charles before he reached Stockwell station? Who decided to, in effect, hunt down and kill an innocent man? How many more 'foreign-looking' speakers of other languages were at risk from draconian anti-terrorist laws implemented with little regard for local people?
Last year, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) decided not to prosecute any officers involved in the shooting and the firearms officer in the case was allowed to resume full duties.
Now the case has gone against the Metropolitan Police, the force's chief Sir Ian Blair refuses to resign, saying he just wants to return to work. Sadly Jean Charles de Menezes will never return to his life and his work. That is why Blair should be sacked and the policemen responsible should be prosecuted.
In The Socialist 8 November 2007:
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party NHS campaign