Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/431/5068
Jean-Charles de Menezes:
No more cover-ups!
METROPOLITAN POLICE chief Ian Blair still needs to answer questions on the police cover-up of the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes last July.
The police hampered the case inquiry throughout, blocking the Independent Police Complaints Committee (IPCC) for days after the killing so they could cover their tracks. There has been tampering of police logs.
They also knew soon after they shot Jean that they had not killed a terrorist.
Strangely, the CTTV cameras weren't working that day at Stockwell tube. But witnesses say Jean wasn't acting suspiciously. He didn't jump barriers or disobey police instructions as Blair stated at the time. He only ran the last few steps as the train was in the station - something everybody does - and sat down. Then he was jumped on and shot seven times in the head.
A recent Panorama documentary asked leading police officers if Operation Kartos was a 'shoot to kill' policy. They said it was an incapacitating method of shooting to the head.
The British state created Kartos while investigating Israeli anti-terrorist methods. But even in Israel they are meant to clearly identify the subject and the possibility of a bomb. Neither of these can be said in Jean Charles' case.
One police report describes Brazilian-born Jean Charles as a European white male, another has him as a man with Mongolian eyes. They couldn't confirm his identity and this cost Jean his life. They had at least 33 minutes while Jean travelled to the tube to stop him. Why wasn't he approached?
The IPCC sent their report to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) but shamefully not to the family. The CPS will decide whether criminal proceedings take place. If prosecutions are taken, it should include not just police officers on the ground but the whole chain of command.
The British state is not likely to do this. Most likely a scapegoat who 'made a honest mistake' will be found but they can only do this if operation Kartos isn't challenged. They have already stated that another incident like Jean's killing could happen again.
Relatives and friends of others who died at police hands suspect that no satisfactory justice will come for Jean's family. The social system of capitalism, that created war and terrorism, will defend itself through a secretive and undemocratic state apparatus.
The Socialist Party will keep raising questions such as: Who runs the police? How can they operate a shoot to kill policy? And why can't Jean Charles' family hear the truth.
In The Socialist 16 March 2006: