Stockwell One – the report of the investigation into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes by the Indpendent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) – has eventually been published.
The report was introduced by a statement from NicK Hardwick, IPCC chair.
[...] There are two very stark images from the now infamous CCTV coverage of Stockwell Station.
The first is of Jean Charles de Menezes entering the station, wearing light summer clothing, picking up a paper and going to get his train.
The second, just over a minute later, shows police officers running down into the depths of the station, into what I am sure they believed was deadly peril, the first passengers, alarmed by the arrival of police officers, were hurrying to escape in the other direction.
Neither Mr de Menezes nor the police officers are diminished by us remembering the tragedy of one and the heroism of others on that day.
Let me be clear what the trial was not about. It was not about the split second decisions that the firearms officers had to make when they confronted Jean Charles de Menezes in that tube train - nor indeed just about the death of Jean Charles de Menezes himself, terrible though that was.
The questions the trial did address and indeed the ones the public were asking in the aftermath of the incident were these:
'If they thought he might have a bomb, why was he allowed twice to get on a bus and then on the tube?' 'If they thought he didn't have a bomb, why did they shoot him?'
Nor must there be any attempt to blame Jean Charles de Menezes himself for his fate.
He did nothing out of the ordinary.
He looked over his shoulder as he walked to catch his bus; he got back on his bus when he found Brixton tube station was closed; he texted his friend; he hurried down the final few steps of the escalator when he saw a train was already on the platform; and, like other passengers, he got to his feet when police officers burst onto the train. These actions may have been misinterpreted by police officers hunting a suicide bomber but they were entirely innocent.
The priority for the police service now, and those responsible for the police, is to do everything possible to ensure the mistakes made on 22 July 2005 are not repeated. [...]
- The main investigation report that was completed and submitted within six months by 19 January 2006.
- The operational recommendations arising from the incident that were completed and submitted by 14 March 2006.
- A short addendum to the main report that sets out the results of further enquiries requested by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) which was submitted in June 2006.
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