Wed, 29 Aug 2007

Jean Charles de Menezes, killed but not going away

Two years ago the Police shot and killed Jean Charles de Menezes. Since then the family has been looking for answers and justice. Justice 4 Jean organised en event to hear about the continuing struggle for Jean Charles de Menezes. London Sound Posse recorded the event: Two years on - Too long to wait for justice.

No police officer involved in his death has been charged, let alone convicted and sentenced. The family doesn't even know the names of the officers involved. The inquest into his death remains adjourned. There has been no clarification about the use of Operation Kratos and the police's shoot-to-kill policy (apart from adding ‘to protect’ after its name).

The Police tried to cover up immediately after the shooting by stating that Jean was wearing a bulky jacket, jumped over the gate, was acting suspiciously... All false accusations.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation report into the shooting (known as ‘Stockwell One’) has been shared with the Police but not with the family. One law for the de Menezes family, one law for the Police. That's the constant message given to the de Menezes family.

CCTV footage of Jean's last moments in the station is not available allegedly due to technical problems. Stockwell is a tube station that is a hub of the British Transport Police just a couple of weeks after 7/7. In the Every step you take documentary, Andy Trotter, Deputy Chief Constable, British Transport Police, keeps harping on about how CCTV is so essential for his work, but somehow CCTV footage that may have evidences unsympathetic to the Police keeps not being available or not being asked in time. How inconvenient.

The IPCC eventually published ‘Stockwell Two’. That's the investigation into complaints about the Metropolitan Police Service's handling of public statements following the shooting. Even though it's only about what police officers said in public and not about the killing, the IPCC backed down under legal threat from some officers, and limited its blame to Andy Hayman. The Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) is taking its time deciding any ensuing disciplinary procedures (the MPA promoted earlier on Cressida Dick, the Officer in charge of the armed operation).

The trial against the Office of the Commissioner of Police for the offence under the Health And Safety At Work Act is scheduled for October at the Old Bailey. The issue of Jean's death is a fundamental issue. The right to life. The delay of the inquest into his death, delayed further until the unrelated health and safety matter is completed, is a continuing violation of his right to life.

In what looks like a sad and desperate further attempt to make it all go away, the Home Office may not renew the visas of the four cousins and one friend representing the family in the UK. You can ask your MP to intervene in their favour.

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