Water Week

EWN Publishing

Innocent man killed as “terrorist”; police operation goes wrong, London jury hears

Posted by waterweek on 5 October 2007

In an unprecedented health and safety pros­ecution that was launched yesterday, the Metropolitan Police were accused of overseeing a “catastrophic” operation that led to the death of the 27-year-old Brazilian electrician who had been mistaken for one of the bombers involved in failed suicide attacks on London’s subway trains on 21 July 2005, wrote Charlotte Gill in The Courier Mail (3/10/2007, p.36).

Sequence of events: The Old Bailey jury heard the first full account of the events leading up to the moment officers fired seven bullets into de Menezes’s head on a train at Stockwell Tube station in south London on July 22. In the immediate after­math of the shooting, one of the firearms officers even grabbed an under­cover colleague, dragged him out of the train and put a gun to his chest. The officer in charge of the operation, Com­mander John McDowell, had given orders at 5am that marksmen should be posted outside the flats in Tulse Hill, South London, but they never arrived. Because they were not there to carry out the stops, surveillance officers had to follow de Menezes as he boarded a bus.

Foiled by London traffic: The marksmen were still stuck in traffic when he got off the bus and walked into the station. The alleged details emerged as the Met went on trial for failing in its duty to protect the public, including de Menezes, by letting a potential suicide bomber board a bus and then a train. The force denied breaching health and safety work laws.

The Courier Mail, 3/10/2007, p. 36


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