De Menezes’ Death: Lawful?

Seriously. The coroner of the inquest into the killing of Jean Charles De Menezes by the Metropolitan Police in 2005 said today that jurors:

would be allowed to return only a verdict of lawful killing or an open verdict.

With all the evidence considered, a verdict of unlawful killing could not be supported, he said.

After consideration and submissions, he told the 11-strong jury, “I so direct you that the evidence in this case, taken at its highest, would not justify my leaving verdicts of unlawful killing to you.”

Wright explained: “I’m not saying that nothing went wrong in a police operation which resulted in the killing of an innocent man.

“All interested persons agree that a verdict of unlawful killing could only be left to you if you could be sure that a specific officer had committed a very serious crime: murder or manslaughter,” Reuters reported him as saying.

Sorry?! Have I missed something?

The jurors will additionally be asked to consider four questions, including whether C12 did indeed – as he told the inquest – shout “armed police” before opening fire; whether De Menezes then stood up from his seat; and whether the young Brazilian moved towards C12 before being grabbed by another officer.

The firearms officer testified that after the warning had been shouted, De Menezes’s actions had made him fear the electrician was carrying a bomb. Several passengers on the same carriage contradicted this account, saying they had heard no warnings, and that De Menezes gave no significant reaction to the police’s arrival.

However, Wright added, even if the jury found the officers had lied, they would not be able to blame them for the death. “Many people tell lies for a variety of reasons … [including] to mitigate the impact of what might be a … tragic mistake,” he said.

I beg your pardon? It’s cut and dried that the police lied through their teeth. The only credible implication of that would be that the shooter or the shooter in collaboration with other members of his team murdered De Menezes. Cressida Dick told the incompetent officers De Menezes was allowed onto the train, but they changed evidence to cover it up. At the inquest she then perpetuates the lie about challenging De Menezes. And the opinion on UK Liberty to me feels about right:

But what concerns me is that any member of the public might act just as de Menezes did, and even though his actions are entirely innocent, because of the situation the police are in and the information they have been given, anything he does might contribute to forming an honest belief that he is a threat, and he may wind up being killed.

Can someone then tell me why an unlawful killing verdict is impossible? The surveillance teams didn’t know who he was for sure (I’ve spoken to members of the family and they confirmed he looked nothing like failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman) and were given confused and confusing directions from their control, regularly making horrifically flawed assumptions about him. The kill team was out of position and out of contact until far too late, and it’s widely acknowledged that they lied in saying any warning was given to De Menezes himself. Seventeen fellow passengers corroborated this fact. Based then on thin air they then shot seven bullets into the entirely innocent man’s head. How can any of that be lawful?!

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10 responses to “De Menezes’ Death: Lawful?

  1. Yay for justice being done in being seen to be done.

    I feel so proud of my country.

  2. The Judge has said that a verdict of unlawful killing is not an option. He has also said that a police officer may have lied but then qualified that lie by stating that people lie for whatever reason.

    So what we have before the jury has even had a chance to consider a verdict is an order to them that they may not consider every option available to them and that it is fine and dandy for the police to commit perjury.

    This is just another whitewash as have been all of the verdicts in all of the one thousand plus inquests held concerning police killings of members of the public since Nu-Labor came into power.

    Before a jury verdict is even given, the police have been excused for committing what was nothing more than an execution, have been exonerated for their perjury and are yet again allowed to kill with impunity and without redress to either the Law or fair and impartial investigation.

    What we now have is a police force out of control and supported by a corrupt judiciary and an even more corrupt Crown.

    It is said that the police cannot operate without the consent of the people, but even before a jury is allowed to deliver a verdict, we have been informed by the judge’s infamous words that in no uncertain terms, Her Majesties Constabulary do not need consent from the citizens because they now have full and open permission from the Crown and Justices to kill without fear of Let or Hindrance from either the Law or the Royal Courts.

    Her Majesties Constabulary is an out of control, criminal and corrupt force that today’s summing up by the Inquest Judge has legitimised along with the concept that there is once again in this Realm, one Law for the Normans and another for the Saxons.

    I can no longer offer consent to the police just as I could not offer support to any banana republic assassin that is placed beyond and above the Law.

    Her Majesties Constabulary must walk their murderous path alone, knowing that one day I and many other Free Born of this Realm will bear witness against them when asked to do so.

    No man is so High that He is above the Laws of this Realm.

    Cromwell

  3. It appears that there are those who are in positions that can overtly (17 to 2/3 against) lie to the courts and evade the charge of purgery.
    This simply dilutes the publics belief that we are living in a fair & just environment, the uk.
    Perhaps the feeling of judicial impunity will grow in response to the irresponsible comments of our judicary. It is what this society deserves.

  4. To be fair, juries are free to ignore advice from the judge (or coroner, in this case). But they usually don’t’, because they don’t know that they can.

    Yet again, it’s a fucking travesty and I struggle to disagree with Cromwell above.

  5. William Nicholson

    Lawful? No. If it was a lawful killing, then Mr Quick could be lawfully killed on the grounds that we will save lives, which is utterly ridiculous.

    This is as stupid as a war in Iraq, or assassinations, etc. I shit myself when I see police with guns, which makes me behave in a suspicious way.

  6. I find it amazing that they can be forgiven perjury, because they feared telling the truth. gosh that covers a lot.
    accidentally killing someone in the line of duty is forgivable. Lying about the reasons or the situations is not because than no effort is given to changing the circumstances that created the dreadful event in the first place. No perjury is never forgivable.

  7. Just another part of the creeping feature of our Political-Policing complex – the police, in pursuit of their duties, can do no wrong, because they are upholding higher principles. So the little principles don’t matter.

  8. I know feelings are strong on this but I have read the comments of Stephen O’Doherty of the Crown Prosecution Service in July, 2006:

    Press release here

    “The two officers who fired the fatal shots did so because they thought that Mr de Menezes had been identified to them as a suicide bomber and that if they did not shoot him, he would blow up the train, killing many people.

    “In order to prosecute those officers, we would have to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that they did not honestly and genuinely hold those beliefs. In fact, the evidence supports their claim that they genuinely believed that Mr de Menezes was a suicide bomber and therefore, as we cannot disprove that claim, we cannot prosecute them for murder or any other related offence.”

    It would be very difficult for me to conclude otherwise than Mr O’Doherty.

    On the other hand, the inquest has been set up to settle the facts about this killing. To that end, the coroner Sir Michael Wright has asked the jury to settle three direct factual questions as well as returning a “lawful killing” or “open” verdict.

    Did officer Charlie 12 shout “armed police” at Mr de Menezes before firing?
    Did Mr de Menezes stand up from his seat before he was grabbed in a bear hug by officer Ivor?”
    Did Mr de Menezes move towards officer Charlie before he was grabbed in a bear hug by officer Ivor?”

    Unlike in a criminal trial, these facts will be decided on the balance of probabilities.

    I understand that the De Menezes family wants a person to be held accountable for the death of Jean Charles. At the same time it would not be in the public interest for armed police faced with suicide bombers in the future to be put in a difficult position. Punishing the men who fired the guns, after they had been briefed to expect a suicide bomber equipped with a suicide belt, would be unjust.

  9. Cosmodaddy, on your posting itself, I’ll take up the “meat” of the posting, which is:

    “It’s cut and dried that the police lied through their teeth. The only credible implication of that would be that the shooter or the shooter in collaboration with other members of his team murdered De Menezes.”

    So this consists of one statement of fact and one inference.

    Firstly the use of the term “cut and dried” suggests that you believe it to be beyond question that the armed police are lying.

    Well I think they may be lying about some aspects of the affair.

    But then your inference is that the only plausible explanation of lying is murder.

    Seriously? I find that quite difficult to believe. You don’t think it credible that the armed police believed De Menezes to be about to detonate an explosive? This seems like a bit of a leap to me. In fact the importance of taking suicide bombers alive if they are unarmed must be obvious. What good would Osman have been to them dead?

    In the absence of any credible motive it seems more likely that this was what it appeared: the killing of an innocent man due to misperception of identity and circumstance by the killer.

  10. Pingback: CPS Says Metropolitan Police Allowed to Murder « Cosmodaddy

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