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?!