Inquiry call after shooting report
TV network: Police tackled innocent Brazilian before killing him
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
LONDON, England (CNN) -- The family of an innocent Brazilian shot dead by British police who mistook him for a bombing suspect have called for a public inquiry after a TV network reported he had been behaving normally before his death.
ITV News based its report on secret documents and photographs the network said it obtained about the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, an immigrant electrician who was shot eight times after being cornered in a subway car on July 22, a day after four failed attempts to bomb London's transport system.
Police later admitted de Menezes had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks and apologized to his family and the Brazilian government.
Following the ITV report, de Menezes' family and campaigners called for a public inquiry into his death, the UK's Press Association reported.
"My family deserve the full truth about his murder," de Menezes' cousin Allessandro Pereira said. "The truth cannot be hidden any longer. It has to be made public."
The Justice4Jean Family campaign also urged a public inquiry.
"The people of London have been told lie and half truth about how Jean died," said campaign spokesperson Asad Rehman.
"It is clear from the evidence ... that Jean was killed in cold blood. His death resembles an extra-judicial execution. The evidence clearly shows he was being restrained before being shot dead.
"The Home Secretary (interior minister) must now use his powers to order a full judicial inquiry into the killing. This is the minimum required if we are to have any faith in those responsible for our security and safety."
Harriet Wistrich, lawyer for the de Menezes family, told Britain's Channel 4 News that they were distressed at the new revelations.
"I think it is absolutely shocking and terrifying," she said. "There's obviously some level of incompetence here or some serious breakdown in communications with the various officers involved in surveillance."
And Shami Chakrabarti, director of the human rights group Liberty, said the emerging details were "more and more troubling" and highlighted the need for a "truly independent" investigation.
The new account was said to have been obtained from the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation into the killing.
The IPCC refused to confirm or deny the truth of the information, while Scotland Yard and the Home Office said it would be inappropriate to comment, PA reported.
Home Secretary Charles Clarke pledged that when the IPCC report was published it would be "carefully considered and acted upon."
In response to ITV's report, the BBC reported that the IPCC was concerned about the leak of information about the case.
The IPCC released a statement to the BBC that de Menezes' family "will clearly be distressed" that they did not receive the information before it aired on television.
"The IPCC made it clear that we would not speculate or release partial information about the investigation, and that others should not do so. That remains the case," the commission told the BBC.
ITV News, citing documents and photographs, reported that de Menezes was not carrying any bags when he entered the Stockwell Tube station and was wearing a denim jacket, rather than a bulky coat as police had previously said.
De Menezes walked at a normal pace, did not vault any barriers and even stopped to pick up a newspaper, ITV News reported.
He descended to the train slowly on an escalator, then ran toward the open subway car and took a seat, according to ITV, which based its account on a document outlining what was captured on surveillance footage.
At about the same time, armed officers were provided with positive identification that de Menezes was either Hamdi Issac, also known as Osman Hussain, one of the suspected bombers from the day before, or another suspect, at which point he was shot, ITV News reported.
According to the network, the crucial mistake that led to de Menezes' death may have occurred that morning as he left his apartment, when surveillance officers spotted him and he was misidentified as a possible terrorist.
London police were authorized to shoot and kill suspects they believed might try to set off more subway bombs. Shortly after de Menezes' death, police justified their actions by saying he was acting suspiciously and tried to run from officers, forcing detectives to make a split-second decision to shoot him.
ITV News also reported that an autopsy showed that de Menezes was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder -- and that three other bullets missed.
|© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.