24 February 2017 | 4 °C

Stockwell Shooting Tragedy

By sizemore Last edited 139 months ago
Stockwell Shooting Tragedy

We don't normally update Londonist over the weekend, but then again these are far from normal events happening in the capital at the moment. On Friday we followed the breaking news that a man had been shot dead at Stockwell and like the rest of those following the events from a distance we simply assumed that the man killed by the police was in some way connected to either Thursday's events or the bombings from two weeks ago.

We were wrong and so were the police who have just issued a statement that the dead man was unconnected with the incidents:

We are now satisfied that he was not connected with the incidents of Thursday 21st July 2005. For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is a tragedy and one that the Metropolitan Police Service regrets.

We knew that the man was already under surveillance and we gave the police enough credit to assume that the man was dangerous - why else such an armed response? We were a little worried about the fact that the man seemed to have been unarmed according to eye witnesses and as we watched 'experts' do their best to reassure us that such actions were necessary if the man had had explosives we couldn't help but wonder why no statement about such devices had been released. It later emerged that the dead man had been challenged by police but failed to stop - this helped fight the unease as up until this point none of the witnesses close to the incident remembered such a warning being given.

We watched the news this morning and again assumed that the two men already detained had some connection with the dead man at Stockwell.

Now it seems he was simply an innocent man who made the mistake of running from the police. Even after the events of the last few weeks we can imagine a number of reasons that someone would run from the authorities.

We were shocked, although not entirely surprised, when London was targeted by terrorists, but we were never humbled by their actions.

That London police officers/MI5/special forces now seem to have killed an unarmed innocent man with little warning is much more shocking, terrifying and unthinkable.

We'll pick this up again on Monday when we hope more facts surrounding the tragedy will have emerged.

Last Updated 23 July 2005

Eric

So like, I'm Chinese and according to Metro police they're looking for a "Muslim of South Asian or African descent" and most most certainly Asians and Africans look SOOOOOOOOOOOOooooo similar, I mean its not like they live on different continents across a treacherous ocean separated by the tallest mountain range in the world. So I guess this means I'll be nixing any London plans anytime soon. I certainly wouldn't want to be seen trying to run after a train or bus because I'm chronically late all the time. Plus getting executed in front of dozens of people? Not exactly the way I wish to go. And like how do you fit "not ethic" when this guy was a WHITE GUY. Brazilian = WHITE GUY. I'm sorry but in my definition if you're of European descent you're a white guy. So if white people can be passed off as a dark-skinned Muslim, then I'm pretty sure a Chinese person is going to get executed by MI5. At least if that happens I hope it'll be James Bond!

Michelle

Eric: Um, you do know that to a Brit "South Asian" would never mean "Chinese", right? So your sarcasm's rather off the mark.

Maria

Charles De Menezes (the brazilian guy shot dead)was seen leaving a block of flats that was under surveillance, he himself was not under surveillance as I understand it. We really need to know the facts surrounding this incident...
1. WAS A PROPER WARNING GIVEN?
I can totally understand why he ran and didn't stop when challenged IF A PROPER WARNING WASN'T GIVEN. Being followed or chased by 3 men would be petrifying if you didn't know who they were.
2. WHY WAS HE ALLOWED TO BOARD A BUS OR APPROACH A TUBE WHEN THEY HAD FOLLOWED HIM FROM THE FLATS? Was there a time between leaving the flats and boarding the bus or leaving the bus and approaching the tube, when a shoot to injure policy could have been applied given that this particular man was not under surveillance but merely stepped out of a block of flats that was? Surely it would have been better to risk an explosion in open air than one underground.
If they thought he looked suspicious and may have been wearing a bomb immediately WHY DIDN'T THEY ISSUE A WARNING IMMEDIATELY AS HE LEFT THE FLATS, WHY LET HIM GET ON A BUS?
I am at a loss to understand this and the police statement has done nothing to clarify the course of events and put my mind at rest. I agree that the armed officers / agents were only trying to stop another incident and had to act quickly but I am not satisfied that this wasn't a knee jerk reaction, to a man from the southern hemisphere who feels that 23 degrees in July is Cold and is a little freaked out by being followed by what lookes like 3 heavies. (Poor guy may have an unsettled debt and think that someone is going to smash his kneecaps)
We need credible eyewitness statements and there just don't seem to be many.

stanley

Lingering question:

I've read many eyewitness accounts of the shooting, but none regarding the allegation that the man jumped the turnstile. That bit comes from the cops.

a few theories:

1. He thought the police were terrorists

2. He thought the police were criminals

3. He thought he was going to be mistakenly arrested as a terrorist and held incommunicado and tortured for years on end.

4. Parts of the police account are total fabrications and they did not give adequate warning.

Anonymous

I actually wonder if cops in the US (who also have tragedies like this) are actually a bit better prepared for dealing with a "shoot / don't shoot" situation than the "armed police" in the UK who, despite lots of training, don't find themselves in a firefight as often as they do over here.

stanley

"Gesio de Avila, a co-worker, said Mr de Menezes called him moments before the deadly shots to say he was late for work. “If he ran, it was simply because he was late,” Mr de Avila told O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper."

stanley

Also possible:

1. He was merely late and running for the train. He never heard the warnings to stop in the loud and crowded station until the few moments before he was murdered.

2. By some twist of fate, a man who was late for work jumped a subway turnstile, unaware that he was being tailed as a suspected terrorist. He heard shouts to stop from behind him and didn't, because he figured it was merely ticket agents or regular cops. It may have been the first time in his life he ever jumped a turnstile. What a price to pay.

3. According to relatives he had been stopped and questioned previously by police in the tube. This would seem to indicate either he didn't hear them this time, or that he had in fact jumped the turnstile and was afraid of being ticketed or arrested.

It wouldn't surprise me if:

1. The "bulky coat" turned out to be an ordinary leather jacket.

2. The account of him jumping the turnstile turns out to be a police fabrication.

3. He was shot merely because he ran because he was late and it was total police blunder.

All sorts of different variations are possible.

Aaron

So let the guy run down to the train and blow them up whilst you watch?

Or, throw your body onto his and muffle the explosion like Aaron Gozland did, see url.

Or use deadly force to stop him exploding a suspect bomb.

The police are often between us and dangerous situations. Hindsight is cheap and has 20/20 vision, which is why there is so much of it around.

mike

There's no hindsight here. As soon as the first eyewitness report came out about the manner that this guy was killed mine and other's initial reaction was that it sounded a lot like an execution. Even if the guy had turned out to be a terrorist we'd be asking questions about the shoot to kill policy.

The fact that he wasn't a terrorist and seems to have been just a regular guy marked for death by incompetent men with guns means we just have to ask the same questions louder.

The police had ample time it seems to stop this guy and confront him BEORE he got anywhere near the tube station.

You cannot use deadly force simply because you SUSPECT someone of something no matter how irregular you deem his actions to be.

How many homeless or mentally ill people wearing the wrong clothes or refusing to stop for police do we kill next because they COULD have been terrorists?

Do you feel confident running for a train now? How about with your hood up because of the rain, iPod cranked up and backpack on?

So let the guy run down to the train and blow them up whilst you watch?

How about letting the guy run down to the train and get on it and carry on with his life like 3 million other people do every day instead of linking him for no clear reason to the 8 people so far who have carried explosives?

stanley

In the land of the blind the hindsighted man is king.

bloke

I think it is important to remember that by most newspaper accounts the officers were PLAIN CLOTHED. Thus it is not too unreasonable to assume that the average citizen would run and jump a turnstyle if he was being chased by armed individuals who do not appear to be police.

stanley

I think it's important to bear in mind that the police narrative of events - including the jumping of the turnstyle - may be questionable. First they said they followed him from stockwell, then they said it was from a friends house somewhere else. Maybe they never followed him at all. Maybe there are armed police officers standing ready to shoot anyone suspicious in London Subway stations, and the narrative of them following him is a complete fabrication intended to justify the mistake.

the western hemisphere and all inside we know who is murdering the innocent they are children playing with guns they are children playing with countries mining harbors creating contras the games they play the lives they will take they bank their money in the country they steal from the innocent (a colonial trait that is much too old) the banks, the lives, the profits, the lies the banks, the profits, the lives, the lies i would call it genocide any other word would be a lie

stanley

'More questions than answers cluster around Mr De Menezes' final minutes when he got there: why was he wearing clothing bulky enough to arouse the suspicion he was hiding explosives? Why was he not challenged sooner? Why did he jump the turnstile when ordered to halt?

"I think that the police are inventing this thing about the thick jacket," said Mr Avila, whose number police found in Mr Menezes's mobile phone.

Mr Pereira denied his cousin would have jumped over the barrier. "Running, maybe. But not running from the police. Everyone runs for the underground. But he wouldn't jump. Why would he jump?"'