Charles De Menezes Killing - Update

By sizemore Last edited 153 months ago
Charles De Menezes Killing - Update

ITV has revealed more details about the killing of Charles De Menezes by armed police on the 22nd of July:

documents and photographs confirm that Jean Charles was not carrying any bags, and was wearing a denim jacket, not a bulky winter coat, as had previously been claimed. He was behaving normally, and did not vault the barriers, even stopping to pick up a free newspaper. He started running when we saw a tube at the platform. Police had agreed they would shoot a suspect if he ran.

It seems that extended to if a suspect ran and then sat down once he'd caught his train:

A document describes CCTV footage, which shows Mr de Menezes entered Stockwell station at a "normal walking pace" and descended slowly on an escalator. The document said: "At some point near the bottom he is seen to run across the concourse and enter the carriage before sitting in an available seat.

It was only then the word 'police' was allegedly spoken and De Menezes left his seat. A nearby surveillance officer then intervened and held him back into his seat only for the armed officers to kill him. This is despite the fact that he had no bag, nowhere to conceal explosives and did nothing to suggest that he was anything but another commuter.

In all eleven shots were fired. Three missed.

Police believed that De Menezes could have been Hussain Osman. Both are pictured below.


The Police have declined to comment while the investigation is still under way.

That should give them time to get the new version of events straight. As The Times points out, the evidence contradicts claims from the Metropolitan Police at the time that the Brazilian’s "clothing and his behaviour at the station added to their suspicions", that he vaulted the ticket barrier and was wearing a heavy overcoat, which could have concealed a bomb. The Met's 'Gold Command' had instructed officers that he was to be stopped from entering the tube system. But this apparently didn't happen.

'When in doubt shoot to kill' does not strike Londonist as the best attitude for our police to be taking and yet it's also reported that a police officer was relieving himself instead of filming the operation, so officers could not tell if they had tracked down one of the alleged bombers. This led to the advice "it would be worth someone else having a look". Unfortunately the next person close enough to do just that was the man who killed him.

We'd also like to know where exactly the story about the barrier vaulting, the fleeing and the heavy coat originated because one question that another Londonist tonight asked must also be worrying more than a few Londoners: Why do the police lie so much?

Last Updated 16 August 2005


This is bad form, but I told ya so.


it is bad form, well spotted.

you had nowhere near enough evidence to make a conclusive observation on the case, but you still feel the need to share with us that your guesswork was, by chance, accurate.
whether or not it was your prejudicial opinion of all metropolitan police officers, your belief in the calmness of brazillians, or even your spider sense tingling, you had no way of knowing for sure and to suggest otherwise may be you begging the question.

to suggest that you did know after the fact to make yourself feel clever is a little pointless and deluded.

feel free to contradict me, but if you do please include somewhere in your comments what facts made your opinion more solid than the informed guesses of everyone else, and perhaps why you feel that such bragging is a tenable position.


“How unsporting old boy. I say. You hurt my feelings there chap.”

Come on. At least Stanley’s lack of evidence didn’t shoot someone in the head. Let’s not steer away from the point. If we’re going to be angry with anyone it should be the people who shot an innocent man to death and the people who lied to cover their arse. Don’t let the people who were somehow right stop you from admitting it (so far anyway. There’s plenty of time for stories to change and arse to be covered).


As for the people who said the police did the right thing, also without any evidence .... On the one hand, you can say we should give the police the benefit of the doubt, after all they are supposed to be the good guys. On the other hand, this case demonstrates that as long as our appointed good guys are fallible, selfish humans, we need to be vigilant.

I had been critical, while still believing that the Met's version of events was at least probably true as they saw them. It seemed pretty clear, even if you believed the Met's cover story, that the police on the scene at the very least screwed up badly. They allowed someone they were pretty sure was a terrorist to get from his flat, where they had him under surveillance, all the way onto a tube train, a heartbeat away from blowing himself up.

So my assumption was that they chased and shot him out of panic, believing they had allowed a terrorist to nearly escape and possibly attack civilians. I gave the police the benefit of the doubt that they were at least acting in good faith, albeit with a lack of competence.

These revelations show that they actually, deliberately lied to protect themselves from the consequences of their actions.

I would hope this will convince the public, not to mention the politicians, that giving police unchecked draconian powers, such as locking people away for several months without evidence or any judicial involvement whatsoever, is not a good idea.

But I doubt it.


At least Stanley’s lack of evidence didn’t shoot someone in the head.
no it didnt.
but then that wasnt my point, dude.
i merely feel that there is a bit of a trend for claiming to feel bad about unrealised potential for 'i told you so' i lieu of just saying 'i told you so'. serves the same function, ie making one feel smug and a bit smarter than you average bear.
you could just not say it at all, hey.

If we’re going to be angry with anyone it should be the people who shot an innocent man to death and the people who lied to cover their arse. Don’t let the people who were somehow right stop you from admitting it.

admitting what?
that the police acted like negligent arseholes and that the evidence now seems to point fairly conclusively to an arse covering session?
shit, dude, just because i feel someone saying i told you so is in bad form doesnt mean i dont agree with what he says he so told us.


Even from the beginning there were too many inconsistencies in the police story (why did they let him get on a bus? why did no bystanders hear any warnings from the police? why did the family say that they were initially told by the police that he had paid with an oyster card and wore a denim jacket?) for the police's explanation to be plausible.

Everyone has to judge the evidence as it comes out, but logically the inconsistencies mentioned above made it more likely that the police were lying than not. I think Stanley has every right to say I told you so.

But let's not lose sight of the important point here, which is that the police shot and killed an innocent man who had nothing on him that could possibly have contained explosives, and then lied about it to cover their arses. That, to me, is utterly terrifying.


um....I'm baffled as to why this has taken so long to come out. Don't journalists ask questions anymore? Seeing as they were quoting a guy who was actually on the tube at the time wouldn't a journalist have asked, "what was he wearing? was he restrained? Did he get a warning?"

Instead all concrete reporting came from police statements so we all end up debating the story from one angle.

Weirdness on top of tradegy.


@russ: The role of witnesses is potentially more sinister than that. One of the most-quoted 'civilian witnesses' to the shooting gave an account that squared pretty closely with the police account "He [the suspect] had a baseball cap on and quite a sort of thickish coat - it was a coat you'd wear in winter, sort of like a padded jacket. "He might have had something concealed under there, I don't know. But it looked sort of out of place with the sort of weather we've been having, the sort of hot humid weather' (

Remember that? It was repeated all over the place. That account seems more than a little dubious now.

Another cause for concern is the story floated in the media recently that the Stockwell CCTV system was out of action. It wasn't and that kind of makes me suspicious about the supposed non funcitoning bus CCTV on 7/7. Why should any of us give the police the benefit of the doubt any more?


Why the leak?

It's a reasonable speculation that the leak was a direct reaction to the stories that had preceded it: the stories that the cctv cameras at Stockwell were not working. The leaker, a person of conscience, understood that the coverup was expanding, that the police, not content with merely fabricating evidence, were also destroying evidence.

Why the leak II?

The cop who was allegedy watching the Menezes flat failed to videotape his exit because he was taking a leak. The thing to bear in mind about this cop's "tidbit" is that the police, as well as having ample time to fabricate a narrative which emphasized their competence, have also had time to fabricate an alternate version in which they appear merely incompetent instead of homicidal.

Thus, and I'm not saying I believe this:

The "taking a leak" story and the absence of video is intended to cover up the fact that Menezes was never under surveillance until he arrived at Stockwell.

After they executed him, er, erroneously, they ID'd him, got his address, and concocted a story that his address was contained in documents recovered from the second series of bogus bombs.

He was never under surveillance. There was not a team of "thirty" agents trailing him on a bus.

Whatever happened to him, happened, in its entirety, at the tube station.

Like I said, I don't necessarilly believe this. But with the current track record of the Met...

1. Most cops are ill-trained thugs
2. Most politicians are liars
3. Most people are dupes

Add it up.


seem's like our eye witness is changing his story:



The killing of de Menezes was an assassination, and it was done in full public view to send a message.

When faced with the question of whether the actions of the police were either extremly inept or corrupt, I'm inclined to believe the latter.

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