How To Get Away With Shooting An Innocent Man, Mislead The Public And Keep Your Job

By Londonist_ben Last edited 137 months ago
How To Get Away With Shooting An Innocent Man, Mislead The Public And Keep Your Job

What we now know about the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes-

* The stories that Jean Charles acted suspiciously by running away from the police and jumping the barriers at Stockwell tube are untrue.

* He was not wearing a bulky jacket or a bomb belt with visible wires hanging out.

* Members of the police force knew this (for instance, the ones that followed and shot him.)

* Senior officers knew that John Charles was innocent by the early afternoon of that day.

* Nobody thought to tell Sir Ian Blair, who apparently did not know for 24 hours. (Dodgy? We think so)

* Britain's most senior counter-terrorism officer, Andy Hayman, knew that the information that the police were giving journalists was wrong.

* Liberal Democrat party president Simon Hughes said Mr Hayman should resign, but London Mayor Ken Livingstone has given the officer his backing.

* Andy Hayman should resign.

While the mishandling of information in the 24 hours after the shooting is certainly startling and offers us an insight into the shambolic organisation of Scotland Yard, this really is not the most shocking issue. It is not over simplification to suggest that the most shocking and still unresolved matter at hand here is why on earth police officers shot him in the first place.

We accept that mistakes will be made by the police in what must be an incredibly hard job but it becomes unacceptable when these mistakes become too frequent (remember Forest Gate anyone?) or when they are so glaring (trying to track down four bus bombers and shooting an innocent Brazilian on what seems to have been a hunch) or when nobody seems to be reprimanded for these mistakes (apart from, of course, for breaches of Health and Safety - that's one pretty massive Health and Safety mishap, shooting someone in the head.)

Image from RuSSeLL hiGGs's flickr photostream.

Last Updated 03 August 2007