Wednesday, August 17, 2005

 

UK cover-up in shooting of Brazilian starts to fall apart

This story just turned from bad to worse. Or from awful to horrifying maybe. The poor Brazilian guy who got shot on the London tube turns out not only to have been completely innocent of any wrongdoing (as seemed to be well known from the start), but now even the stories about "suspicious" (if explainable) behavior (running from the police, wearing a padded coat, he had a large bag/backpack, etc.) turn out to have been completely fabricated. In two stories from the Guardian, the truth emerges and the bereaved family's representation asks exactly what role the police had in promulgating these false stories. From the first story, regarding leaked information from the investigation of the shooting:
It has now emerged that Mr de Menezes:

· was never properly identified because a police officer was relieving himself at the very moment he was leaving his home;

· was unaware he was being followed;

· was not wearing a heavy padded jacket or belt as reports at the time suggested;

· never ran from the police;

· and did not jump the ticket barrier.

But the revelation that will prove most uncomfortable for Scotland Yard was that the 27-year-old electrician had already been restrained by a surveillance officer before being shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder.
So if all this was the case, where, then, did the "alternate" story -- the one we all heard from the time of the shooting and came to be accepted as true in the news media -- come from? Why is it that, when much of this would have been clarified by looking at the CCTV tapes from the tube station, the family of de Menezes was told that the CCTV cameras in that station weren't working?
His family's solicitor, Harriet Wistrich, claimed the police must be "partly responsible" for the accounts.

Asked by the BBC about the Metropolitan police commissioner Sir Ian Blair's position over the initial version of events, she said: "There are certainly questions arising about how this false and misleading information was released in the first place.

"The police must have been partly responsible for that because it was the information that was given to the pathologist who performed the postmortem examination."
Apparently there's word that Sir Ian Blair is considering resigning. I would say that's the least he could do.

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