Friday, December 12, 2008

Jean Charles de Menezes verdict

The jury were denied the option of an unlawful killing verdict , but after hearing all the evidence they have returned an open verdict.

They were asked twelve specific questions about whether or not a series of events on 22 July 2005 contributed to the 27-year-old's death and their response was :

After returning an open verdict, the 10 jurors rejected a string of claims made by officers about the events leading up to Mr de Menezes being killed.

The jurors concluded that six police failings caused or contributed to the innocent man's death.

After recording an open verdict, the jurors, who began considering their verdict at 2.40pm last Thursday, ruled the following:

* Firearms officer C12 did not shout the words "armed police" before opening fire.

* Mr de Menezes stood up from his seat before a surveillance officer, known as Ivor, grabbed him in a bear-hug.

* But the Brazilian did not move towards officer C12 before he was seized by Ivor.

They also concluded that six factors caused his death:

* A failure to obtain and provide better photographic images of the terror suspect Hussain Osman for the surveillance team.

* A failure by the police to ensure that Mr de Menezes was stopped before he reached public transport.

* The fact that the views of the surveillance officers regarding identification were not accurately communicated to the command team and the firearms officers.

* The fact that the position of the cars containing the firearms officers was not accurately known to the command team as the firearms officers were approaching Stockwell Station.

* There were significant shortcomings in the communications system as it was operating on the day between the various police teams on the ground and with New Scotland Yard.

* A failure to conclude, at the time, that surveillance officers should still be used to carry out the stop of Mr de Menezes at Stockwell Station even after it was reported that specialist firearms officers could perform the stop.

But they found that the following two factors did not play a part in his death.

* The general difficulty in providing an identification of the man under surveillance in the time available and in the circumstances after he had left the block at Scotia Road.

* The innocent behaviour of Mr de Menezes which increased the suspicions of some officers.

I'll round up some comment on this later.