London police guilty in 2005 shooting

Nov. 2, 2007 at 11:49 AM

LONDON, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- A jury found London’s police force guilty of violating health and safety laws in the death of a Brazilian man during a counter-terrorism operation in 2005.

The Metropolitan Police force was fined $364,000 and asked to pay $800,000 in legal costs for the violation stemming for the death of Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, The New York Times said Friday.

Police pursued and later shot Menezes on July 22, 2005, after wrongly identifying him as a suspect in bombings of London’s mass transit system that year.

Prosecutors called the incident a “shocking and catastrophic error” that endangered the public.

A lawyer for the police said the first-time use of health and public safety laws suggested the defense lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute individuals in the case, the Times said.

Police officials said no laws were violated during the operation but admitted to the chaotic nature of the operation that occurred two weeks prior a major terrorist attack in London.

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