Topic: Jean Charles de Menezes

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Jean Charles de Menezes (pronounced in Mineiro Portuguese) (7 January 1978 – 22 July 2005) was a Brazilian national shot dead by police at Stockwell tube station in London, England. He was shot in the head seven times at close range by Metropolitan Police officers ("The Met") who misidentified him as a suicide bomber about to explode a device on the London Underground. Within hours police discovered that he was not involved in any terrorist act, but was actually an innocent victim. Immediate and later accounts of what happened on the day of the shooting published in the press contradicted each other, specifically on the manner and clothing of Menezes as he entered the station, and the presence of police warnings before firing. The shooting sparked public debate over an apparent change in police policy, in which a shoot to kill practice known as Operation Kratos had been introduced to deal with terrorist threats.

On the day of the shooting, the police were hunting the four suspects on the run after the failed bombing of the London Underground (The Tube) the previous day, the 21 July 2005 London bombings (not to be confused with the 7/7 London bombings two weeks earlier). Intelligence had linked an address inside Jean Charles's home, a block of flats in the Tulse Hill area of south London, to the bombing. Police put the common entrance to the nine flats under surveillance. On the morning of the shooting, police sighted Jean Charles emerging from the entrance of the block. Plain clothes officers - who were armed with pistols for self-protection only - followed Menezes as he took a bus to Brixton tube station, before boarding another bus to Stockwell tube station having found Brixton to be closed. Shortly after Menezes entered Stockwell tube, more heavily-armed Specialist Firearms Officers who had been called to the scene entered the station, and shot Menezes dead shortly after he boarded a tube train, while the doors remained open and the train remained in the platform.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched two investigations into the shooting, termed Stockwell 1 and Stockwell 2. Stockwell 1, whose findings were initially kept secret, concluded that no officer involved in the shooting would face disciplinary charges, but made recommendations for changes to operational procedures to improve public safety in future anti-terrorist operations. Stockwell 2 strongly criticised the police command structure and communications to the public, bringing pressure on the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair to resign. In July 2006, based on the IPCC findings, the Crown Prosecution Service announced that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute any of the officers involved in the shooting, who remain unnamed, although a corporate criminal prosecution of the Metropolitan Police was brought under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974. This alleged that the Metropolitan Police service had failed in its duty of care to Menezes. After lodging a not guilty plea, on 1 November 2007 the service was found guilty and fined, although the jury added a rider that Cressida Dick, operational commander on the day, bore "no personal culpability".

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Jean Charles de Menezes."