Jean Charles de Menezes, murdered by the Met
Police officers are facing criminal charges over allegations that they tampered with evidence after shooting dead an innocent Brazilian at a London Underground station, The Independent on Sunday can reveal.
Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) officials investigating the killing of 27-year-old Jean Charles de Menezes plan to charge the officers who oversaw the operation with attempting to pervert the course of justice.
Police surveillance officers allegedly tried to disguise the fact that they had mistaken Mr de Menezes for Hussain Osman, the alleged terrorist being hunted for a failed suicide bombing on the Tube.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report reveals that a log was changed so that it read: “And it was not Osman” instead of “it was Osman”. This meant that surveillance officers could claim the marksmen had shot dead the wrong man despite having been warned that he was not who they had thought.
(Source: The Independent)
There seems to be some internecine feuding going on here. First of all, let’s be clear about the two parties. The first is the Met’s Armed Response Units / Specialist Firearms Officers (SO19).
Then we have the rather more shady Special Branch:
Special Branch is the arm of the British, Irish and many Commonwealth police forces that deals with national security matters. They acquire and develop intelligence to help protect the public (and the state) from national security threats, including terrorism, separatism, and subversive and other extremist activity.
The original Special Irish Branch of London’s Metropolitan Police was formed in March 1883 to counter the Irish Republican Brotherhood. The “Irish” soubriquet was later dropped as the department extended its remit to cover other threats.
Each British police force has its own Special Branch, the largest by far being that of the Specialist Operations department of the Metropolitan Police (SO12). These departments work closely with one another and with MI5, the Security Service. The officers work in plain clothes and are occasionally armed. Although they are not part of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), they are entitled to use the prefix ‘Detective’ in front of their ranks.
The intelligence work of Special Branch is overlooked in some circles. This is because its role sits somewhere between that of the more enigmatic Security Service and that of the more glamorously titled Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch (SO13).
It was announced, in September 2005, that the Metropolitan Police Special Branch would be merging with the Anti-Terrorism Branch of the Metropolitan Police to form a new department called Counter Terrorism Command.
It’s Special Branch that will have files on you if you’ve ever been in CND, a trade union organiser or any other vaguely lefty movement. It was specifically formed to deal with Irish Republicans and hasn’t changed much in its “anti-subversive’ remit since then. Apart from they probably beat up anyone named Khan nowadays intsead of O’Malley.
So, from the report above, I’m assuming it’s members of SO12 who are trying to pass the blame on to their comrades in SO19. This kind of corruption and larceny is pretty standard for the Met, whatever department you’re dealing with. The only difference here is that the people being framed are fellow police officers rather than some hapless black lad.
The meat of the issue still isn’t being addressed: anyone can now be shot dead in the street by our police force based on the slightest evidence. The murder of Menezes shows how inaccurate that evidence can be and how dangerous it becomes when we let the police off their leash.
Even if the marksmen were fed the wrong information, why did they shoot an unarmed man wearing a thin shirt and jeans? No coat, no bag, nowhere to conceal a bomb or large weapons? Nothing about this cover-up changes or negates that question.
It’s a question that demands a public inquiry:
There was a public outcry over the shooting of Mr de Menezes at Stockwell Tube station. The armed officers were acting under controversial new guidelines which allow police to shoot suspected suicide bombers without challenge.
Mr de Menezes’ family has called for a public inquiry into the killing. They have already brought a separate case against Sir Ian Blair, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. They allege that he misled the public over comments he made in the aftermath of the Stockwell shooting.
(Source: The Independent)
We deserve answers. The police our meant to be our protectors and servants, not our executioners.