Metropolitan Police on Trial

In the aftermath of the murder, a cascade of misinformation and lies from the very top down. From Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair to the trigger-happy plain-clothes shooters identified only as "carrying a long-barrelled weapon", the actions that day have been exposed as a cover-up of the events that resulted in the extra-judicial execution of an innocent man.

Metropolitan Police on Trial

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

01 Oct 2007, 09:47 #1

October 1, 2007

Met Police on trial for shooting of de Menezes

Sean O’Neill, Security Editor

An Old Bailey jury will be sworn in today to try the Metropolitan Police for alleged failures in the operation that led to the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Scotland Yard has been charged with putting the public at risk in its conduct of a surveillance operation on July 22 2005 - the day after four men attempted to carry out suicide bombings on the transport network.


All the bombers had escaped and the search for them was the biggest manhunt in British policing history.

The surveillance operation at issue in the trial went badly wrong and ended with Mr de Menezes, 27, a Brazilian electrician, being followed onto a Tube train at Stockwell by firearms officers.

Suspecting that he was a suicide bomber, the officers shot him eight times in the head.

The trial, which is expected to last for six weeks, will focus not on the shooting of Mr de Menezes but on the chain of events which led to his being killed.

The charge against the Met falls under the public safety clauses of the Health and Safety at Work Act.

It states that the force “failed to conduct... the surveillance, pursuit, arrest and detention of a suspected suicide bomber, and the prevention of a suicide bombing, in such a way as to ensure that ... members of the public, including Jean Charles de Menezes, were not exposed to risks to their health and safety”.

The charge has been brought against the Office of the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis but it is understood that Sir Ian Blair, the commissioner, will not be called as a witness.

Sir Ian was criticised in a recent report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission for being unaware for 24 hours that his officers had mistakenly shot Mr de Menezes on July 22.

The “Stockwell 2” report concluded that Sir Ian had been "almost totally uninformed about the post-shooting events" and did not know for 24 hours that an innocent man had been shot.

The IPCC rejected an allegation of misconduct against Sir Ian and concluded that he did not intentionally mislead the public. Its report found, however, that there were "serious weaknesses" in the way in which the Met was run under his command.

This week’s prosecution stems from a separate investigation by the IPCC into the shooting of Mr de Menezes. The report produced by that investigation, known as “Stockwell 1” has never been published.

It was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service which decided against bringing murder or manslaughter charges against officers but charged the Met with the offence for which it will be tried this week.

Times
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
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Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

01 Oct 2007, 12:51 #2

Met failures led to De Menezes death, jury told

By Richard Holt
Last Updated: 12:50pm BST 01/10/2007

The shooting of innocent Brazilian man by anti-terrorist officers was the result of "fundamental failures" in planning by the Metropolitan Police, a jury heard today.
 

Mr de Menezes was mistaken for a suspected suicide bomber

Opening the health and safety case against the force over the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, the prosecution told the Old Bailey that his death was not the unpredictable result of a fast-moving operation, but was directly caused by "catastrophic" police errors.

"His death could have been avoided if the defendant [the Metropolitan Police] had fulfilled the duty owed to all members of the public to avoid exposing them to unnecessary risks to their health and safety," Clare Montgomery QC said.

"We say that the police planned and carried out an operation that day so badly that the public were needlessly put at risk, and Jean Charles de Menezes was actually killed as a result."

Mr de Menezes was killed at Stockwell Tube station on July 22, 2005 by firearms officers who wrongly believed he was about to launch a suicide attack, one day after a series of failed bombs attacks on London's Tube and bus network.

He was followed to the south London station from an address police believed was linked to Hussain Osman, one of the failed July 21 bombers.

The Met is accused of failing to conduct the operation without exposing members of the public, including Mr de Menezes, to risk. The force denies the charge.

The charge, under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, focuses on the "investigation and surveillance of a location believed to be connected with a suspected suicide bomber, and the planning and the implementation of the surveillance, pursuit, arrest and detention of a suspected suicide bomber, and the prevention of a suicide bombing".

The Met could face an unlimited fine at the end of a trial, which is expected to last six weeks.

In August, a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) into the shooting revealed serious failings that went right to the top of the Met Police.

It found that Britain's leading counter-terrorism officer deliberately misled the public and the head of the force.

Andy Hayman, the Met assistant commissioner, initially failed to admit to senior officers that Mr de Menezes was not one of four wanted suicide bombers, the report said.

His actions "led to inaccurate or misleading information being released by the Metropolitan Police", it found.

The report said that Sir Ian Blair, the Met Commissioner, was "almost totally uninformed" regarding the emerging identity of Mr de Menezes.

Whilst the IPCC concluded that the complaint against Sir Ian by the de Menezes family that he misled the public was not substantiated, it said his organisation was guilty of "serious weaknesses".

On the afternoon of July 22, Sir Ian told a news conference that the shooting of Mr de Menezes, 27, had been "directly linked" to the anti-terrorist operation and added that "the man was challenged and refused to obey police instructions".

Scotland Yard also suggested in a statement that "his clothing and behaviour added to [police] suspicions".

It was said he wore a bulky jacket in the July heat and jumped the barrier at the station. It is now accepted that none of this was correct.

Mr de Menezes was not given a chance to protest his innocence before he was shot dead by anti-terror officers, despite police claims to the contrary, the IPCC said.

In a statement at the time, the Met apologised for "errors in both internal and external communication" following the shooting of Mr de Menezes.

Telegraph
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
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Joined: 30 Aug 2007, 13:26

01 Oct 2007, 15:58 #3

Todays headline from the Evening Standard screams "Terror Police Put The Public at Risk" . . . if found guilty then they could face a fine of millions of pounds . . . which will be paid by the taxpayer, also known as?

The Public.

I'm curious to know in who's pockets do these fines end up? Certainly I would expect a decent percentage to be paid out in compensation and quite rightly so but where exactly does the rest of it go?

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/ ... article.do
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Joined: 25 Sep 2007, 15:26

01 Oct 2007, 16:18 #4

UrbanBadger @ Oct 1 2007, 03:58 PM wrote: Todays headline from the Evening Standard screams "Terror Police Put The Public at Risk" . . . if found guilty then they could face a fine of millions of pounds . . . which will be paid by the taxpayer, also known as?

The Public.

I'm curious to know in who's pockets do these fines end up? Certainly I would expect a decent percentage to be paid out in compensation and quite rightly so but where exactly does the rest of it go?

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/ ... article.do
The fine is "potentially unlimited," but yes, it will ultimately come out of our pockets.
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Joined: 25 Nov 2005, 11:41

01 Oct 2007, 21:14 #5

'Shocking errors led to De Menezes death'

By John Steele, Crime Correspondent
Last Updated: 8:30pm BST 01/10/2007


A series of "shocking and catastrophic" errors by Metropolitan Police officers led to the shooting dead of an innocent Brazilian electrician, the Old Bailey has been told.

# The last moments of Jean Charles de Menezes

Jean Charles de Menezes was shot seven times in the head during an anti-terror operation that was badly planned, riddled with "fundamental failures" and run from a "noisy and chaotic" control room at Scotland Yard, Clare Montgomery QC, for the Crown, told the court.


Mr de Menezes was mistaken for a suspected suicide bomber

"The disaster was not the result of a fast-moving operation going suddenly and predictably awry," she said in her opening address.

"It was the result of fundamental failures to carry out a planned operation in a safe and reasonable way. We say the police planned and carried out an operation that day so badly that the public were needlessly put at risk and Jean Charles de Menezes was actually killed as a result."

Mr de Menezes, a 27-year-old electrician, was followed from the communal entrance to a block of flats on Scotia Road, Tulse Hill, south London, on July 22, 2005, after the address was linked to a suspect in the previous day’s attempt to bomb the London transport system.

Commander John McDowall, the senior officer leading the hunt for the July 21 terrorists, had set an "unambiguous" strategy that anyone leaving the flats should be stopped, arrested or questioned, the jury heard.

Though surveillance officers, some armed, were sent to the flats, specialist firearms officers from Scotland Yard’s CO19 squad – then SO19 – were to stop anyone who left.

However, the court heard that this strategy was not followed. No-one was stopped and there was an "inexplicable" delay of more than four hours between the first request to the firearms team and their arrival.

Some stopped en route to get petrol. They came on the scene after Mr de Menzes had left for work at 9.33am.

Surveillance officers followed him onto a bus and the tube at Stockwell tube in south London. None of them positively identified him as the suspect. Some thought he might be; others not.

However, the fact that their views were "never cut and dried" was not clearly understood in Scotland Yard – where some staff were struggling to hear radio messages amid the noise from a crowd of officers who wanted to know what was going on but had "no real business being there".

One of the commanders, Cdr Cressida Dick, instructed that Mr de Menezes should be challenged before he went on the tube.

In the apparent absence of the firearms officers she said surveillance officers should intervene but, when the SO19 team arrived, ordered them not to.

The surveillance officers were unaware that the firearms officers were "clattering" into the station behind them and one was threatened with a gun after Mr de Menezes was shot.

A gun was also pointed at the tube driver at one point.


Miss Montgomery said: "You may think that the fact that police ended up pointing a gun at another policeman and mistaking a terrified train driver for a bomber gives you a clue as to just how far wrong the operation had gone."

It is alleged the public, including Mr de Menezes, were put at risk in two ways – first, in police "literally standing back" and allowing a suspected suicide bomber to get on a busy bus and tube, actions which "actually increased the risk."

Secondly, the failure to stop Mr de Menezes in a controlled way above ground made it "more likely, perhaps inevitable" that he would be shot underground.

The trial, in which the two officers who shot Mr de Menezes will not be called, and some will give evidence from behind screens, is due to last six weeks.

The Met denies the charge.
"The problem with always being a conformist is that when you try to change the system from within, it's not you who changes the system; it's the system that will eventually change you." -- Immortal Technique

"The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." -- Malcolm X

"The eternal fight is not many battles fought on one level, but one great battle fought on many different levels." -- The Antagonist

"Truth does not fear investigation." -- Unknown
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Joined: 25 Nov 2005, 11:41

01 Oct 2007, 21:28 #6

From Times Online
October 1, 2007
De Menezes police control room 'in chaos' before deadly shooting
Sean O’Neill, Crime & Security Editor of The Times


New Scotland Yard’s operations control room was a scene of chaos, confusion and indecision on the day that its officers shot dead an innocent man on the Tube, the Old Bailey heard today.

Room 1600 was supposed to be the nerve centre from where senior officers directed their officers on the ground as they ran a fast-moving anti-terrorist operation to catch four men who tried to carry out suicide bombings on the transport network.

Instead it was noisy and overcrowded with radio operators unable to hear transmissions from frontline officers and commanding officers unclear what was happening in the hunt for one of the suspected bombers.

The court heard that from this room, on the morning of July 22 2005, conflicting orders were given to the surveillance and firearms teams which followed Jean Charles de Menezes onto a Tube train and shot him dead.

Clare Montgomery, QC, for the prosecution, said the police operation that led to Mr de Menezes’s death had “fundamental failures” and had put the public at unnecessary risk.

Among the flaws she detailed were:

* A delay of more than four hours before a specialist firearms unit was deployed to stop and arrest a suspected suicide bomber.

* Confusion among surveillance teams about whether Mr de Menezes was or was not the suspect they were looking for.

* Senior officers believing that Mr de Menezes had been identified as a terrorist despite the fact that no surveillance officer had stated that to be the case

* Mr de Menezes being allowed to board two buses and a Tube train despite fears that he was a suicide bomber.


The control room chaos seemed to be epitomised in the five minutes before Mr de Menezes was shot when Commander Cressida Dick, Gold Commander at Scotland Yard, issued a series of contradictory orders to the surveillance team following Mr de Menezes.

Miss Montgomery, who is making the prosecution case against the Metropolitan police under public health and safety legislation, told the court: “Officers from other departments - many of whom had no real business being there - crowded into the room to see what was going on. The operations room was noisy and chaotic.

“The officers who were involved in the operation had to shout to make themselves heard above the noise. The officer who was supposed to monitor the surveillance commentary had great difficulty in hearing the radio transmissions of the surveillance officers. There were repeated requests for non-essential staff to leave the room.

“Whether this atmosphere contributed to the disaster that occurred no-one can say for sure. But it cannot have helped the decision-making process and it cannot have assisted in absorbing and analysing the information that was coming in from the surveillance officers watching Jean Charles.”

Miss Montgomery said the death of Mr de Menezes, 27, a Brazilian electrician, was “a shocking and catastrophic error” which could have been avoided.

It occurred because of failures by the Metropolitan Police in conducting its operations which had put the public - and especially Mr de Menezes - at risk unnecessarily. As such, in the view of the prosecution, Scotland Yard was in breach of health and safety legislation.

Miss Montgomery added: “We say that the police planned and carried out an operation that day so badly that the public were needlessly put at risk and Jean Charles de Menezes was actually killed as a result.”

The Metropolitan Police, under the leadership of the Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, has pleaded not guilty to one charge under the Health and Safety at Work Act.

A jury of six men and six women was told that it would hear evidence over the next two months before deciding on the guilt or innocence of Sir Ian’s force.

The chain of events which led to the shooting of Mr de Menezes began at 4.00am on July 22 2005 when Commander John McDowall of the anti-terrorist branch was woken to be told of a breakthrough in the hunt for the would-be 21/7 bombers.

A rucksack containing a gym membership card had been found at the site of the attempted bombing at Shepherd’s Bush. It belonged to a Hussain Osman and he had been traced to a block of flats at Scotia Road, Tulse Hill, south London.

At 4.55am Mr McDowall drew up a strategy to put the flats under covert surveillance and stop everyone leaving the building. His plan of action was written up on a board in Room 1600.


The first surveillance unit - the Red Team - was on site by 6am and a second team - Grey - was there by 8.33am.

But the specialist firearms unit, which was supposed to carry out any stops and arrests of suspects, never reached the target address. When Mr de Menezes left home at 9.33am, the firearms unit was some miles away at a south London police station.

Miss Montgomery told the jury: “That is over four hours after the strategy was set. Four hours at a time when there was supposed to be 24 hours firearms cover to protect Londoners. Four hours when there was nothing that could be done to stop a suicide bomber coming out of Scotia Road other than expect the surveillance officers who were there to do their best...

“For reasons that are not clear, by 9.33 when Jean Charles emerged from the doorway no police firearms officers were at the scene or even reasonably near, certainly none were close enough to stop Jean Charles if he had been a suicide bomber, even though they were a vital part of Commander McDowall’s strategy.

“We do know that firearms officers had been briefed, we know that they had armed themselves. Some had even had time to stop to fill their cars up with petrol but none had arrived on the ground to see how the land lay when Jean Charles stepped out.” It fell to the surveillance officers to tail Mr de Menezes. They followed him as he caught a No2 bus, jumping off at Brixton tube station then, on discovering it was closed, boarding another bus to Stockwell.

Some of the surveillance officers thought Jean Charles was North African or had “Mongolian eyes” and resembled the picture they had been shown of Osman. Others were more doubtful. At no time did they say that they were satisfied he was the suspect.

Neither did they completely discount him.

Miss Montgomery said: “It is a striking feature of the evidence that the views of the surveillance officers - which were never cut and dried - were not clearly understood by the senior officers in the control room.” At one point the commanders seemed to believe Mr de Menezes was not a suspect and ordered an officer to intercept him on the bus.

Minutes later they revoked that order and appeared to take the view that he was Osman.


Miss Montgomery added: “Neither of these extreme views were justified on what the surveillance team were seeing and transmitting. There is no doubt the control room were looking for certainty - they did not appear to have a strategy to cope when this certainty was absent.” That uncertainty seemed to grow as Mr de Menezes entered Stockwell station. At 10.04. Ms Dick, who had taken over Gold Command from Mr McDowall, ordered that “the subject” be challenged before he went underground but that firearms support had to be present.

At that moment the firearms teams were stuck in traffic two minutes from the station. At 10.05, Ms Dick told the surveillance team to carry out the intervention then rescinded that order after hearing that the firearms unit had arrived and gone “code red”. At 10.08, news reached the control room that the suspect had been shot dead.


Miss Montgomery said: “The police failures meant that members of the public were put at risk in two ways.

“First, they were put at risk because the police had allowed a suspected suicide bomber to travel on a packed bus and in due course to enter a busy tube train without doing anything to reduce that risk...

“Second, members of the public were also put at risk because the failure to stop Jean Charles in a controlled and considered manner above ground made it far more likely - perhaps inevitable - that he would be shot when he was stopped underground. In that environment it was far more likely the police would decide that shooting him was the only safe way to detain him.

“And when the time came to stop him deep in the underground station it was a matter of luck that others were not killed or injured by the operation.” The trial continues.
Looking at the timings outlined in this report, it would appear that while the police surveillance operation was in a state of chaos, hitherto unidentified shooters entered the station and executed de Menezes in a matter of minutes, also threatening one of the police surveillance team ('Hotel 3') and the driver of the train.
"The problem with always being a conformist is that when you try to change the system from within, it's not you who changes the system; it's the system that will eventually change you." -- Immortal Technique

"The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and to make the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." -- Malcolm X

"The eternal fight is not many battles fought on one level, but one great battle fought on many different levels." -- The Antagonist

"Truth does not fear investigation." -- Unknown
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Joined: 14 Jul 2006, 09:00

01 Oct 2007, 22:00 #7

SAS?

I can't help wondering... Of course, no one will actually get prosecuted. Still, it would be nice to see Sir Ian Blair trying to explain the large, bulky coat and the vaulting of the ticket barrier...
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