To those unfamiliar with the English legal system, then it is all about hot air. I have twice blogged about the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes and one of the reasons I am glad that Ian Blair was shoved out by Boris was due to the events of July 22nd 2005.
This inquest was all about hot air. No murder or manslaughter charges were brought against any of the lying individuals or organisation, and even the paltry verdict of unlawful killing could not be brought against the pigs.
Just to refresh your memory, back in 2005, the police claimed that De Menezes had vaulted over the ticket barriers, ran down the escalators in hot pursuit by our valiant boys in blue and then was wearing a bulky jacket that looked as if he was concealing weapons. As you can see from the picture, there was no bulky jacket (unless the pigs decided they needed a warm fleece) on De Menezes and even the police later on retracted their own set of lies about the running, the the pole vaulting and the fact that De Menezes was a giant who whirled his arms in the air like a fundamentalist often seen in the movies from Hollywood.
Let us just for a moment recount the details of that morning. What has been established as 'truth' by the police themselves.
He was followed, from his flat , onto a bus to Brixton. He found the station was shut, so he walked back to the bus stop and went to Stockwell. He then went into Stockwell station and was shot.
If De Menezes had been a suicide bomber, he had a chance to blow himself up on a bus, in a busy town centre, then another bus before reaching the Underground. He was being followed for the best part of a hour. Wow, that is great policing guys.
Now, it is quite clear that this part of the police operation was simply incompetent, but in a laughable way. If I was Mullah Bomar living in on state benefits and preaching to newly recruited suicide bombers in London, all I would say is quite simply this:
'Don't worry guys, you have plenty of time to blow yourselves up! Remember, we have virgins, and the police are so stupid, they can't stop you getting at them!'
I digress, I will deal with the Mullah later. Today, my rhetoric is directed at the police.
Now, despite the much vaunted use of CCTV on every London Underground carriage, the jury had to decide whether to believe the police (De Menezes was a burly thug who was going to kill you all) or the passengers (eh, he was some guy sitting on the tube). In the end, the jury in the inquest did not believe that the armed officers gave a warning, and the jury also stated that they did not believe that De Menezes was aggressive towards the officers.
So if the jury does not believe the police officers who executed De Menezes, why are there no perjury charges brought up against them, and why have they been allowed to return to and remain on duty? Too many bullets lying around?
Let me conclude. The facts are all here, it is up to the reader to look at them. The police killed an innocent man. Fact. They lied about the events leading upto his death and the events afterwards. Fact. They tried to justify his killing by stating he was an illegal immigrant and had taken cocaine. Fact. And a jury made up of ten members of the public fundamentally rejected the police's account of the De Menezes death. Fact.
Despite all of this, there are still some pigs who believe that the marksmen were victims just doing their jobs. Well, as Chief Inspector Martin Rush trained the men who popped off one man with 11 bullets, who am I to argue with him? I would like my cranium to stay intact, so yeah, the man with the gun is always right. You go Martin, you really are working towards a safer London.
I will put this another way. The next time C2, C12 or any of their colleagues decide to go for a stroll on the tube, it could be your brains splattered against the carriage. The death of Jean Charles was that of a sacrificial lamb. He saved the lives of dozens of innocent young men in London. Hopefully the police will drop their shoot to kill policy, but as you may have guessed, I have very little faith in the MET.
Let me state again:
I am not a hater of the police. I have not (yet) been subject to their harassment. And as a former bus driver, I have had to deal with the police on many occasions. They are all right people, just doing their job. The rank and file officers are actually quite nice and you can have a laugh with them. And while my life has never been threatened, who else am I going to call if the need arises - the Ghostbusters?
This rant is really aimed at those police officers at the top who have squirmed and wriggled out of their responsibility, despite being paid to hold such responsibilities. It is aimed at those police officers who destroyed the trust and hope that a city pinned on them, due in no small part to the reassurance and the professionalism shown by ordinary rank and file officers during the aftermath of the incidents in July 2005. Unfortunately, it is those same ordinary ‘bobbies on the beat’ that are the public face of the MET and so have to put up with the vitriol that many Londoners feel towards the organisation as a result of 11 bullets.
Jean Charles de Menezes. Born in Minas Gerais 7/1/78. Killed in London 22/7/05 aged only 27. Rest in Peace.