The Metropolitan Police Service…

…working to make London the safest major city in the world…by shooting innocent people in the head and body…eight times. According to this story, the poor Brazilian man, Jean Charles De Menezes, was shot dead for behaving like most commuters and because the Metropolitan Police Service mistook him for Hussain Osman, one of the terrorist suspects. Now that doesn’t sound that horrible, but the story also gives us the following tidbits of information

  1. de Menezes was not wearing a “bulky winter jacket” but a denim jacket.
  2. de Menezes was not behaving in a strange manner (at one point he picked up a free newspaper)
  3. de Menezes ran only when a train pulled upto the plateform…i.e. he was running to catch a train…like a regular commuter.
  4. de Menezes did not jump any barriers.
  5. de Menezes was not challenged by police in the station.
  6. de Menezes was not carrying any bags.
  7. And most damning of all, de Menezes was shot in the head seven times while restrained by at least one Met police officer.

However, a member of the surveillance team has said in a witness statement: ”I heard shouting which included the word ‘police’ and turned to face the male in the denim jacket. He immediately stood up and advanced towards me and the SO19 officers. I grabbed the male in the denim jacket by wrapping both my arms around his torso, pinning his arms to his side. I then pushed him back on to the seat where he had been previously sitting. I then heard a gunshot very close to my left ear and was dragged away on to the floor.”

In other words, just about everything else we heard about the incident has turned out to be a lie. Further,this article indicates the Sir Ian Blair, the head of the Metropolitan Police Service, tried to intervene in the investigation trying to halt it.

Now it is understandable that after the July 7th bombings that tensions would be high, but this is just ridiculous. Why was he allowed to even enter the station if he was believed to be Hussain Osman? Why wasn’t he detained right away? How come when they have an important suspect one of the officers who was involved was “relieving himself”?

Oh and if anybody knows how to contact Sir Ian Blair, let him know it is usually not a good policy to go before the public and tell bald face lies.

FILED UNDER: Europe, World Politics
Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.

Comments

  1. DC Loser says:

    Typical behavior that an organization will take steps to protect itself and its interests instead of just telling the truth. Don’t they know that coverups never work?

  2. Scott says:

    Steve:

    Let’s not be hasty. It may very well be that you are right, the initial version was all lies, and that this incident may have been criminal on the part of the police. It’s been known to happen. On the other hand, the “new facts” are coming from “secret” documents, and even assuming they are true, one must take into account the perspective of the police officer actually on the scene. What did he know? What was he thinking? What were his concerns? What response did his training dictate? As a lawyer who defends police officers, and as a part-time police officer myself, these are the questions I have to answer on a daily basis, and sometimes the public is surprised by the change in perspective.

    See my post here.

  3. McGehee says:

    Scott has a point. If indeed the new version of events is true then heads need to roll — but it still needs to be corroborated.

  4. Steve Verdon says:

    It’s been known to happen. On the other hand, the “new facts” are coming from “secret” documents, and even assuming they are true, one must take into account the perspective of the police officer actually on the scene.

    Sure this is possible, but I think unlikely. For one thing, the pictures in the links show a man wearing a denim jacket (lie number one). Second, the Met has had time to this new information respond and they don’t dispute the accuracy of any of the claims so far. It is looking more and more like an innocent man was killed because of complete and utter incompetence on the part of the Metropolitan Police Service.

    Scott’s post is virtually all speculation at this point. It is far, far less reliable than reports that we’ve had that this incident stinks beyond belief.

    Scott has a point. If indeed the new version of events is true then heads need to roll—but it still needs to be corroborated.

    This will never ever happen, IMO. The organization will cover up for its incompetence.

    Oh and Scott, your advice to not be hasty should have been followed by the people in charge at the Met. Instead they blatantly lied to the public.

  5. Scott says:

    To the contrary, Steve, the “speculation” in my post is based entirely on assuming that the most recent revelations are true. Denim jacket, etc. In other words, consistent with summary judgment standard, can we assume that all of the facts are true and still produce a plausible, even likely scenario where the police could be justified in their actions? I think we can. Does that prove they were justified? No, absolutely not. I will wait for more information before passing judgment.

    Having said that, you are correct in stating that this has been badly handled from the start. If the police officers were justified in their actions, their supervisors have bungled their jobs badly and cast unjustified doubt on those good officers. If the police officers acted wrongly or, worse yet, criminally, then the Met administration has probably broken a few laws themselves by covering up the fact.

  6. Steve Verdon says:

    To the contrary, Steve, the “speculation” in my post is based entirely on assuming that the most recent revelations are true.

    Really? I see nothing in there about freeze. You claim 2 bullets for a double tap, but 11 were fired. You ignore all of the issue about orders for not letting him in the station, on the tube, when to shoot to kill, etc. You side step the issue of trying to halt the investigation into the shooting. And on top of it, so far (and these revelations are several days old) nobody has contradicted them. Granted it could all be wrong and everything was “in policy” and its just a horrible tragedy, but right now that probability is small and getting smaller.

  7. John Burgess says:

    Of all the “reports” of what happened, I don’t actually recall any coming from an authoritative Met. spokesman. They were all leaked to the media or quotations from “eye witnesses.” The Met. announced early that the situation would be investigated fully. That seems to be what’s going on now.

    The newly leaked report may or may not be authoritative–that’s one of the problems with leaks. Does it represent the determined truth, or is it yet another version from another “eye witness?”

    Perhaps the Met. can be faulted for less than a full discussion of its methodologies–both for the shooting and for the examination–but I’d like to see more results from the examination before I conclude I was “lied to.”

  8. Scott says:

    Well, let’s see: A member of the surveillance team is quoted in the report. He said: “I heard shouting which included the word `police’ and turned to face the male in the denim jacket.” It is reasonable to assume that the police identified themselves and ordered the suspect not to move. Standard operating procedure.

    2 bullets (or more) for one officer. Multiple officers, multiple bullets. I allowed for that possibility in my scenario (“Other officers around me do the same.”).

    I haven’t seen any information regarding “orders for not letting him in the station, on the tube, when to shoot to kill, etc.”, other than an officer’s statement than “Police had agreed they would shoot a suspect if he ran.” They, in fact, did not do that (he ran and they did not at that time shoot him).

    I have allowed for the fact that the allegations may be true, and that both the officers involved and the police administration may have committed acts which were inadvisable or even blatantly illegal. In fact, even if the officers followed procedure and were completely justified, I have agreed that the administration has badly bungled the whole shebang. That includes the investigation, the leaks, the press releases, everything. Horribly done. I’m not sidestepping these issues, I’m in fact agreeing with you on them.

    Unlike a great deal of the blogosphere, however, I’m just not ready to convict the officers of murder, or even negligence, until more facts are presented and verified as to what actually took place and why.

  9. NIF says:

    The Division of Indefinite Timeframes

    Today’s dose of NIF – News, Interesting & Funny … It’s Stop the ACLU Thursday

  10. Steve Verdon says:

    Well, let’s see: A member of the surveillance team is quoted in the report. He said: I heard shouting which included the word `police and turned to face the male in the denim jacket.” It is reasonable to assume that the police identified themselves and ordered the suspect not to move. Standard operating procedure.

    It also seems reasonable they didn’t order him to not move.

    2 bullets (or more) for one officer. Multiple officers, multiple bullets. I allowed for that possibility in my scenario (“Other officers around me do the same.”).

    Okay, 2…or more now.

    I haven’t seen any information regarding “orders for not letting him in the station, on the tube, when to shoot to kill, etc.”, other than an officer’s statement than “Police had agreed they would shoot a suspect if he ran.” They, in fact, did not do that (he ran and they did not at that time shoot him).

    You haven’t read about Cressida Dick, the operational commander? Well then maybe you don’t have as much information as is actually out there.

    Unlike a great deal of the blogosphere, however, I’m just not ready to convict the officers of murder, or even negligence, until more facts are presented and verified as to what actually took place and why.

    See here is the problem. Once the powers that be start lying their credibility starts to go right down the crapper right fast. Even if the officers did nothing wrong, top level people at the Met should be fired at the very least.

  11. DC Loser says:

    Everyone agrees an innocent man was killed by the police. He did nothing to bring attention to himself and the police did not identify themselves when they grabbed him and summarily executed him on the spot. I hear the appeals of people saying give the police the benefit of the doubt and everything will turn out okay. But what about the benefit of the doubt for the victim? Where’s justice for him? If someone in the Metropolitan Police loses his job or even goes to jail, he’s still getting off light compared to what happened to this poor man.

  12. […] Steve Verdon at Outside the Beltway and I have been engaged in a running argument concerning the London Police shooting. Steve’s original post can be found here. I responded with the following comment: Steve: […]