Report on Met Police shooting published

The Stockwell 1 report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission has finally been published today, more than two years after the Metropolitan Police shot dead innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes on 22 July 2005. The delay is a result of the antiquated belief manifest in the English legal system that the only way to have a fair trial is to keep the public utterly ignorant, even about matters vital to the well-being of society. Until the trial had concluded the report could not be disclosed.

Even the chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission has voiced his dismay at the length of time the report had to be withheld from the public. He said in a statement today:

“Our investigation was completed within six months and we share the frustration that it was not possible to conclude the legal processes more quickly.This is not just something that afflicted the Stockwell case. It happens in other less high profile cases which are nonetheless just as painful for the families and officers involved.”

Chair Nick Hardwick also responds to the belief of some politicians, such as London Mayor Ken Livingstone, that the police should not be held accountable for their actions.

“Let me be clear what the trial was not about. It was not about the split second decisions that the firearms officers had to make when they confronted Jean Charles de Menezes in that tube train – nor indeed just about the death of Jean Charles de Menezes himself, terrible though that was.

The questions the trial did address and indeed the ones the public were asking in the aftermath of the incident were these:

‘If they thought he might have a bomb, why was he allowed twice to get on a bus and then on the tube? If they thought he didn’t have a bomb, why did they shoot him?’

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