Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Fess Up When You Mess Up

From the Washington Post:

A Brazilian man mistakenly shot by British police last month did not vault over a subway turnstile or run away and was being restrained by one officer when another shot him eight times, ITV News reported Tuesday, citing leaked police documents, witness statements and photographs.

Further, the television channel reported, Jean Charles de Menezes was not wearing a padded jacket that police have said led them to believe he could be concealing a bomb. A photograph of Menezes broadcast by ITV News on Tuesday night showed him lying in a pool of blood, wearing jeans and what appeared to be a shirt or jacket. According to a witness statement, he had been wearing a light denim jacket.

Scotland Yard said Tuesday that it would not be proper to comment on the report until a full account on the killing had been prepared.

The ITV report said police surveillance indicated Mendez [sic] had taken a bus from his apartment to the Stockwell subway station, where he calmly picked up a newspaper and walked through the turnstiles.

Differing with versions provided by police, ITV News said Menezes only ran as a train approached, as did others around him. Once on the train, according to what the channel said was a leaked police statement aired Tuesday night, a police officer pinned Menezes down when another officer shot him. A coroner’s report said he was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder.

Scotland Yard officials have said repeatedly that the incident occurred in the highly charged atmosphere one day after the failed July 21 bombings, and two weeks after four bombs involving a bus and three subway lines killed 56 people, including the presumed bombers, and injured 700.

Family members have said Menezes, 27, was an innocent bystander who happened to live on a block where police were monitoring the apartment of a suspected bomber.

The BBC and the Times of London also has the story, and it looks like there will be a very serious inquiry into what happened.