The 'Independent' Police Complaints Commission announced today that it stands by its decision not to recommend disciplinary actions against the MPS officers involved in the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in July 2005.
Responding to the IPCC's decision, Vivian Figueiredo, cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes said:
"The inquest jury decided that Jean was not killed lawfully, that many terrible mistakes were made and they did not accept police officers’ accounts. Yet the IPCC think no-one should ever be held accountable for this. Our family and the British public have been completely failed by this decision, we all live under the terror that the same thing could happen again. Nobody should accept this.”A spokesperson for the Justice 4 Jean Campaign said:
“This is the final nail in the coffin of the family’s expectations that British justice can deliver where the police are concerned. Whilst the numerous enquiries into the death have revealed evidence of a numerous failings, why is no officer or nobody in charge of those officers held accountable for the shooting of an innocent man? When a system fails to the extent it did on that day, justice demands that if the failing cannot be pinned on any individual then those in charge must be held to account. The IPCC’s decision appears to give the green light to officers to act with impunity.”Harriet Wistrich the family’s lawyer said:
“The detailed decision appears to rely largely on a selective history of previous decisions made and arguments advanced by those representing the police but rejected by a jury at the inquest.Let's sum up for a moment. A young man's life was taken by the state whilst he journeyed to work like thousands of other Londoners, quite oblivious to the terrible fate that awaited him. After his death, lies were spread about him and the manner of the state-sanctioned execution that took place on London's underground system.
There is no distinction between the reliability if police witnesses as compared with civilians. No recognition of the fact that civilians witnessed an event out of the blue and made their statements afterwards, whereas the police knew what they were doing, are trained to make statements and were permitted to reflect on the events for over 24 hours before recording their recollections. Their statements were made in the full knowledge that they had shot an innocent man and appeared to the jury to have been tailored.”
A criminal trial found that the Metropolitan police were guilty of endangering the public and an inquest jury, denied the opportunity to reach a verdict that Jean was unlawfully killed, refused to accept the version of events presented by the Met. Thousands of people have now expressed their disquiet and concern about the way that Jean died directly to his family.
But no-one, not the Crown Prosecution Service or the Independent Police Complaints Commission or the thoroughly pointless Metropolitan Police Authority, has ever held a single officer to account.
No-one has received so much as a slap on the wrist. That's what happens when you kill an innocent member of the public and you are wearing a uniform.
To everyone involved in killing Jean - from former Commissioner Sir Ian Blair down to the surveillance officers codenamed Hotel 1, 3 and 9 and to firearms officer Charlie 12 who pulled the trigger - I hope every one of you bastards has trouble sleeping at night.
But somehow, I doubt it.
Photo: Justice4Jean campaign project a protest message onto Parliament, July 2007