AT a briefing on their investigation into the murder of Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell tube station on July 22, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it was ‘likely’ that their report will go to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), to decide if any criminal charges are to be brought over the death of the young Brazilian electrician.
Leaked information at the start of the inquiry revealed that Jean Charles was an innocent, unarmed man and that initial reports suggesting that he was wearing bulky clothing, had jumped a ticket barrier and was running from police were not true at all. The impression given to the public by the police themselves was that they had thwarted another terrorist attack. But it later emerged that Jean Charles had not run away but had walked onto a tube train at Stockwell before he was pinned down by plain clothes police who then shot him seven times in the head.
Since the leak from the IPCC, the official version of events that has since been spun is that police thought Jean Charles was a terrorist and made a ‘terrible mistake’. At the same time, the police said that such ‘mistakes’ couldn’t be ruled out in the future, while the IPCC member of staff who leaked the information that Jean Charles was going peacefully about his business was arrested.
The police also revealed that Jean Charles’ killing was carried out in accordance with a shoot-to-kill policy which had been agreed behind closed doors by the police themselves, without the knowledge of parliament, never mind the general public, and that they could not rule out more ‘mistakes’ in the future.
This was at the same time as they were pressing for the introduction of internment of ‘terrorist suspects’ for 90 days without charge or trial.
Since then, it has emerged that armed police have killed before and that in the case of Azelle Rodney, shot several times when he was killed in Edgware in April – several months before the July 7 London bombings – there appeared to be many similarities with the way police proceeded.
The de Menezes family have already made a complaint against Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair about his remarks following Jean Charles’ killing.
But despite what the IPCC have said about their investigation, the capitalist state will not allow its armed bodies of men to be jailed for murder.
This is because the armed bodies of the capitalist state are more and more essential to the rule of the capitalist class in Britain today. That this is so was demonstrated in the case of Harry Stanley, an unarmed man shot dead by police in Hackney in 1999, who was only carrying a chair leg in a plastic bag.
Despite a long campaign by Harry Stanley’s family to establish the truth of what happened, when the case was referred to the Crown Prosecution Service, the armed police went on ‘strike’, protesting that if they were going to be subjected to prosecution for ‘doing their job’, then they would not work for the capitalist state any more. The CPS then ruled that such was their state of mind, the armed police had acted reasonably in shooting Harry Stanley dead and no case for murder or manslaughter could be proved.
The capitalist state in Britain is more and more coming out as a body of armed force and repression against the majority of the public, the working class.
This is because in today’s capitalist world, of crises and wars, the only solution the capitalist class has to its problems is on the one hand to terrorise whole countries like Iraq, to grab their resources, and on the other, to break up all the hard-won gains of Britain’s workers by smashing up the Welfare State and driving down wages.
The only way to ram these policies through, the capitalist class understands, is by having a strong state that will use maximum force to make workers and youth accept these measures.
The only way there will be justice for any worker is when the capitalist order is overthrown, the capitalist state smashed and a workers’ government comes to power to introduce socialist policies.