STATE EXECUTION – 3rd anniversary of de Menezes murder

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Family members gather around Stockwell shrine on 3rd anniversary of the the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes yesterday
Family members gather around Stockwell shrine on 3rd anniversary of the the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes yesterday

FRIENDS and family of Jean Charles de Menezes yesterday marked the third anniversary of the young Brazilian’s killing by a police death squad who fired seven bullets into his head.

They marched with their banner to the Stockwell Tube Station where they held a vigil.

Cousin Alex Pereira gave a short speech saying: ‘It’s been three years, but now we have more chance of getting justice.’

Another cousin, Patricia da Silva, said: ‘It’s been three years of suffering for the whole family. We hope at the inquest there will be some answers and we can get justice.’

Alex told News Line: ‘Last year, when the truth came out, everything changed. You could see all the mistakes. And the politics have changed now Prime Minister Blair has gone. We get more support now than ever before.’

He said he was looking forward to the inquest on September 24.

Another cousin, Alessandro Pereira told News Line: ‘It’s three years on and we are still fighting. We hope we can get justice. It would be good to see Police Commissioner Blair sacked, but if they sack him they’ll get another one.’

A friend of the family, Erionaldo da Silva added: ‘Unfortunately, it’s very sad because three years have gone. It’s not a short time when you have lost a family or friend.

‘In these circumstances what you hope at the end is that you can get some kind of justice. That’s what we are here for, to fight for justice and get some comfort.’

Among those attending the vigil, Russell Higgs, an artist from Hackney, told News Line: ‘I come here every year for the anniversary of Jean Charles’s death.

‘I see it as a state execution and a cover-up. Even on the Monday after the Friday shooting, the Evening Standard billboards outside my local newsagent said “Terrorist Shot on Tube”.

‘It’s just about the most terrible thing I can think of in my lifetime in this country.

‘It’s that nightmare of one person and the forces of the state bearing down on them.’

Gillian Samuel, said: ‘I’m here because I was very shocked at his murder. I came to the vigil the next day. I knew that it was wrong.

‘Things weren’t adding up – the comments that were coming out. The police were silent for some time, that didn’t add up.

‘Witnesses who were on the train were speaking to the media. That added up, they didn’t realise the gunmen on the train were police.

‘When I saw everybody here I realised it was a spontaneous reaction. No-one had called us to come down.

‘I don’t think the truth will come out. The establishment are very much against a genuine, fair and unbiased inquiry.’

Graduate student Ibrahim Yusuf told News Line: ‘I’m very annoyed about what happened, but more than anger, what gets me most is the police tried to cover themselves.

‘They made up lies about this young man.

‘The police got away with murder as far as I’m concerned.’