‘STOP JUSTIFYING MURDER’ – De Menezes family urges Met Chief Blair

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The family of Jean Charles de Menezes have reacted with horror at Met chief Sir Ian Blair’s attempted justification of his ‘Shoot-to-Kill’ policy.

The 27 year old Brazilian electrician was shot seven times to the head whilst being restrained by officers as he sat in a tube carriage at Stockwell tube station on July 22nd.

Following Commissioner Blair’s responses to questions from the Metropolitan Police Authority on Thursday, Jean Charles’ cousin Alex Pereira said: ‘There has been no public discussion or debate about a policy where it is “shoot first and ask questions later”.

‘This sort of policy does nothing to make the people of London feel safer or have more confidence in their police.

‘He has not answered a single question about this policy – who devised it, who authorised it and who should be held to be accountable for its failures.’

Pereira added: ‘They shot my cousin like a dog, seven bullets to the head from less than 30 centimetres, whilst he was being restrained.

‘That is the reality of this policy.

‘Sir Ian Blair should stop trying to justify this policy – and instead provide answers to all the questions we have about his role in the death of my cousin.’

The Jean Charles de Menezes Family Campaign said yesterday: ‘The Shoot-to-Kill Policy, codenamed Operation Kratos, has not been subject to any Parliamentary oversight – indeed it has only been subjected to an internal police review.

‘The family of Jean Charles today called for the policy to be subject to a full Parliamentary and public debate.’

Meanwhile, today’s United Families and Friends Campaign (UFFC) march and demonstration to Downing Street will demand an end to the police ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy.

The UFFC, national coalition of deaths in custody family campaigns, is holding its seventh annual remembrance procession today, assembling at 1pm at Trafalgar Square.

A letter demanding an end to ‘shoot-to-kill’ will be handed in to the Prime Minister.

In a statement the campaign said: ‘We say “No Shoot-to-Kill” and demand an end to this brutal policy.

‘Jean Charles was not the first victim of police shootings – Derek Bennett, Azelle Rodney, Harry Stanley and James Ashley are just some of the other people that have been shot dead on the streets of Britain.’

Brenda Weinberg, Chair of UFFC said yesterday: ‘We are gathering for those we have lost at the hands of those designated to protect and serve.

‘The continual denial of justice is another form of human rights abuse practised by this government.’

• Alex Pereira, the cousin of Jean Charles de Menezes will be one of the speakers at the News Line anniversary rally on Sunday November 13th – see advertisement opposite.