Resignation Call On Menezes Killing Verdict

Pressure is mounting on Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair to resign over the shooting of innocent Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes.

The force broke health and safety laws when officers pursued Mr Menezes to a Tube station and shot him seven times, mistaking him for a terror suspect.

Immediately after the verdict, Sir Ian announced he would remain in the job and was backed by the prime minister.

But Tories and Lib Dems said he should take responsibility for Met failures.

"It was a horrific series of mistakes and he is the person responsible," said shadow attorney-general Dominic Grieve.

He added that the whole incident was "rather shameful in terms of the competence of the police, that an innocent person should be shot in that fashion, when in fact there was a series of accidents that led up to it, which shouldn't have occurred".

Richard Barnes, leader of the London Assembly Conservatives, and a member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, said he would be pushing to have Sir Ian removed from his post.

"What we can do is have a special meeting of the police authority to discuss this, and I called for that meeting to be called within the next seven days.

"We can then take a vote of confidence if Sir Ian Blair does not accept his responsibilities."

Following the verdict, London's police force is facing what could be an unlimited fine having been found guilty of breaking health and safety laws over the shooting.

Armed police shot Mr de Menezes dead at Stockwell Tube station on 22 July 2005.

The Metropolitan Police was also found to have unnecessarily put the public at risk in chasing a suspected suicide bomber across the city, an Old Bailey jury decided.

The operation began when detectives investigating the failed suicide bombings of the previous day linked one of the suspects, Hussain Osman, to a block of flats in south London.

Mr de Menezes also lived in the block, and when he left home surveillance officers were unsure if he was their target.

The court heard that the situation had worsened because senior officers failed to keep to their own agreed plan, while firearms teams were both poorly briefed and in the wrong locations.

This meant that it became impossible to effectively stop the suspected suicide bomber before he boarded a bus and headed for the underground system.

The Met denied this, saying its commanders and officers on the ground did all they could to apprehend the bombers and minimise the risks to the public.

The unprecedented, highly controversial trial came after prosecutors said that no individual officer could be held responsible for the electrician's death.

Instead, they said the force, represented by the Met Commissioner's Office, should be tried for failing to protect the public from the risks posed by a suspected suicide bomber on the loose.

The Met vehemently denied the allegation during the trial, saying that there was no case for it to answer.

But Clare Montgomery QC, prosecuting, told the jury that Scotland Yard commanders had made a string of errors on 22 July that culminated in an unwarranted risk to the public and ultimately the death of Mr de Menezes.


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The family of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes have called for Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair to resign over the wrongful shooting and for the officers involved to be prosecuted.
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11 May 2007
'No disciplinary action' for Menezes police
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has ruled that none of the 11 police officers involved in the shooting which killed Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes will face disciplinary action.
17 July 2006
No charges for officers over Menezes shooting
The police officers involved in the wrongful shooting of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes at a Tube station last July will not face prosecution, the Crown Prosecution Service has announced. The CPS ruled that there was "insufficient evidence" to prosecute an individual over the fatal shooting.