Orders given by a police chief in the case of Jean Charles de Menezes were “ambiguous”, former senior officer Brian Paddick has told an inquest.
He was referring to an order by Deputy Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick to “arrest him [de Menezes], but whatever you do, don’t let him get on the Tube”.
Mr de Menezes was killed in 2005 after being mistaken for a suicide bomber.
Separately, a pathologist said police had led him to believe the Brazilian had “vaulted” over a Tube barrier.
The Brazilian was shot seven times in the head at close range on 22 July 2005 after being mistaken for failed bomber 21 July suicide bomber Hussain Osman at Stockwell Tube Station.
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During the inquest Michael Mansfield QC, representing the de Menezes family, said firearms officers interpreted Ms Dick’s command as “he must be stopped before he gets on the Tube”.
Ex-deputy assistant commissioner Mr Paddick replied: “I think in the scenario that we had, where you have got a DSO, you have got officers with unusual ammunition, you have got a suspected suicide bomber, that order is ambiguous and it could mean one or two things depending on your frame of mind as to how you interpret it.”
Mr Paddick, appearing for the first time in the witness box, also said Ms Dick should only have been concerned with ordering a critical shot at Mr de Menezes.