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De Menezes jury’s damning verdict: Police blunders WERE to blame for Tube shooting

Friday, December 12, 2008

A catalogue of police errors was today condemned at the inquest into the shooting of John Charles de Menezes.

Banned from considering an unlawful killing verdict, jurors returned an open verdict by an eight to two majority on the death of the innocent Brazilian electrician.

The panel made clear it did not believe some of the evidence from the police marksmen.

In a damaging blow to Scotland Yard, the jurors presented a series of devastating criticisms of their officers’ actions.



They rejected a firearms officer’s claim that he shouted “armed police” before opening fire at Mr de Menezes.
They also disputed that 27-year-old Mr de Menezes had walked towards officers before he was killed.

The jurors concluded that six police failings caused or contributed to the innocent man’s death.

Police marksmen shot Mr de Menezes seven times at Stockwell Tube station in south London on July 22 2005 after mistaking him for failed suicide bomber Hussain Osman.

The jury’s verdict will heap pressure on Scotland Yard who had insisted their officers had acted lawfully.

It will also be viewed as a major snub to the coroner, Sir Michael Wright, who had prevented the jury reaching a verdict of unlawful killing.