War on Terrorism

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The London Tube Shooting of John Charles de Menezes

A great deal has appeared in the British press regarding the very tragic death of the Brazilian, Jean Charles de Menezes, on the 22nd July 2005, particularly as a result of the successful prosecution at the end of 2007 of the police at Scotland Yard under Health and Safety legislation and the publication of the British Independent Police Complaints Commission's report. No doubt, issues of H&S and the work of the Commission will now figure to a much greater extent in future British crime thrillers.


1 comment:

Mark said...

Police had a full half-hour during which they were following Jean Charles de Menezes from his home. They watched him up close as he mounted a bus and transferred to another bus. They could easily see that he was carrying absolutely nothing.

At one point a police officer said that he could confirm that de Menezes was the Ethiopian they were looking for because he had “Mongolian eyes”. Was “Gold Commander” Cressida Dick not listening to this idiotic police report from the scene? Did she not care what nonsense they were spouting? Or did she believe that Ethiopians have “Mongolian eyes”? Under which of these would she be qualified to be promoted to anything (as she has been since the killing)?

Once they killed him, the police started their campaign of lies, flooding the media and comment sites with falsehoods such as that he was in the country illegally, that he was wearing a heavy coat on a summer day, that the ran from police when confronted, that he jumped over the turnstile and ran down the escalator to the train – all lies, which police either invented or allowed to be reproduced in the media for weeks without any effort to correct them.

The only people who have been arrested or punished are the heroic woman who leaked the truth to a television reporter, and the television reporter himself. If they hadn’t, the lies would have been repeated without challenge for months or years.

Police in the UK, Canada and the US seem to have a remarkably similar “smear the victim” policy in response to tragedies like this. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police planted lies in the media about Maher Arar, whom the CIA had kidnapped and “extraordinarily rendered” to Jordan and Syria to be tortured, with RCMP complicity. In New York, several shooting victims have suffered this treatment, including Amadou Diallo, whom the police shot 41 times for no reason. A police flying squad was quickly dispatched to grill Diallo’s flatmates all night long with questions like “Did you housemate have any enemies?” They even felt down the curtain seams in their living room. As it happened, Diallo and his flatmates were absolute saints, and the police could get nothing, but it wasn’t for not trying.

Perhaps the author of this piece can tell us whether London, New York and Canadian police attend seminars together and plan out these smear campaigns. At the very least, one would have expected him to comment on the police disinformation campaign against Jean Charles de Menezes.