Relatives Say Met Admits That, Contrary to Reports, Electrician Did Not Leap Tube Station Barrier
Jean Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian shot dead in the head, was not wearing a heavy jacket that might have concealed a bomb, and did not jump the ticket barrier when challenged by armed plainclothes police, his cousin said yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference after a meeting with the Metropolitan police, Vivien Figueiredo, 22, said that the first reports of how her 27-year-old cousin had come to be killed in mistake for a suicide bomber on Friday at Stockwell tube station were wrong.
"He used a travel card," she said. "He had no bulky jacket, he was wearing a jeans jacket. But even if he was wearing a bulky jacket that wouldn't be an excuse to kill him."
Flanked by the de Menezes family's solicitor, Gareth Peirce, and by Bianca Jagger, the anti-Iraq war campaigner, she condemned the shoot-to-kill policy which had led to her cousin's death and vowed that what she called the "crime" would not go unpunished.
Mr de Menezes was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder at 10am last Friday after being followed from Tulse Hill. Scotland Yard initially claimed he wore a bulky jacket and jumped the barrier when police identified themselves and ordered him to stop. The same day the Met commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, said the shooting was "directly linked" to the unprecedented anti-terror operation on London's streets.
This is sad. "Shoot to Kill" cannot be the rule of engagement in a civilized society, or we are no longer free.