Wednesday, August 17, 2005

More on the Stockwell tube shooting

This story seems to get more and more disturbing as times goes on. Whilst of course we've still to have the report from the inquiry and thus don't yet know the full facts, the recently leaked documents suggest that almost every aspect of the story we were initially told is incorrect.

According to this BBC report on the matter, the leaked documents suggest that Mr Menezes did not jump the barrier at the station, but entered normally, picked up a newspaper and proceeded to the platforms. He only ran when a train was near and was sitting down when the police boarded the train, he stood up after the police shouted "police" and was then restrained by one officer whilst another shot him. He was not wearing a bulky coat and nor was it the case that he ran when police challenged him.

This account suggests that until the police boarded the train, Menezes was not aware of being followed. It also suggests that he did not do anything unusual, indeed he was simply going about his business, and the only reason for the police to think he was up to no good was that he emerged from a building under their surveillance and they thought he was one of their targets.

Now it seems to me that for a decision to shoot to be justifiable, the police needed to have evidence that the suspect had a bomb on him or under his control at the time they were surveilling him. Nothing I've read so far suggests they did, and it looks more and more like the only reason they had for shooting him was misidentifying him as someone they're looking for. If this is borne out by the inquiry then heads should roll.