September 28, 2005

Family of shot Brazilian visit London death scene

By Jeremy Lovell

LONDON (Reuters) - The family of a Brazilian man mistakenly
shot dead by British police following attacks on the London
transport system visited the scene of his death on Wednesday
and demanded justice for their slain son.

Police shot Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, seven times in the
head on July 22 as he boarded an underground train at Stockwell
station in south London. They were hunting men behind a botched
attack the previous day and believed the electrician had a

"Only Jesus knows our pain and suffering," said a tearful
Maria Otone da Menezes, the dead man's mother. "We are here for

De Menezes's parents and brother were taken by friends to
Stockwell station to see where he died. They stopped briefly at
an impromptu memorial of messages of sympathy near the entrance
to the station before being taken down to the platform.

The shooting happened the day after four bombers failed in
a bid to blow up three underground trains and a bus, and two
weeks after suicide bombers killed 52 people in an identical

The family demanded that the officers responsible for the
killing should be arrested and prosecuted and said London
police chief Ian Blair should also face punishment.

"We want to see those responsible caught and judged," the
dead man's brother Giovani told a news conference.

Police have admitted making a mistake and apologized. Early
details of a supposedly secret independent inquiry into the
killing have revealed a series of communications blunders
between police teams with shoot-to-kill authority.

Blair has asked to meet the family and apologize in person,
but they refused.

The incident, and the way it was handled, deeply
embarrassed Blair and his police force, which had initially
been praised for its investigations into the attacks -- the
biggest manhunt in British history.

Initial reports from police and witnesses said de Menezes
had been wearing a bulky jacket, had vaulted a ticket barrier
and run when challenged by officers.

But leaked details of evidence submitted to the Independent
Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) suggested all those details
were incorrect, provoking an angry response from de Menezes's
family who accused the police of lying.

Blair admitted the aftermath of the shooting had been
mishandled but denied they had tried to mislead the family.

Brazil sent investigators to meet British detectives and
the IPCC after which the ambassador to London said he had seen
no evidence there had been a cover-up. The IPCC investigation
is expected to conclude around the end of the year.