The lead item on today’s Channel 4 lunchtime news was that the in the case of the mistaken shooting of the Brazilian born electrician Jean Charles de Menezes at Stockwell Tube Station no individual officers of the Metropolitan Police would be prosecuted.
Instead the Office of the Commissioner of Police is to be prosecuted under Health and Safety legislation and therefore will at most receive a fine.
The Criminal Prosecution Service believe that there is not sufficient evidence to give a realistic prospect of conviction of any individual if they were to be prosecuted.
But from my perspective the officers involved do not seem to have followed the guidelines drawn up for Operation Kratos.
“The guidance states that in extreme circumstances an armed officer can shoot a suspect in the head if the intelligence suggests that he is a suicide bomber who poses an imminent danger to the public or police. This is to avoid setting off any explosives that might be attached to his body. Five shots are deemed necessary to render a terrorist incapable of detonating his bomb.”
Imminent danger is the key they cannot shoot someone they simply suspect is a suicide bomber. They must believe that individual is actually in the process of setting off a bomb.
Maybe it is a judgement call but clearly they judged wrong and the witness statements would seem to indicate there was nothing unusual about the behaviour of Jean Charles de Menezes prior to his being shot in the head.
Also this from the Channel 4 news site. http://www.channel4.com/news/content/news-storypage.jsp?id=615040
He was only intercepted when he was actually sat on the train, when he was suddenly grabbed from behind, had his arms pinned to his side and was shot seven times in the head at point blank range, according to reports.
The purpose of the shooting to the head under the guidelines of Operation Kratos is to render a terrorist incapable of detonating his bomb. Would not the grabbing and pinning of his arms be sufficient in this case?