by Chisanga Malata
Controversy still rages on around the shooting of by London Metropolitan Police in July 2005 at Stockwell station.
Eyes witnesses to the shooting of the Brazilian who was mistaken for a terrorist by the Metropolitan police claimed that the marksmen who killed Mr Menezes did not identify themselves as police officers before they opened fired on the innocent electrician.
Evidence given by passengers travelling in the same carriage as Mr Menezes contradicted the statements given by the Metropolitan police. Both of the officers who shot Jean Charles to the inquest that they said “armed police” before shooting the Brazilian 7 times in the head. But yesterday 3 witnesses said that there was no such shout made by the marksmen.
The testimonies given by the witnesses backs the accusation made by Michael Mansfield QC representing the Menezes family that the metropolitan police have in particular the officers who shot Mr Menezes have “embellished”, “exaggerated”, and have “lied” during the inquest to the shooting.
Witnesses Ralph Livock and girlfriend Rachael Wilson were sitting opposite Mr Menezes on the tube carriage the inquest heard. Mr Livock recalled that the departure of the train was being held up and then four men casually dressed walked onto the train with guns and proceeded to shot Jean Charles 7 times in the head at point blank range. Asked if whether the four men identified themselves as police officers Mr. Livock said: ‘No certainly not”
“And I remember that specifically because one of the conversations that Rachel and I had afterwards was that we had no idea whether these were police, whether they were terrorists, whether they were somebody else. We just had no idea.”
When Ms Wilson was asked, “Did you ever hear anybody shout ‘armed police’?” she answered, “If I had heard that, I would have thought they were police, so no”? Asked the same question later, she again insisted that no one had shouted “armed police,” adding: “That’s one of the things I recall the most – the silence.”
The couple said they initially thought the officers were pranksters playing a game. Mr Livock said: “One of my initial thoughts was it was all a game and they were a group of lads who were just having a laugh – a very bad taste laugh, but just having a game on the Tube, because they were just dressed in jeans and T-shirts but with firearms. The thing that made me realise it wasn’t a group of lads playing around or something else happening was when the first shot was fired.” Ms Wilson added: “I thought they were messing around. Then I thought they were terrorists and it was only when I left the carriage and somebody moved me gently out of the way that I figured they must be good guys. Apart from that, I just didn’t know who they were.”
Mr Mansfield has said the officers who killed Mr de Menezes did not “honestly and genuinely” believe the Brazilian electrician was an immediate threat at the time they pulled the trigger. He says they are embellishing their version of events in statements and evidence in order to convince people that they believed Mr de Menezes was a suicide bomber.