Tuesday, 24 November 2009

de Menezes' family settles their son's case

Jean Charles de Menezes' family has settled for a £100,000 Met payout.

Jean happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he was shot dead for it. Jean was followed by several plainclothes police officers as he left his flat for several minutes, he boarded a bus, as did his pursuers. Jean got to Brixton station, but as it was closed he rang a workmate saying he was going to be late and again boarded a bus. This is obviously the behaviour of a terrorist, as the police,satisfied that they had their man, decided to go after the man who "had Mongolian eyes". "Code red" was given and the police were authorised to prevent Jean from getting on a train at Stockwell tube station.

Contrary to reports that came out at the time, de Menezes used his Oyster card and did not jump over the barrier. Jean got onto a train, no warning was given, one eye-witness said that de Menezes appeared calm as police guns were thrust onto his head.

Two officers fired a total of eleven shots according to the number of empty shells found on the floor afterwards. de Menezes was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder, he died at the scene. The shots were fired over a thirty second period.

The murder of the Brazilian electrician represented everything that was wrong with the paranoid post-9/11 atmosphere that Tony Blair's government created. It is New Labour's hands that are covered in de Menezes blood.

Settled for only £100,000.

Sounds a terribly low amount considering it is the price of a life. You would have thought that if an innocent member of your family had been executed by the police, you would want to sue for millions, but it is a bit better than the £15,000 that the Met offered immediately after the murder in July of 2005. The money will certainly go a lot further in Brazil i guess.

This closure seems a very unsatisfying end to what was, at the end of the day, a murder. Along with the poor little girl killed when an RAF plane dropped a box of leaflets on her and the bomb that ripped through a wedding convoy in Iraqi, the murder of de Menezes was just another terrible byproduct of the ridiculous war on terror.

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