LONDON - Relatives of an innocent Brazilian man slain by police who mistook
him for a terrorist marked the first anniversary of his death Saturday with a
memorial service at the Underground station where he was killed.
supporters of Jean Charles de Menezes hold a minute silence during a
remembrance ceremony to mark the one year anniversary of Jean's death at a
shrine outside Stockwell underground tube station in South London,
Saturday, July 22, 2006. Jean Charles de Menezes, an innocent Brazilian
man was shot dead by British police officers at Stockwell tube station on
July 22, 2005, after he was mistaken for a suicide
Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, was shot in the head two weeks after four
suicide bombers killed 52 commuters and themselves on London's transport system,
and a day after a similar set of failed attacks.
Police apologized and said the killing had been a mistake. It infuriated many
in Britain and Brazil and prompted deep worries about police anti-terror
Menezes' cousins were among about 30 people who bowed their heads for a
moment's silence before a makeshift shrine at Stockwell Underground station in
south London, where he died.
"This is a day of remembrance and a day of great sorrow for the family," said
the relatives' spokesman, Asad Rehman. "It seems like yesterday Jean was with
them and then taken away from them."
The Rev. Jose Osvaldo, who led the service, recited a prayer in Portuguese
and said "We hope that something like this never happens again and we pray for
peace and for love and justice."
Also present at the service was Mohammed Abdul Kahar, 23, who was shot in the
shoulder by police who raided his home June 2 because they believed a chemical
bomb was being manufactured there.
British prosecutors announced Monday that no police officers would face
criminal charges in de Menezes' death but said they were charging the
Metropolitan Police as an organization for failing to provide for his health and
safety. If convicted, the department could face an unlimited fine.
De Menezes' family were outraged by the decision and have said they are
considering challenging it in court. The Brazilian Foreign Ministry also
The Guardian newspaper reported Saturday that the Independent Police
Complaints Commission had concluded officers in charge of the operation that
killed de Menezes had wanted him arrested, not shot. The newspaper quoted a
letter from prosecutors to the de Menezes family summarizing the results of the
commission's investigation, which has not been made public.
The report found that a series of communication failures had left the
officers who shot de Menezes believing he was a potential suicide bomber, the
"Messages were misinterpreted with tragic consequences," the letter
The officers who killed de Menezes honestly believed he was a potential
terrorist, the prosecutors wrote, and there is not enough evidence to convince a
jury that their error was criminal, the Guardian said.
Spokespeople for the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and the police
complaints commission all declined to comment.