How an innocent man was executed by police in London

A friend, Fausto Soares, told Brazil’s O Globo newspaper that Mr Menezes probably ran away from the plainclothes officers because he thought they were attackers.

“He was assaulted by Englishmen (two weeks earlier) and because of that he may have been scared,” said Mr Soares.

Remember, these were plainclothes police. No uniforms. 

His fate was apparently decided by a cruel combination of improbability: that, used to the heat of Brazil, he should find a cool English summer’s day too cold to dispense with wearing a bulky jacket. Secondly, his skin colour might make him appear Asian to his pursuers. Thirdly he shared a communal entrance to a block of flats with a suspected member of the terrorist cell that carried out last Thursday’s failed attack on London’s transport system.

Why did the police follow a man who had nothing to do with the bombings?

Documents from one of the unexploded rucksack bombs provided the address of a purpose-built block of flats in Tulse Hill, south London. A police surveillance team staked out the property, but appears to have been confused by the fact it was divided into nine flats. Jean Charles de Menezes, who lived in one of the flats, emerged from the block, in what police described as a heavy-looking jacket. The foreign-looking man was considered a possible terrorist and followed. But he was a relatively light-skinned Brazilian, who may have been wearing a heavy jacket because he felt the cold here, even in summer.

So he lived in an apartment building where someone they might be looking for might have lived, so for this he was followed? Did they even know his name or know he was Brazilian? Sounds like incredibly sloppy police work to me.

Why did he run from police when ordered to stop?

Being confronted by three armed plainclothed officers, he could have been frightened and fled. Coming from Brazil, he may have been particularly nervous of armed officers. In the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo, police shot dead 1,470 people in 1992. This fell to 272 in 2001, although half were shot in the back.

Although his friends and relatives say he was living legally in Britain, it appears he was here on a student visa, and was working illegally as an electrician. He could have been trying to avoid capture. So far the only details of his final moments come from eyewitness accounts, which are often inaccurate. Until CCTV footage is examined and released, we will not know whether he was challenged and if he did – as described – jump over the ticket barrier and run downstairs.

Note that the Independent, a genuinely independent paper, is now questioning the police, saying we shall see from the video if he really was challenged and if he did run. In other words, we will see if the police are lying.

In an incredibly callous statement, the police say they’ll probably do it again.

British police say more members of the public could be shot in error as they escalate their battle against terrorism and hunt for four men who tried to set off explosions on London’s transport system last week.

How was his execution different from the death squad executions by police in his home country?