Wednesday, August 17, 2005
...but watch ITV news tonight, Tuesday 16 August, 10:30pm. Just seen their early evening news. They've got hold of witness statements and confidential police briefing documents about the de Menezes shootings that the Independent Police Complaints Commission have been looking at. No surprises for readers of this blog - he was only wearing a denim jacket, no bag, didn't vault the barrier, no warnings given, etc. But in the words of Simon Israel three minutes ago on Channel 4 news, 'we now know for certain that the CCTV in the station was working'.
But wait: surely the 'police now say most of the cameras were not working'? That 'there are no CCTV pictures to reveal the truth'? Yes. Yes they do.
Infuriatingly I didn't have my pen and paper to hand when I was watching, but ITV news read an extract from a police statement which minutely describes de Menezes's innocent saunterto the train by referring to the CCTV pictures. In other words, there is a smoking gun that the cops lied about the CCTV. Two days ago they told us there were no such pictures: now their own documents prove not only that they knew there were, but that they knew the footage absolutely demolishes the police story.
Neither C4 nor ITV news seem to have quite clocked that this particular detail - the sheer existence of CCTV footage - proves that there was, let's say this clearly, an attempt at a cover-up.
I'll be watching in three hours, pen and paper poised, to get the CCTV citations in the cops' own words.
ITN has documents which show some of the lies the police have been telling to justify their shooting of Menezes. As I already pointed out , he wasn't wearing a bulky coat. The photo (a CCTV catch, I think) on ITN shows him lying dead on the floor of the carriage, wearing a thin blue denim jacket. The jacket is ridden up around his waist. No suicide belt. Further:
He was behaving normally, and did not vault the barriers, even stopping to pick up a free newspaper.
He started running when we saw a tube at the platform. Police HAD agreed they would shoot a suspect if he ran.
On the television, it is being reported that a surveillance officer who was supposed to be watching the block of flats on Scotia Road, was "relieving himself" when Menezes emerged. Unable to identify Menezes, it was nevertheless agreed at some level that he should be followed. Gold Command gave clearance to the officers to shoot-to-kill, and instructed that he was not to be allowed to enter the tube system.
CCTV footage, which the police said wasn't working on the day, shows him entering the tube station, walking along normally, picking up a Metro (I imagine), using his Oyster card to go through the gates, walking across the concourse, walking down the stairs. If he ran, they decided, he would be shot. It is reported, again, that they did not identify themselves. He saw a tube arriving, and ran to catch it - as everyone does - and was shot. He didn't even know he was being pursued.
One other detail. One of the officers, justifying the decision to pursue him, said he had "Mongolian eyes". Uh huh. Mongolian.
Update: I didn't see this, but I'm told that one officer said that Menezes had sat down in the tube, was called toward the officers and then grabbed and shot.