Officers absolved in civilian shooting
London ? Police officers who shot and killed an innocent Brazilian they mistook for a suicide bomber will not face criminal charges, prosecutors said Monday, in a decision criticized by both Brazil and the victim’s family.
Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, was killed by police on a London subway train last July 22 – two weeks after four suicide bombers killed themselves and 52 commuters on three subway trains and a bus, and a day after a failed set of attacks.
Police at the time apologized for the killing and said they had mistaken de Menezes for one of the suspects in the failed attacks.
Stephen O’Doherty of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime Division said there was no realistic prospect of convicting any officer of a crime.
“The two officers who fired the fatal shots did so because they thought that Mr. de Menezes had been identified to them as a suicide bomber and that if they did not shoot him, he would blow up the train, killing many people,” he said.
“While a number of individuals had made errors in planning and communication, and the cumulative result was the tragic death of Mr. de Menezes, no individual had been culpable to the degree necessary for a criminal offense,” O’Doherty said.