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Monday, July 25, 2005

Possible Motive 

A police inquest revealed that Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes suffered not five but seven shots to the head (and one to the shoulder). The BBC cites "security sources" who claim that Menezes's visa had expired, although family members disagree:
Over the past year there have been an increased number of immigration checks at Tube stations - a policy widely reported in Brazilian papers in London . . . .

BBC home affairs correspondent Danny Shaw said the type of visa Mr Menezes had been given would normally be valid for one-and-a-half to two years.

He said Mr Menezes had not renewed the visa, adding: "That wouldn't explain why he was shot, but it might provide an explanation as to why he ran away - if that is indeed what he did do."
UPDATE: The Independent has three good questions and no good answers.

UPDATE II: Our esteemed colleague Mark at Recidivist Journals commends two items to your attention: from the Huffington Post, "Shoot to Kill to Protect" by Hooman Majd, who observes that "London is not Tel Aviv"; and, from the Times of London, an article tracing the last few minutes of Menezes's life. According to the article, "a team of 30 Scotland Yard officers were following his every move" for the 26 minutes it took Menezes to travel, by bus, from his block of flats to the Stockwell station:
There are eight separate flats in the block. When Mr Menezes emerged from the communal front door just after 9.30am, the police must have realised from the photographs they carried that he was not one of the four bombers. Even so they decided that he was “a likely candidate” to follow because of his demeanour and colour, so one group set off on foot after him.

As he waited at a nearby bus stop the reconnaissance team sought urgent instructions on whether to challenge him right away or let him board a bus. They were worried about the dark, bulky, padded jacket he had zipped up on such a muggy morning.

The decision was taken to let him go, in the hope that he might lead his shadows to at least one of the bombers . . . .

By far the most controversial claim comes from a number of witnesses who have cast doubt on police statements that they shouted a warning or identified themselves to the suspect before opening fire.

Lee Ruston, 32, who was on the platform, said that he did not hear any of the three shout “police” or anything like it. Mr Ruston, a construction company director, said that he saw two of the officers put on their blue baseball caps marked “police” but that the frightened electrician could not have seen that happen because he had his back to the officers and was running with his head down.

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