IMMEDIATELY after the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes by armed police at Stockwell underground station in July 2005, the Metropolitan Police hand-delivered a letter to the de Menezes family in Brazil offering them an ex gratia payment of fifteen thousand pounds. This week it was announced in London that the family had agreed to accept compensation of one hundred thousand pounds in return for ending their legal action against the Met.

It cannot be said that the Met's final offer is over-generous given the errors its officers committed in the events leading up to the final shooting of an innocent man and the time it has taken to reach this settlement. Nor has the family had the satisfaction of knowing that the officers involved in controlling the marksmen have been suitably punished.

The most conspicuous Met victim of this botched mission has turned out to be Sir Ian Blair who was Commissioner at the time but lost political support and was eventually ousted from office by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. His successor, Sir Paul Stephenson, made amends to some degree by a statement this week saying, “The commissioner would like to take this opportunity of making a further unreserved apology to the family for the tragic death of Jean Charles de Menezes and to reiterate that he was a totally innocent victim and in no way to blame for his untimely death.”


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