Peter Taylor on De Menezes

Tonight’s special edition of Panorama is billed as the definitive account of the shooting of Jean Charles De Menezes. It looks as if it will be available online.

Peter Taylor’s piece in the Guardian suggests that the role of the senior officer on the day, Commander Cressida Dick, will come in for particular scrutiny.

It appears that the surveillance officers had made a positive identification before the bus reached Stockwell. I understand that Commander Dick then said something like, "Are you absolutely sure?", to which the answer seems to have been yes. She then activated the CO19 unit, who would have driven at high speed to Stockwell, probably at the very last minute. The $64,000 question is: what instruction did she then transmit to the surveillance and firearms teams at Stockwell? Did she do more than instruct CO19 to stop him entering the tube? Whether she used the code word authorising the use of lethal force is as yet not known. This is central to the IPCC’s investigation. (The Guardian)

Incidentally, I came across Commander Dick a few years ago, when she spoke at a meeting with the Irish community called after the series of Irish deaths at Brixton Prison. She got an earful from human rights campaigner Terry Stewart when she referred to the Irish as a ‘hard to reach community’ but otherwise she came across ver much as the ‘highly regarded, Oxford-educated officer’, that Taylor describes.






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