Shoot to Kill Protest at Downing Street

Alex Pereira, cousin of Jean Charles De Menenez,
lays a wreath outside Downing Street.

Picture by Louise Jefferson

Protesters against deaths in custody in Britain took their campaign to Downing Street on Saturday.
Among those taking part in the annual event were relatives of Jean Charles De Menezes, the 27-year-old Brazilian shot dead by London police in July, and of Harry Stanley, the 46-year-old Scotsman killed in East London in 1999 by police officers who had been told he was an “Irish terrorist”.
Following a silent procession from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street, members of the United Friends and Families Campaign (UFFC) handed in a letter demanding an end to the so-called police ‘shoot to kill’ policy known as Operation Kratos.
"Jean Charles de Menezes was killed by armed police inside Stockwell Tube station on 22 July,” the UFCC said in a statement. “His execution brought world-wide attention to a shoot to kill policy that the Prime Minster and the Metropolitan Police Commissioner say is here to stay. We say ‘no shoot to kill’ and demand an end to this brutal policy. Jean Charles was not the first victim of police shootings – Derek Bennett, Azelle Rodney, Harry Stanley and James Ashley are just some of the other people that have been shot dead on the streets of Britain. Their families continue to fight for justice.”

The Metropolitan Police Service last week defended Operation Kratos in a report to the Metropolitan Police Authority which stated: “This is not a ‘shoot to kill’ policy. The tactics are wholly consistent with Section 3 Criminal Law Act, which says ‘A person may use such force as is reasonable in the circumstances in the prevention of crime, or in the effecting or assisting in the lawful arrest of offenders or suspected offenders or of persons unlawfully at large’.”
The report revealed that the Metropolitan Police received 763 calls from the public about suspected suicide bombers between 21 July and 4 August, and Armed Response Units were deployed on six occasions.






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