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By Jill Lawless
Associated Press

LONDON - A police marksman who shot dead an unarmed Brazilian aboard a London subway train said Friday he was sure he faced "immeasurable" danger from a suicide bomber.
The officer told jurors at an inquest into the July 22, 2005, killing of Jean Charles de Menezes that he believed the man he was pursuing had been identified as one of the failed suicide bombers who had tried to attack London's transport system the day before.
"It was left in no doubt as to the type of suspect we were trying to intercept and they were prepared to take their own lives as well as others and the danger was immeasurable," said the marksman, who was granted anonymity by the inquest and identified only by his code name, C12.
An inquest, which is not a trial, is required by British law when someone dies unexpectedly, violently or of unknown causes. De Menezes' family and their supporters hope that it will provide more information about de Menezes' death than has so far been revealed publicly.
De Menezes, a 27-year-old electrician, was followed from his apartment building - which was also home to one of the would-be bombers - and onto a subway train by armed officers who fired seven shots into his head.
Friday's testimony was the first time either of the officers who shot de Menezes has spoken publicly about the events. The dead man's mother, Maria Otone de Menezes, 63, and brother Giovani da Silva, 36, were at the inquest to hear him.
The inquest has heard testimony about confused communications between police officers as the London force mounted a huge manhunt for the failed bombers. Tensions were high in the city following suicide bombings two weeks earlier that killed 52 subway and bus passengers.
The officer said he was frustrated by a lack of orders from his superiors in the moments before the shooting.
"We were very, very close to the Tube station as the subject went in and I remember there being a radio silence and I was frustrated by this," he said.
The officer told the inquest that he had been a specialist firearms officer since 1998 but had never fired his gun at a suspect until the day de Menezes was killed.
No individual has been charged in de Menezes' death, although a court convicted the police force last year of health and safety violations for endangering the public's safety during the shooting.

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Judge: No unlawful killing in police shooting of Brazilian

By Nancy Zuckerbrod
Associated Press

LONDON - Jurors weighing evidence in a public inquest into the shooting death of a Brazilian man mistaken for a terrorist cannot find that he was unlawfully killed, a judge said Tuesday.
The man's family immediately asked the High Court to review that directive.
Former High Court Judge Michael Wright, presiding at a coroner's inquest, told jurors that the evidence doesn't justify an unlawful killing verdict in the July 2005 death of 27-year-old Jean Charles de Menezes.
De Menezes, a Brazilian electrician working in London, was shot by police as he sat aboard a subway train a day after terrorists tried to set off bombs in London. The shooting of an unarmed man raised outrage against the police, especially in his native Brazil.
"In directing you that you cannot return a verdict of unlawful killing, I am not saying that nothing went wrong on a police operation which resulted in the killing of an innocent man," Wright said.
But he added that a verdict of unlawful killing could only be considered if jurors could be sure that a serious crime, such as murder or manslaughter, had been committed.
The family of de Menezes released a statement saying they were asking the High Court to review the judge's decision on verdict options.
A coroner's inquest is not a trial. It's required in Britain to establish the facts when someone dies unexpectedly or violently and is supposed to provide more information about what happened than otherwise would be revealed.
Wright said jurors could only return a verdict of lawful killing or an open verdict, meaning they reached no conclusion. They are not allowed to attach any criminal or civil fault to individuals.
No individual has been charged in de Menezes' death. A British court did convict the police force last year of health and safety violations for endangering the public's safety during the shooting. The force was fined 560,000 pounds ($850,000).
Relatives of de Menezes, including his mother, have appeared in court during much of the inquest. A call to a family spokesman was not immediately returned Tuesday.
"I know that your heart will go out to her," the judge said. "But these are emotional reactions, ladies and gentlemen, and you are charged with returning a verdict based on evidence."
The two officers who shot de Menezes testified in the case but their identifies were obscured. They said they believed de Menezes was one of the failed bombers who had tried to attack London's transport system the day before.
De Menezes had an apartment in the same building as Hussain Osman, the subway bombing suspect police were hunting. Osman was later convicted of the failed July 21 attack and is serving a life sentence.
London police were on high alert at the time of the de Menezes shooting, which also came two weeks after London was hit by the July 7 suicide bombings that killed 52 bus and subway passengers.

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The verdict is good news. Had De Menezes not run from the police, he likely would not have been shot. Pretty simple, really...
 
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I had a UK officer do a ridealong with me several years ago, and he said that if an armed officer actually uses their weapon, their career in that unit is pretty much over, even if it's a legitimate shoot. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but the Brits have their own way of doing things.
 
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