License to Lynch: Footage Contradicts London Police Reports

A Brazilian shot to death a day after botched bombings in London had walked casually onto a train before being gunned down by undercover officers, according to leaked footage that appeared to contradict earlier police reports that said the man disobeyed police orders. Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old electrician, was shot eight times last month in front of terrified commuters on a subway train, after undercover police tailed him from a house under surveillance. Police first said the shooting was related to the failed bombings on the London transit system July 21 — two weeks after four suspected suicide bombers blew themselves up in three Underground stations and aboard one double-decker bus. Sir Ian Blair, the Metropolitan Police commissioner, called the death regrettable, but said it appeared "the man was challenged and refused to obey police instructions." Citing security footage, a British television station reported Tuesday that Menezes entered the Stockwell subway station at a normal walking pace, stopping to pick up a newspaper before boarding a train and taking a seat. The ITV News broadcast, citing an investigation report into the shooting, also said Menezes was wearing a light denim jacket when he was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder. Witness reports described a terrifying scene of the man — wearing a bulky jacket on a warm July day — running through the train station, being tackled by a group of undercover police officers, then being shot several times at close range. The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is investigating the shooting, refused Wednesday to comment on the veracity of the documents cited by ITV News. A police spokeswoman also refused to explain what Blair meant when he said it appeared Menezes disobeyed orders. She noted, however, that police never said Menezes had tried to vault the barriers at the Underground station or tried to run from police. Lawyer Harriet Wistrich, acting for the Brazilian's family, said police had no reason to suspect Menezes was a bomber. "He was not carrying a rucksack. He simply had a denim jacket," Wistrich told British Broadcasting Corp. TV. "Was it necessary to shoot him dead as opposed to trying to confront him at an earlier stage? There was no indication he was about to blow himself up at all."