It looks like we have the media to thank again for being the public interest watch dog.
“BRITAIN’S top police officer, Sir Ian Blair, risks losing his job after it was reported that he tried to stop an independent inquiry into the shooting of a young Brazilian mistaken for a suicide bomber.
Sir Ian also faces calls to resign if it turns out he misled the public about the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes, 27. Leaked statements to the independent inquiry reveal major contradictions between witness accounts and the police version of events at the time.
Within hours of the July 22 shooting, the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police asked the Home Office to let his own force investigate the incident, rather than the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Sir Ian argued that the continuing anti-terrorist investigation took precedence over an external inquiry and he was also reportedly worried an inquiry would damage the morale of his elite firearms officers working on the investigation. The Government overruled his request.
Senior police figures told The Guardian Sir Ian had spoken in good faith when he had said the shooting was ‘directly linked’ to the anti-terrorism operation and that Mr de Menezes’ clothing and behaviour had added to the officers’ suspicions.
Witness statements maintain Mr de Menezes was not acting suspiciously, was not wearing a bulky jacket and did not run from police onto the Underground train, as police alleged at the time. They also say he was restrained by a police officer, with his arms pinned to his sides, before he was shot seven times in the head.
A report in the The Daily Mirror also alleged the police officer in charge of the anti-terrorism operation, Commander Cressida Dick, ordered that Mr de Menezes be taken alive, just minutes before he was killed.
The newspaper said it was unclear whether the order to detain the 27-year-old electrician before he entered Stockwell tube station reached police.
Scotland Yard said it would be inappropriate to comment on the newspaper report, or other allegations, before the inquiry had concluded.”