It is 1910 hrs Thursday 2nd October 2008. I have just listened to a
news bulletin announcing the retirement of the Chief Officer of the
Metropolitan Police. There was never any prospect of Sir Ian continuing
in his post once the news of the shooting of 27 year old Brazilian, Mr
de Menezes erupted onto the front pages of our national newspapers.
And still we have failed to provide his family a single shred of
comfort, solace or the assurance that someone would be held
accountable. And as a nation we continue in this dreadful failure.
Earlier this evening the news reports of Sir Ian’s premature departure
stipulated that success in his (Sir Ian’s) position could only be
facilitated with the support of both the Mayor of London and that of
the Home Secretary; this is a complete falsehood. That success requires my approval and my consent.
Mr de Menezes, a young man at the beginning of his life, was a man upon
whose character lay no blemish; he was shot to death under the terms of
a shameful, if not criminal, policy of ‘shoot to kill’ initiated by
the senior management of the Metropolitan Police. Worse, much much
worse, was that it was done in my name, in the expediency of security.
Every human right that Mr de Menezes might have laid claim to was not
just ignored, they were trampled on in the interests of security.
I say this to the people responsible: NOT in my name, NOT ever in my
name , a pox on your security; if my safety is dependent upon the
forfeiture of Mr de Menezes’ life then I would sooner give up my own
life. To those people who think that we are winning ‘the war on terror’
I would simply refer them to Philip Bobbitt’s admirable treatment of the
subject entitled ‘Terror and Consent’: The wars for the twenty first
Having written these words I have no wish to remain anonymous, though I
would be greatly obliged if the police could somehow contrive not to
shoot me next time that I am carrying my camera and tripod in a public
place, my name is Peter Reid and I live in Sunderland in the UK.