De Menezes: the final humiliation

No police accountable; reduced payout to "poor" family

Sign Up

Get the New Statesman's Morning Call email.

First, we learn that the police covered up the details surrounding the 2005 shooting of the innocent Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes.

Next, we learn -- no surprise, given the police's record -- that not a single officer or police chief will be held to account over the death.

Now, today, comes the final humiliation for the de Menezes family: news that the amount of compensation relatives will receive will be reduced because they are "poor". According to the London Evening Standard:

Today it was claimed that the family of the Brazilian, who was mistaken for a suicide bomber and shot seven times in the head at Stockwell Tube station, may receive only around £100,000.

It is alleged that lawyers for Scotland Yard and the family have reached an out-of-court settlement.

Although the amount is covered by a confidentiality clause, it has been alleged that it would have been much higher if Mr de Menezes, 27, had left a widow and children or came from a wealthy family.

But when he died on 22 June in 2005, his parents were living in a one-bedroom house deep in the Brazilian rainforest.

Excuse me? If this is true, can the police explain the logic? Surely the poverty of his family should mean a greater, not smaller, payout.

As I first wrote in 2007, this tragic affair could turn out to be one of the great public scandals of the decade.


Sign up to the New Statesman newsletter and receive weekly updates from the team

James Macintyre is political correspondent for the New Statesman.
Free trial CSS