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08/03/06
We’re Keeping Shoot-to-Kill, Say Top Cops.  Image:  Harper Smith.We’re Keeping Shoot-to-Kill, Say Top Cops
- Police make their case on controversial policy before report into the de Menezes killing comes out

SHOOT-TO-KILL, the tactic that led directly to the killing at Stockwell Tube station of Jean Charles de Menezes last year, is to remain an option for the police.

Senior police officers, under the umbrella of the Association of Chief Police Officers, have pre-empted the upcoming independent review into the de Menezes killing, by making it clear they see shoot-to-kill as vital to their work.

“The police service has an overriding duty to protect life, and occasionally, in discharging its duty, force is used,” said Sir Chris Fox, president of ACPO. “Very rarely officers, in order to save life, may have to take life.”

De Menezes, a wholly innocent Brazilian immigrant, was killed when police put seven bullets into the back of his head as he sat on a train at Stockwell. They thought he was a terrorist.

Reaction to ACPO’s views has been swift. Lawyers for de Menezes issued a statement which read: “Now ACPO seeks to reinstate the secret policy publicly before any inquiry into the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes is completed, confident that police can hide behind the claim that a criminal investigation is still under way.”



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