From The Scotsman
THE officer in charge of the bungled operation in which Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by anti-terrorism police in London is to be promoted, it was revealed last night – provoking outrage from his family. Commander Cressida Dick has been “provisionally selected” to become one of four deputy assistant commissioners at Scotland Yard.
The promotion, which was announced exactly a week before the next hearing in a prosecution case against the Metropolitan Police over its handling of the disastrous operation in July 2005, was described as a “slap in the face” by a spokesman for the de Menezes family.
Mr de Menezes, an unarmed, 27-year-old Brazilian, was shot seven times in the head by anti-terrorism officers at a Tube station in south London after being mistaken for a suicide bomber. The Metropolitan Police is to be prosecuted under health and safety laws for allegedly failing in duties owed to non-employees, although no individual officers will be charged.
Cmdr Dick was the designated senior officer who oversaw the operation that ended in Mr de Menezes death. She has been interviewed under caution by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) over her role in the shooting, but until the IPCC’s report and its evidence is published, her testimony will remain under wraps.
There has been claim and counter-claim about whether Cmdr Dick authorised officers to use lethal force against Mr de Menezes as he entered Stockwell Tube station. Len Duvall, the MPA chairman, who led the interview panel, acknowledged in a statement that there were some “sensitive and unprecedented circumstances involved”, and said officers would not be promoted until “outstanding issues” were resolved.
He said: “The MPA would not prejudice an officer’s fair promotion prospects by making assumptions about future disciplinary action.” A spokesman for the de Menezes family said: “The family are absolutely disgusted and outraged at what is just one more slap in the face.
“We have not even seen the beginning, let alone the end, of the legal process as to who is culpable and responsible for the death of an innocent man.
“How can the Metropolitan Police Authority give the green light to promote Cressida Dick, someone who is centrally involved in the court case?”
The Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Ian Blair, who faced criticism over his immediate support of the officers involved in the shooting, acted as an adviser to the selection panel of five MPA members. In a statement, Sir Ian said: “I welcome the officers who have succeeded in promotion to these strategically important roles.”
Alex Pereira, a cousin of Mr de Menezes, last night told Sky News he felt as if the “people in charge” were working together to prevent his family being given justice. However Ken Livingstone, Mayor of London, welcomed the appointment of women as deputy assistant commissioners, which he said sent out “a powerful positive signal about the development of the Met as a modern police service.”
A spokesman for the IPCC said: “Promotion is entirely a matter for the Metropolitan Police Authority.”