London police guilty in Brazilian's subway shooting death

The London Metropolitan Police broke health and safety laws in the fatal shooting of an innocent Brazilian electrician who was mistaken for a suicide bomber on a subway car, a jury in Britain ruled Thursday.

The LondonMetropolitan Policebroke health and safety laws in the fatal shooting of an innocent Brazilianelectrician who was mistaken for a suicide bomber on asubway car, ajury in Britainruled Thursday.

Jean-Charles de Menezes was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder. The shooting occurred two weeks after suicide bombers killed 52 people on London's transit system and a day after a failed suicide bombing attempt.
Jean-Charles de Menezes, 27, was shot in the head seven times at Stockwell station on July 22, 2005,two weeks after near-simultaneous explosions during the morning rush hour killed 52 people and four suicide bombers in London, and just a day after a second suicide bombing attempt on the city's subway system.

During the trial, prosecutor Clare Montgomery said the"fundamental failures" of a police surveillance team led to the endangerment of the public and de Menezes's death.

The jury said Thursday that thepolice force put the public at unnecessary risk, butruledthe commander of the surveillance unit, deputy assistant commissionerCressida Dick, bore "no personal culpability" inthe incident, the BBC reported.

The force now faces an unlimited fine, butindividual officers involved in the botched operation will notbe subjected tocharges.

De Menezes, an electrician who had been in the country for three years, lived in a building that was under surveillance because it was believed to house a suspect wanted in connection with the unsuccessful bombings of July 21.

When de Menezes left his apartment, he was believed to be that man and subsequently tracked to the station. He rushed to board a waiting train car, where two officers pinned him to the floor and shot him seven times in the head and once in the shoulder.

London's Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, left, speaks to the media outside the Central Criminal Court, in London, Thursday. ((Alastair Grant/Associated Press))
In July, prosecutors made the rare move of charging the office of Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair under existing health and safety legislation provisions for "failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare" of de Menezes after concluding there was insufficient evidence to charge the individual police officers who shot him.

Police later apologized to de Menezes's family for the killing and acknowledged their officers made mistakes under considerable pressure to thwart more attacks, but vehemently denied thecharge.

Shortly afterThursday's verdict against his force, Blair said he would not resign his position.