Menezes ruling: Reaction

Jean Charles de Menezes’ mother, Maria Otone de Menezes

“I would like to express my family’s gratitude to the jury and everybody who has supported us during these difficult times.

“Since the moment that the coroner ruled out the option of unlawful killing verdict I was feeling very sad but today I feel as if I have been reborn.”

A spokesperson for the Justice4Jean campaign

“Despite this being the first opportunity to hear from witnesses a number of obstacles were placed in front of jurors.

“The coroner failed to resist the terrible pressure put on him by police legal teams, the family was prevented from being given an unlawful killing verdict and the jury gagged from writing its own narrative explaining the factors that led to Jean Charles’ death.

“Yet the jury have come back with a damning critique of the police; that the police lie, that Jean Charles was completely innocent and from the moment Jean entered Stockwell station he was doomed to be shot without warning.

“If the jury had been left with unlawful killing verdict they would have delivered one. This should be considered with the same weight and we want to thank all the jury for finding and exposing the truth.”

Menezes family solicitor Harriet Wistrich

“It’s been three and a half years of pain and suffering and we’re coming to the point where we have a possible sense of closure.

“We still have an impossible amount of questions. But these questions are not just for the family; they’re for the public as well. The jury have said this shouldn’t have happened.

“Any Londoner walking on the street needs to feel the police are going to look back on what when wrong and put it right.”

Home secretary Jacqui Smith

“The death of Jean Charles de Menezes was a profoundly shocking tragedy and the de Menezes family have my deepest sympathy.

“What we have learnt from the accounts of the tragic events that day reminds us all of the extremely demanding circumstances under which the police work to protect us from further terrorist attack. The Metropolitan Police remain in the forefront of the fight against crime and terrorism.”

Acting Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson

“Over the past ten weeks the inquest has heard in great detail about the events of 22nd July 2005 and what unfolded on that tragic day over a very short space of time.

“We have heard the jury’s conclusions and now need to take time to give proper consideration to them. I also note the coroner’s intention to make a report on his recommendations for any future action we may need to take.

“The death of Jean Charles de Menezes was a tragedy. He was an innocent man and we must, and do, accept full responsibility for his death.

“For somebody to lose their life in such circumstances is something that the Metropolitan Police Service deeply regrets. In the face of enormous challenges faced by officers on that day we made a most terrible mistake.

“I am sorry.

“I wish to once again express my profound condolences to the family of Jean Charles. They have suffered the most dreadful of losses.

“July 2005 brought with it unparalleled challenges for the Met and the people of London including the unique situation where there were four failed suicide bombers on the run.

“Our priority that day was to arrest these terrorists before they could commit further atrocities and potential acts of mass murder.

“No-one set out that day to kill an innocent man.

“The coroner has ruled that on the extensive evidence called before him this was not an unlawful killing.

“Those officers knew that further terrorist attacks could take place. They set out with the intention to defend and protect the public.

“The officers involved in the fatal shooting of Jean Charles have described in court the personal impact this tragedy has had and will continue to have on their lives for many years to come.

“Our duty then, as it is now, is to ensure that this organisation learns from the events to minimise the chances of this ever happening again.

“Since July 2005 the Met has been the subject of numerous reviews and inspections. These have ensured we have identified the areas where we believe things needed to be changed.

“As the leader of this organisation, it is my duty to ensure that the appropriate lessons are learnt and acted upon. That is what we have done and will continue to do.

“The extraordinary events of July 2005 will be remembered by Londoners and indeed across the world. It was a time when 52 people had lost their lives, 977 were injured and many others were living in fear of further terrorist attacks – a threat that continues to this day.

“Therefore, our priority is to protect Londoners by stopping those who are intent on terrifying us all.

“In doing that we must learn from the terrible tragedy of Jean Charles’ death.

“Thank you.”

Police Complaints Commission chair Nick Hardwick

“The death of Jean Charles de Menezes was a truly shocking event. An entirely innocent man, on his way to work, was shot and killed by armed police while he sat on a tube train. We now know there was nothing in his actions which justified his fate. He had no opportunity to defend himself or protest his innocence.

“I would like to repeat on behalf of the IPCC my sincere sympathies to the family of Jean Charles de Menezes.

“The inquest and health and safety trial have necessarily focused on the specific events of 22 July 2005. They have not examined the broader issue of how the police should respond to the threat of suicide terrorism. I call again for this to have much broader debate and scrutiny by the public and their representatives.

“When our investigation began, I promised the commission would provide the fullest possible account of how Jean Charles de Menezes died and why. The IPCC has kept that promise. The jury supported our conclusions.

“In addition to our published reports, we also provided disclosure of 1,700 statements, documents and other exhibits that we collected during our investigation to everyone represented at the inquest.

“Our account of the case was first reviewed in detail by the Crown Prosecution Service and then subjected to intense scrutiny at both the health and safety trial and the inquest. None of these independent bodies or tribunals has disputed the IPCC’s account or conclusions.

“The inquest has once again highlighted the operational changes that need to be made following this incident.

“These echo many of the recommendations made by the IPCC and also identified by the Metropolitan Police’s internal review.”