An official report says Britain's senior counter-terrorism police officer deliberately misled his own commissioner and the public about the shooting death of a Brazilian man wrongly killed in 2005.
The report was issued Thursday, August 2, by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. It named Assistant Police Commissioner Andy Hayman, expressing serious concern about his conduct after the shooting.
Brazilian electrician Jean Charles de Menezes was shot seven times in the head on a London subway train by counter-terrorism police who were hunting suspects after terror attacks on the local transit system in July 2005. The commission report says de Menezes was not given a chance to protest his innocence before he was killed.
The report notes that Hayman told reporters after the shooting that de Menezes was not linked to the failed bombings. But it says he nonetheless allowed police to put out a news release hours later saying it was not known whether the dead man was one of the failed bombers.
Responding to the report, Metropolitan Police chief Sir Ian Blair denied he had misled anyone, but renewed an apology for the death.
"I did not lie to the public," he said. "I am very sorry that some information released to the public was wrong and increased the grief of the de Menezes family."
Police initially claimed the Brazilian was linked to the attacks. Police told reporters his bulky clothing and nervous manner caused officers to suspect he was a suicide bomber. However, investigations later showed de Menezes had not run from police, worn bulky clothing or resisted arrest.
A separate report on the shooting issued last year recommended that no officers face criminal charges. But now the commissioner says that disciplinary allegation against Mr. Hayman will be considered by the authorities. He added, however, that Hayman continues to have his full support.