Brazilians call for arrest of UK policemen after shooting death

Monday, July 25, 2005

The death of Brazilian-born Jean Charles de Menezes in London on the 21st of July at the hands of British police, who mistook him for a terrorist, is being called an "assassination" by the mayor of Gonzaga, Brazil. "It's easy for Blair to apologize, but it doesn't mean very much," said Mayor Julio de Souza, referring to Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Ian Blair's description of the incident as a "tragedy". "What happened to English justice and England, a place where police patrol unarmed?"

Brazil's Foreign Minister, Celso Amorin, came to London and said president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva asked him "to take firm measures to defend the interests of the family of a Brazilian who died in an absurd manner."

Brazilian protesters called for the arrest of the policemen who shot Menezes, and are also demanding the immediate return of the victim's body, as traditionally in Brazil bodies are buried within 24 hours of death.

According to witnesses, police pursued the fleeing Menezes into a subway station and held him to the ground before shooting him. London was on heightened alert after the 7th of July's deadly bombings.