PM 'desperately sorry' for shooting Jul 25 2005
Prime Minister Tony Blair has expressed his sorrow over the death of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, who was mistaken for a suicide bomber at Stockwell station on London's Underground and shot five times in the head by plain clothes' police.
Mr Blair told a Downing Street news conference: "We are desperately sorry for the death of an innocent person and I understand entirely the feelings of the young man's family.
"But we also have to understand the police are doing their job in very very difficult circumstances and I think it is important that we give them every support and that we understand that had the circumstances been different and for example, this had turned out to be a terrorist and they had failed to take that action, they would have been criticised the other way.
"At the same time therefore, in expressing our sorrow and deep sympathy for the death that has happened, it is important that we allow the police and support them in doing the job they have to do in order to protect people in this country."
On Monday, Mr de Menezes cousin Alex Pereira told BBC Breakfast that the police "have to pay" for the mistake.
Asked if the family was taking legal action, he said: "They (the police) have to pay for that in many ways, because if they do not, they are going to kill many people, they are going to kill thousands of people. They just kill the first person they see, that's what they did."
The 28-year-old added: "They killed my cousin, they could kill anyone."
A police chief has defended the "shoot to kill" policy as a last resort.
Chris Fox, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, said: "Shoot to kill is very good headline but, in fact, what we have to do is we have a series of tactics which range from disruption to the very, very final moment when you have to shoot and the aim is to prevent the criminal or suspect causing harm to other people."
He told BBC Breakfast that the range of tactics was in response to the new kind of threat posed by suicide bombers.
How ridiculously tragic is this?!? Absurd!
My condolences to Brasil and the victim's family.