Menezes/Text — Lasse Lau and Anthony Graves, 2005

He looked absolutely petrified and then he sort of tripped, but they were hotly pursuing him, they couldn’t have been more than two or three feet behind him at this time, and he half tripped and was half pushed onto the floor and the policeman nearest to me had the black automatic pistol in his left hand. He held it down to the guy and unloaded five shots. He was largely built, he was quite a chubby sort of guy. I saw an Asian guy. He ran onto the train hotly pursued by three plain clothes officers, one of them was wielding a black handgun. One eyewitness on the train said: “[Mr. de Menezes] paused, looked right, looked left and then selected an empty seat.” I saw them offload five shots into the person on the floor. I saw them kill a man. The man was shot by plain clothes officers as he ran into the train carriage from the station. He looked out of place, said an eyewitness, adding that he was wearing a heavy winter coat in summer. The victim looked Pakistani and was wearing a thick winter coat. A man sitting opposite him on the tube said, “Within a few seconds I saw a man coming into the double door to my left. He was pointing a small black handgun towards a person sitting opposite me. He pointed the gun at the right-hand side of the man’s head. The gun was within 12 inches of the man’s head when the first shot was fired.” A second officer also failed to give a positive identification but claimed the suspect had “distinctive mongolian eyes.” Mr. Menezes’ apparently bulky clothing added to their suspicions. Some Brazilians find even Summer weather in the UK cold and often dress warmly. His skin was darker than of the average Briton, so of course the police had reason to suspect he was a bomber. NBC News said tonight that the victim was a Brazilian illegal alien, who was an electrician and did not speak English. He spoke English very well, and had permission to study and work there. The officers observing the address reportedly were suspicious of Menezes’ clothing. He was followed by surveillance officers to the station. His clothing and his behavior at the station added to their suspicions, police said Friday. A policeman in Gonzaga was asked if Menezes had become Muslim in Britain. He half tripped […] they pushed him to the floor and basically unloaded five shots into him. The suspect was said to be of Asian appearance. He had a baseball cap on and quite a sort of thickish coat – it was a coat you’d wear in winter, sort of like a padded jacket. I didn’t even see a bag to be quite honest. As the suspect got onto the train I looked at his face, he looked sort of left and right but he basically looked like a cornered rabbit, a cornered fox. I could see someone lying on the floor and police all standing about. Perhaps 74 feels chilly to a Brazilian. I saw these police officers in uniform and out of uniform shouting ‘get down, get down,’ […] appeared to have a bomb belt and wires coming out […] I heard two shots being fired. A lawyer for the family: “[…] He was wearing nothing that would suggest that he was hiding explosives.” Mr. Menezes had lived for a time in a slum district of Sao Paulo and that could explain why he had run from the police. Armed police with guns running into the station. Only a couple of them were in uniform, the rest were in plain clothes. There were a couple dozen of them. I thought the guns were machine guns – they were quite big. Witnesses say the man was shot five times after being caught. Witnesses saw the suspect chased by officers, held on the floor and shot five times in the head. Police claimed that because Menezes was wearing a heavy jacket on a warm day it raised suspicions that he was hiding explosives underneath, and was therefore a potential suicide bomber. At the time of the shooting, the temperature in London (at a Heathrow Airport weather station) was about 17C (62F). Lived in Brixton, London, for three years, working as an electrician. He was very easygoing and communicative with everyone. Mr. Menzes spoke excellent English. Mr. Menezes had come out of a house in the Tulse Hills, South London, which had been under police surveillance because of a suspected link to Thursday’s attempted bombings. Police say Mr. Menezes’ clothing and behaviour added to their suspicions. After leaving the house he caught a bus to Stockwell tube, where officers told him to stop. He appears to have lived in a house in Scotia Road, Tulse Hills, South London. Soon after being followed from the Tulse hills house by plainclothes officers watching the address, Menezes lay dead on the platform at Stockwell station from multiple gunshot wounds. He had failed to obey orders from armed officers to stop. Witnesses to Friday’s shooting told of the terror on the man’s face. An armed unit took over, ordering him to stop. He did not. His unseasonably thick jacket apparently prompted concern that he had explosives strapped beneath. When Menezes, dressed in baseball cap, blue fleece and baggy trousers, emerged […] he was followed. When he headed for the nearby tube station officers decided to arrest him. Witnesses say the man jumped the ticket barrier and was chased into the station, where he half-tripped boarding a train. He was allegedly pushed to the floor by armed police, then according to eyewitnesses , an officer fired five shots into his head. On Friday Mr. Menezes had come out of his flat in Tulse Hill, South London, which he shared with cousins. His crime? Wearing a heavy, padded coat in balmy 74-degree London, and running when a swarm of heavily armed public protectors followed him into a subway station and demanded that he lie down and be shot without making a scene. Menezes was said to be on is way to fit a fire alarm. Police quickly discovered he did not have a bomb. Menezes did not stop and continued to enter the station, allegedly running. He could have been running, but not from the police […] When the underground stops, everybody runs to get on the train. That he jumped over the barriers is a lie. The Observer reported that he was dressed in “baseball cap, blue fleece and baggy trousers.” I heard shouting which included the word‘police’ and turned to face the male in
the denim jacket. A witness to the shooting, told Reuters that he observed Menezes wearing a large winter coat, which “looked out of place.” A cousin of Menezes, claimed that she had been told by police that Menezes was wearing a denim jacket on the day of the shooting. His grandmother told the Globo TV; “ He was very easygoing and very communicative with everybody.” He was thought to be on his way to fit a fire alarm. Police followed him as he caught a bus to Stockwell station. Menezes was challenged and refused to obey police orders. Initial accounts said the Brazilian, 27, was dressed suspiciously in a heavy coat on a warm day, fled armed officers, vaulted over ticket barriers and ran onto a train. Leaked documents indicated […] he was not wearing a padded jacket, had walked calmly through the station and stopped to collect a free newspaper before sitting down in the carriage. Another eyewitness told BBC that Menezes appeared to be wearing a “bomb belt with wires coming out.” Eyewitnesses claim that up to twenty police officers in plain clothes pursued Menezes into Stockwell station, he jumped over the ticket barrier, ran down the escalator and tried to jump onto a train. A few weeks prior, he had been attacked by a gang and may have relived the situation upon seeing plainclothes officers chasing him. A member of the surveillance team said in the report: “I heard shouting which included the word ‘police,’ and turned to the face the male in the denim jacket. He immediately stood up and advanced towards me and the SO19 officers […] I grabbed the male by wrapping both my arms around his torso, pinning his arms to his side […] I then pushed him back to the seat where he had been previously sitting […] I then heard gunshot very close to my left ear and was dragged away on to the floor of the carriage.” A colleague believed that Menezes ran simply because he was late for his job. Mr. de Menezes came under suspicion after he emerged from a block of flats police believed housed terrorist suspects. Several sources have speculated that irregularities about his immigration status may have given him reason to be wary of the police. It was claimed he was wearing a heavy jacket, implying he could have been concealing bombs on his body, that he vaulted a barrier, ran from the police and refused to stop. He was wearing a light denim jacket, used his oyster card at Stockwell station, descended to the platform by escalator, had time to pick up a paper and […] was being restrained by a surveillance officer when police officers pumped him full of bullets. A passenger on the train Menezes had run onto, said: “one of [the police officers] was carrying a black handgun –it looked like automatic– He half tripped… they pushed him to the floor, bundled on top of him and unloaded five shots into him.” As I turned out the door onto the platform, I heard four dull bangs. The police officer from Gonzaga replied: “According to his family, he had nothing to do with Muslims or Islamism.” In addition we are told surveillance broke down when one officer went to relieve himself. Police are now saying that he wasn’t wearing a large coat and that he used his ticket to go through the barriers. ITV News suggested that Mr. de Menezes was not carrying any bags, and was wearing only a denim jacket. The Met had originally suggested Mr. de Menezes was wearing a bulky winter coat under which explosives may have been hidden. He even stopped to pick up a free newspaper. He was only running when he saw a Tube at the platform. The young Brazilian shot dead by police on a London tube train mistaken for a suicide bomber had already been overpowered by a surveillance officer before he was killed, according to secret documents revealed late on Tuesday. It emerged in the leaked documents that early allegations that he was running away from the police at the time of the shooting were untrue and that [Menezes] appeared unaware that he was followed. A man was shot dead by police at Stockwell station. He was filmed on closed-circuit television calmly entering the station and picked up a free newspaper before boarding the train. He was never properly identified because a police officer was relieving himself at the very moment he was leaving his home. Mr. Menezes, an electrician who was not involved in terrorism, was killed after running into the underground station on Friday. Officers shot dead Jean Charles de Menezes, 27, in Stockwell, London, on Friday, thinking he was a terrorist. The 27-year-old was fatally shot after boarding a train at Stockwell underground station on Friday, a day after failed attacks on the network. Footage shows Mr. de Menezes entering the Tube station at a “normal walking pace.” Jean Charles, it is now known, was not wearing a padded jacket, possibly concealing a bomb. Outside Stockwell station, he calmly bought a paper and did not vault a barrier to enter the station. Police shot electrician Jean Charles de Menezes eight times on an underground train on July 22, the day after four would-be bombers failed in attacks on London’s transport system. The dead man, killed at Stockwell tube station on Friday after fleeing from armed police, was named as 27-year-old Jean Charles de Menezes. Charles de Menezes was shot a total of eight times, seven times in the head and once in the shoulder. Jean Charles de Menezes, a 27-year-old electrician on the way to a job, was blasted by seven bullets to the head on an Underground train at Stockwell, South London. A 27 year old Brazilian electrician was shot 5 times, 3 times in the head at point blank range, by British homeland security experts last week. One eyewitness says he saws about 20 police officers, some of them armed, rushing into the station before a man jumped over the barriers with police giving chase.

Menezes/Text was produced for the exhibition, The Art of the Overhead, Sept-Oct 2005, Copenhagen.
more info: http://www.overheads.org/