Sir Ian Blair, commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, tried to halt an independent inquiry into the shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes just hours after the innocent Brazilian’s death, reports the Independent. Scotland Yard said Sir Ian wrote to the Home Office secretary to ensure the terrorist investigation took precedence over any Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation. Later the same day, the Metropolitan Police agreed to hand over the investigation to the IPCC.
Scotland Yard said last night Blair’s letter was “to clarify the role of IPCC if, as it then appeared, the shooting at Stockwell tube station involved a suicide bomber who had been involved in the previous day’s incidents.” It was reported that Sir Ian was concerned about the possible security risk posed by an independent inquiry. De Menezes’ legal team accused police of breaching their statutory duty by not immediately inviting the IPPC to start its inquiry. The family’s lawyer, Harriet Wistrich, called for Sir Ian to resign. With pressure growing for a public inquiry into the shooting after further allegations of police blunders, Scotland Yard is also facing increasing criticism over its “shoot-to-kill” policy.