Cressida Dick’s downfall has been greeted with relief by the family of an innocent man shot dead by police in an operation she led. Alex Pereira said the Metropolitan Police Commissioner’s resignation is “a little justice” 17 years after the killing of his cousin, Jean Charles de Menezes, 27.
Two cops shot him seven times in the head at Stockwell Tube station, south London, in July 2005. It happened just two weeks after the 7/7 bombings and one day after a separate foiled bomb plot when cops mistook the Brazilian electrician for fugitive terrorist Hussain Osman.
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Ms Dick, then a commander, was cleared of blame in Jean’s death but his family have always been angered by her rise to the Met’s top job. Alex said Jean’s mum Maria really hated her. He went on: “I think Maria is very happy now. I think Jean’s father feels the same way – maybe even more than his mother.
“It’s a little justice, but it is a justice. They should have sacked her 16 years ago, shortly after Jean’s death. She went very, very bad in that job but they promoted her.”
Alex, 44, who lived with Jean in London for six months in 2002, remembers a happy childhood growing up near his cousin in the little rural town of Gonzaga in south-eastern Brazil.
Sharing a picture of them together as children along with Alex’s sister, he said: “At that time, no one had shoes – we used to go out barefoot. We made all our own toys – we dreamed of owning bikes.
“But it was a good life because it was very peaceful with zero violence.” In the aftermath of Jean’s killing, Alex knew his cousin had been totally innocent. But he says he and his family weren’t believed.
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He added: “That made me so angry. You don’t think something like this is going to happen to you. It’s like if you were sent to the moon or if you moved to another planet. It was very, very crazy.”
No officers were prosecuted for the killing but the Met was fined for breaking health and safety laws. In 2016 Jean’s family took a case to the European Court of Human Rights as part of a final attempt to see someone prosecuted, but judges ruled against them.
“Prosecute bent, lying cops – it’s as simple as that,” he says. “And if you can’t prosecute them, kick them out.
“There has to be consequences. I’m sick to death of non-accountability in the police. I’m sick to death of non-accountability in Britain as a whole.”
Alastair and his family are now suing the Met for damages, alleging an ongoing cover-up.
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