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Menezes police officer promoted

BBC | September 12 2006

One of the senior officers in charge on the day Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by police is to be promoted.

Commander Cressida Dick is to become a deputy assistant commissioner, the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) announced on Tuesday.

Mr Menezes was shot seven times at Stockwell Underground station.

The family of the Brazilian man said they were "absolutely disgusted and outraged at what is just one more slap in the face".

The 27-year-old was mistaken for a suicide bomber a day after the failed bombings on 22 July last year.

Cmdr Dick is one of four officers promoted to the rank of deputy assistant commissioner.

Her responsibilities include control of the 300 officers of Operation Trident, the police unit that tackles gun crime within London's black communities.

On the day of Mr Menezes' death, Cmdr Dick was in charge of the "tactical delivery" of the operation under the overall command of Gold Commander John McDowell.

MPA Chair Len Duvall admitted there were some "sensitive and unprecedented circumstances involved" in the new appointments.He added: "Candidates were chosen on the basis of their application and ability.

"The MPA would not prejudice an officer's fair promotion prospects by making assumptions about future disciplinary action."

A de Menezes family spokesman said: "They cannot understand how this can possibly be happening.

"We have not even seen the beginning let alone the end of the legal process as to who is culpable and responsible for the death of an innocent man.

"How can the Metropolitan Police Authority give the green light to promote Cressida Dick, someone who is centrally involved in the court case?"

Cmdr Dick's promotion comes a week before The Office of the Metropolitan Police Commissioner is due to stand trial accused of health and safety breaches connected with the shooting.

The Crown Prosecution Service said in July that there was insufficient evidence to charge individual officers.

'Organisational failings'

An Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) report, handed to the CPS in January but not yet made public, is said to be highly critical of the surveillance operation and police control room staff.

It is said to conclude that a series of organisational failings and communication difficulties had resulted in two experienced marksmen shooting dead an innocent man.

A number of police officers, including Cmdr Dick, were interviewed under caution by the IPCC.

An inquest into the death was due to begin last week but was adjourned until after any legal action is concluded.

The promoted officers will be appointed to their new posts over the coming months as positions become available.

Until then they will remain in their current posts on their existing terms and conditions.



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