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No criminal charges for London police officers in subway shooting of Brazilian

[JURIST] British officials from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) [official website] have decided not to prosecute [CPS press release] any individual police officers for the death of Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes, who was shot and killed by London police [JURIST report] last year after the July London bombings [JURIST news archive]. CPS said there is "insufficient evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction against any individual police officer." CPS will, however, charge [BBC Q&A] the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) [official website] under health and safety laws [backgrounder] for "failing to provide for the health, safety and welfare" of de Menezes, whom police mistook as a suicide bomber boarding a train. MPS officials expressed disappointment [MPS press release] about the health and safety charges under sections 3 and 33 of the 1974 Health and Safety at Work Act [text], but also expressed relief for the individual police officers involved in the death.

CPS originally hoped to charge individual police officers [JURIST report] who oversaw the operation with tampering with evidence and obstructing public justice, accusing police surveillance officers of trying to hide the fact that they had mistaken de Menezes for alleged terrorist Hussain Osman [BBC summary of charges] by changing a police log to read "And it was not Osman" instead of "it was Osman." Police allegedly made the change so that surveillance officers could claim the officers involved in the shooting had fired on the wrong man despite having been warned that he was not Osman. De Menezes' family has pushed for a public inquiry into the shooting and have brought a separate case against Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair [profile], claiming he misled the public in statements following the tragedy [JURIST report]. BBC News has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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