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London police found guilty in subway shooting trial

[JURIST] A London jury Thursday found that the Metropolitan Police violated laws relating to health and public safety [Met press release] when it shot and killed [JURIST report] Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes [advocacy website; BBC profile] in a London Tube station in 2005, believing him to be a suicide bomber. The prosecution argued that due to several mistakes made by London police during their botched anti-terrorism operation [BBC timeline], the public was "needlessly put at risk" [BBC report], with Menezes killed as a result. The Met Police was fined £175,000 with an additional £385,000 in fees. The jury said that operation commander Cressida Dick bore "no personal culpability," despite the prosecution arguing that she was responsible for controlling her officers. Despite repeated calls by Liberal Democrats and Conservatives for Met Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair [official profile] to resign, Blair told reporters outside court Thursday that he would be remaining on the job.

As calls for Blair's resignation renewed [LD press release] following the guilty verdict, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said that Blair and the police force continue to have her "full confidence" [press release] and thanked them for their work to prevent further terrorist attacks. In August, the UK Independent Police Complaints Commission [official website] issued a report [PDF text; JURIST report] clearing Blair of any misconduct. Menezes was mistakenly killed by police in 2005 who thought they were pursuing a suspect in the 2005 London transit bombing attempts [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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