The family of Jean Charles De Menezes has called for Scotland Yard chief Cressida Dick to resign over her officers’ use of ‘excessive force’ at Sarah Everard‘s vigil.
Vivian Meneses Figueiredo said she was appalled at the sight of officers arresting women at a candlelit vigil in memory of the 33-year-old marketing executive.
Miss Figueiredo’s cousin Jean Charles was shot dead on a train at Stockwell Underground station in South London on July 22, 2005.
The shooting happened when counter-terrorism officers mistook the innocent electrician for one of the terrorists behind an attack on the capital a day earlier.
From that day the 37-year-old was never able to set foot in the flat they shared and for years she would cross the road to avoid police.
Vivian Meneses Figueiredo with her cousin Jean Charles De Menezes on the beach near their home in Minas Gerais, Brazil, in either late 2004 or early 2005. He was killed in July 2005
Vivian Meneses Figueiredo (left) is the cousin of Jean Charles De Menezes (right), pictured in Paris three months before he was shot dead on a train at Stockwell station on July 22, 2005
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick at New Scotland Yard on Sunday
Mr de Menezes’s family led a long campaign calling for police officers to be prosecuted for the shooting and criticising Scotland Yard for its handling of the operation, which was led at the time by Dame Cressida.
Today, Miss Figueiredo said she was upset by the ugly scenes of officers restraining women at the vigil for Miss Everard last Saturday in Clapham, South London.
When asked whether Dame Cressida should resign, the mother-of-one said: ‘Yeah of course, for me she should never have been there (in the role of Commissioner).
‘For me, every time I see her in the news and the pictures it brings me a lot of sadness because it makes you think of everything that has happened to Jean.
‘I think she is quite arrogant to not step down. I think the way the police handled everything is disappointing because I know that facing this pandemic is very serious but what happened to Sarah was also very serious.’
Police officers detain a woman at the vigil for Sarah Everard on Clapham Common on Saturday
A woman is pinned to the ground at Clapham Common in London on Saturday during the vigil
She said: ‘I think that’s quite wrong the way they dealt with this whole situation.
‘They should have provided more support, allow that it could be more safe and allow them to go there to protest and pay their respects for Sarah.
‘Her family and Sarah deserves it and all of us.
‘Now everyone is talking about women’s rights and things that need to be changed for safety but even in the police force to see people with the power and duty to protect and they are using excessive force against women, that’s wrong and this needs to be changed as soon as possible.’
Scotland Yard has referred itself to the police watchdog seven times in connection with the Sarah Everard investigation.
Police keep watch from the bandstand in Clapham Common during the vigil on Saturday
Wayne Couzens (left, in a court sketch at the Old Bailey on Tuesday) is facing trial for the murder and kidnap of marketing manager Sarah Everard (right) who went missing on March 3
The Independent Office for Police Conduct is carrying out three inquiries and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary is also investigating the force’s policing of the vigil.
A serving police officer, Wayne Couzens, is facing trial for the murder and kidnap of the marketing manager who went missing while walking home from a friend’s house in Clapham Common on March 3.
Today, Miss Figueiredo said of the Met Commissioner: ‘If it’s clear she’s made so many mistakes which have been made while she’s in power, why doesn’t she step down?
‘That’s a very good question I would like to have the answer for.
(From left) Jean Charles De Menezes’s cousin Patricia da Silva Armani, Yasmin Kan, Vivian Meneses Figueiredo and Erionaldo at Stockwell station on June 22, 2020 – the 15th anniversary
Vivian Meneses Figueiredo (left) was related to Jean Charles De Menezes (right), who was shot
‘In my situation of course I’m a victim of injustice so I see this maybe differently from all the other people who are supporting her.
‘But when you see somebody that has done a big mistake, seeing her just getting promotions, in this very high position, the head, I feel that it is dangerous to see her there.’
No police officers involved in Mr De Menezes’ fatal shooting ever faced disciplinary action, and Dame Cressida was cleared of any blame by a jury.
The Commissioner has resisted calls for her resignation saying the murder of Miss Everard has made her ‘more determined, not less’ to lead the force.