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Derek Bennett marksmen back at work

by Lester Holloway
17/12/2004

THE POLICE marksman who shot Derek Bennett four times as he ran away is back at work, Scotland Yard said. He is one of eleven cops this month to get their jobs back after controversial deaths.

Gunned down: Derek Bennett
Gunned down: Derek Bennett

Officer 'A' – who killed Bennett in Brixton, south London, was reinstated to the SO19 armed unit yesterday following an inquests lawful killing verdict the previous day.

His colleague Officer 'B', who had been promoted after the shooting, is also back on active firearms duty, the police confirmed.

A Metropolitan Police statement said: “After yesterday’s finding of lawful killing at the inquest into the death of Derek Bennett, the operational status of the officer who fired the shots has been reviewed and he is no longer subject to restrictions.

discretion

“Both firearms officers involved in the incident are now in a position to return to full operational SO19 duties at their discretion and subject to re-certification.”

On Wednesday an eleven-person jury at Southwark Coroners Court came to an 9-2 majority verdict that Bennett, 29, had been lawfully killed when he was shot in the Angell Town estate on 16 July 2001.

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Last week the Met reinstated two armed officers in the case of Harry Stanley, an Irishman who was shot dead in Hackney, north London, after he came out of a pub carrying a table leg in a plastic bag five years ago.

Despite an inquest reaching an unlawful killing verdict, and the imminent decision of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) concerning possible criminal charges against the marksmen, Deputy Commissioner Sir Ian Blair gave the cops their jobs back.

Sir Ian's actions followed a strike by 100 firearms officers, who handed in their weapon authorisation cards in protest at the inquest decision, prompting Commissioner Sir John Stevens and former Home Secretary David Blunkett to give assurances over the protection of SO19 officers from prosecution.

Earlier this month seven serving officers in the case of Roger Sylvester, who died of asphyixa after being restrained for 25 minutes, were reinstated. As in the Stanley case, the Met's action pre-empted a CPS decision on possible criminal charges.

The Sylvester cops were given their jobs back after they overturned an unlawful killing inquest verdict in the High Court on a technicality.

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Resources:

pdf Leaflet: Police DNA Database

Race and the Criminal Justice System 2005: Report and Overview

pdf Making the new police complaints system work better: IPCC Statutory Guidance

pdf Stop and search: A Community Evaluation of Recommendation 61 in the London Borough of Hackney

pdf Statement from the De Menezes family lawyer

Shoot to Kill Who?

pdf Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System – 2004

pdf Ethnicity, victimisation and worry about crime

pdf The views of the public on the phased implementation of recording police stops In response to recommendation 61 of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (2.7.04)

pdf An evaluation of the phased implementation of the recording of police stops In response to recommendation 61 of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry (2.7.04)

pdf Statistics on Race and the Criminal Justice System – 2003

pdf CRE interim report on the Formal Investigation of the Police Service in England and Wales

Transcript from the BBC’s ‘Secret Policeman’ Programme

Stop and Search: know your rights

Stop and Search Resources

Black youth and street crime

Street Robbery: Fact sheet

Links:

The Robert Levy Foundation

Stop and Search

Independent Police Complaints Commission Information Leaflets

Metropolitan Police Authority

Inquest

Terrorism Act 2000

National Black Police Association UK

black and minority ethnic cracking crime project (BME CCP)

UNITE TO PROTECT OUR RIGHTS: sign the statement against the erosion of civil liberties and human rights by new anti-terrorism proposals A Black Manifesto No 2 ID FREE FAROUQ PDP ASSOCIATES Power to the People

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