LONDON – A jury on Thursday found London's police force guilty of violating health and safety laws in an operation that led to the shooting death of a Brazilian man mistaken for a suicide bomber.
London's Metropolitan Police was convicted of the violations in the operation that led to the death of 27-year-old Jean Charles de Menezes on July 22, 2005. The force faces an unlimited fine.
Prosecutors told the jury at London's Central Criminal Court that police killed de Menezes and put the lives of others at risk during their anti-terrorism operation because of flawed planning and chaos at headquarters.
The force had denied the charge, saying the killing was an error, not a crime. Police chief Ian Blair issued a statement after the verdict, expressing "my deepest regrets" over the killing.
The Brazilian electrician was killed by police who followed him into London's Stockwell subway station from an apartment building that had been linked to a failed bomber. He was shot seven times after he boarded a train.
The shooting occurred the day after a group of would-be suicide bombers botched an attack on London's transit system, and two weeks after a similar attack killed 52 commuters and four bombers on three subway trains and a bus.