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Last Updated: Monday, 19 February 2007, 15:27 GMT
Menezes police officer promoted
Commander Cressida Dick

One of the senior officers in charge on the day Jean Charles de Menezes was shot dead by police has been promoted.

Commander Cressida Dick is now a deputy assistant commissioner - one of the highest ranks in the force, the Metropolitan Police Authority said.

Mr Menezes, 27, was shot eight times at Stockwell Underground station.

The Brazilian man's family said it was "disgraceful" to promote Ms Dick before an investigation into her conduct had been completed.

Mr Menezes was shot seven times in the head and once in the shoulder at Stockwell Tube station after being mistaken for a suicide bomber on 22 July 2005, a day after the failed London bombings.

Cmdr Dick, an Oxford graduate, is one of four officers promoted to the rank of deputy assistant commissioner.

Her current responsibilities include control of the 300 officers of Operation Trident, the police unit that tackles gun crime within London's black communities.

Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes
Mr Menezes was shot eight times

On the day of Mr Menezes' death, Cmdr Dick was in charge of the "tactical delivery" of the operation under the overall command of Gold Commander John McDowell.

She was among those to be interviewed under caution by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, which investigated the shooting.

The IPCC is due to publish its report in March.

Scotland Yard is also facing a prosecution under health and safety laws over the shooting.

MPA Chair Len Duvall previously admitted there were some "sensitive and unprecedented circumstances involved" in the new appointments.

The idea that police officers who were responsible for Jean's killing are being promoted makes me feel sick
Patricia da Silva Armani, Mr Menezes' cousin

But he said the decision to confirm Cmdr Dick's promotion was "the right one" to demonstrate the authority's "full confidence" in her.

"The MPA is keenly aware that the people of London must have confidence in the police who work, in what are often difficult circumstances, to protect them," he said.

Patricia da Silva Armani, Mr Menezes' cousin, said: "The idea that police officers who were responsible for Jean's killing are being promoted makes me feel sick.

"Not only did they take away Jean's life that day but they also took away part of mine, yet their lives continue as normal.

"I do not understand how people who kill innocent civilians are allowed to carry on working as if nothing has happened. To promote her is disgraceful."

'Police are above the law'

A spokesman for the Jean Charles de Menezes family campaign added: "It is completely premature for officers who are subject to investigation to be promoted before there has been any public scrutiny of their actions.

"The Metropolitan Police Authority is failing in its duty to hold the police to account.

"By promoting officers before the legal process is complete they are sending out a message that these police officers are above the law and have already been exonerated."

The Crown Prosecution Service found no evidence to warrant the prosecution of any individual over Mr Menezes' death.

A panel of five MPA members, with Met Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair acting as police adviser, provisionally selected Cmdr Dick for the role.

The IPCC said it was a matter for the MPA and it would not be commenting on the decision, but it had informed lawyers for Mr Menezes' family.


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