'Disgusted' parents reject Met's offer of £15,000 compensation for dead son

The offer was made to the mother and father of Jean Charles de Menezes by a senior Metropolitan Police commander during a hurried meeting arranged eight days after the electrician was shot dead at Stockwell tube station.

His grieving parents, Maria de Menezes, 59, and Matozinhos, 66, claim they were pressurised into agreeing to the meeting with Deputy Assistant Commissioner John Yates at their home in the remote town of Gonzaga, with less than a day's notice.

Jean Charles's brother, Giovani, told The Mail on Sunday: "They thought we were poor people, stupid people. We may be poor but we are not that stupid. We will not exchange money for my brother's life - but we will punish them."

However, the money was offered as part of a larger financial package prepared by the Metropolitan Police to fund the family's funeral and travel expenses. The force insists it was not trying to buy the family's silence, but making a genuine offer of help.

The typed letter, written in English, also promised to pay for his body to be flown home, air tickets for close relatives, the funeral costs and some legal expenses for the family. The £15,000 offer, the letter stressed, was an ex gratia payment "paid without any consideration of legal liability or responsibility" - including possible legal action against the force. However, newspaper claims yesterday that the force had offered $1m (£560,000) were dismissed as wholly untrue by the Met.

The family felt insulted by the £15,000 offer, Mrs de Menezes said. "I thought it was disgusting for this policeman to be talking about money when my son was only just buried. I did not like having to sit near such a man."

Although the police letter advised them to get advice from the family's lawyers in Britain, the de Menezes's claim their requests to postpone the meeting until their lawyer could get to them were turned down by Mr Yates.

"We do not want money in exchange for Jean's life, but we want to punish them - so we want a lot of money. We are also concentrating on making sure these policemen go to prison," said Giovani.

The incident adds to the family's wider complaints about their treatment by the police and is consistent with their repeated demands for judicial action against the Metropolitan Police.

The family's campaigners, Justice4Jean, allege that close relatives who flew into Britain on Sunday 24 July, two days after his killing, were given a hotel on the outskirts of London and had the phone to their room cut off.

Their contacts with the police were restricted to two family liaison officers, and they were refused meetings with senior force commanders. Family members in London and Brazil also protest that their requests for detailed information were turned down.

However, his relatives did discover - from remarks to them by their police liaison officer soon after they arrived in London - that CCTV footage from Stockwell station had shown Jean Charles walking calmly into the station.

In contrast to widely circulated eyewitness claims that he had been seen running into the ticket hall and had vaulted the ticket barriers, the family were unofficially told that he had used his Oyster travel pass. And, they were told, he was dressed in a lightweight denim jacket, not the bulky coat which some witnesses claimed.

Those disclosures were confirmed last week when a confidential dossier compiled by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was leaked to ITV News. Those papers also revealed that Jean Charles had neither run from police nor resisted arrest, before being seized by an undercover officer and then shot dead at close range.

His mother said: "Now I know the real truth about why they killed him, I am so hurt I can't sleep. First they killed my son, now they are killing me. I take sleeping pills but still I wake in the night shaking."

Her son Giovani added: "When Jean came home in his coffin, they had bandaged the top of his head. My mother screamed and screamed. Why did they have to use this many bullets? Was it revenge because they thought he was one of the bombers?"

The family's lawyers say his parents and close relatives remain deeply unhappy about the Met's claims that it is unable to answer questions because the shooting is now being investigated by the IPCC.

According to Gareth Peirce, their London-based solicitor, this "reticence" is in stark contrast to the police's mistaken claims on the day of the shooting that Jean Charles was "directly linked" to the terror investigation. "We express incredulity that senior police officers would have made extravagant claims from the outset without first informing themselves of the true facts. To have done anything else was negligent in the extreme," Ms Peirce said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Sport
David Silva strokes home his and City's second goal
football
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas