Jude McCulloch and Vicki Sentas



The Killing of Jean Charles de Menezes: Hyper-Militarism in the Neoliberal Economic Free Fire Zone

This article describes the fatal police shooting of a Brazilian man, Jean Charles de Menezes, on a London underground train in July 2005. He was killed in the immediate aftermath of the London bombings, although not implicated in any way with those attacks. The article describes the circumstances of this killing. It traces the incorporation of “shoot-to-kill,” a colonial legacy from the north of Ireland and Israel, into policing in Britain and argues that such tactics are emblematic of preemptive strikes central to the “war on terror.” In addition, they argue that the “exceptional” tactics typical of the colonial periphery have “come home” in the form of extrajudicial killing licensed under shoot-to-kill policies, so deepening the institutionalized racism embedded in established domestic policing.

fatal police shootings, the “war on terror”, shoot to kill, policing, police accountability, deaths in custody

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 33, No. 4 (2006): 92-106