UK: No charges over Harry Stanley

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On 4 December the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced that no police officer would face criminal charges over the death of unarmed Harry Stanley, shot dead by officers from a police armed response unit (see Statewatch, vol 10 no 2). Mr Stanley, 46, was killed 100 metres from his east London home in September 1999. He had been carrying a newly repaired table leg wrapped in a plastic bag home from the pub and someone called the police reporting it to be a shotgun. Police reportedly approached him from behind shouting that they were armed police. Mr Stanley turned and was shot in the head. In response to the "insufficient evidence" decision, Daniel Machover, Stanley family solicitor, suggested that the CPS "appear to be protecting police officers from the criminal justice system by applying the most conservative approach possible to the law and the evidence." Deborah Coles of INQUEST asked "How can we accept that the shooting dead of an unarmed man does not result in a criminal trial where a jury decides whether or not the actions were unlawful?" The family are considering a judicial review of the "remarkable" decision.


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