SAO PAULO, Brazil – Brazil”s government demanded an explanation Saturday for the fatal police shooting of Brazilian citizen on a London subway car.
London police initially said the man chased down and shot to death by plainclothes officers was tied to the recent terror bombings, but conceded Saturday that they no longer believed that was the case.
The Brazilian government said the man, identified by British authorities as 27-year-old Jean Charles de Menezes, was "apparently the victim of a lamentable mistake."
"The government expects the British authorities to explain the circumstances that led to this tragedy," the statement said.
London authorities said Menezes was killed Friday at the Stockwell subway station as police investigated the series of botched transit bombings a day earlier and the July 7 attacks that killed 56 people, including the four bombers.
Foreign Minister Celso Amorim, who is on his way to London for talks on United Nations reform, will try to meet with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, the statement added.
Local media reported that Menezes was an electrician who had been living legally and working in England for three years.
"He spoke English very well, and had permission to study and work there," Menezes” cousin Maria Alves told the O Globo Online Web site from her home in Sao Paulo.
GloboNews TV reported that Menezes” body was identified by another cousin, Alex Alves Pereira, who lived with Menezes and two other cousins in London.
"I”ve already asked the police to release the body as soon as possible," Pereira told GloboNews from London. "That”s all the family and his friends want right now."
Menezes was originally from the small city of Gonzaga, some 500 miles northeast of Sao Paulo in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais.
"There was no reason to think he was a terrorist," Menezes” grandmother, Zilda Ambrosia de Figueiredo, said late Saturday from Gonzaga. "He was very easygoing and very communicative with everybody. It”s terrible what they have done to him."