LONDON, (AFP) – London”s police chief has touched on the issue of resigning over the police shooting of an innocent Brazilian man on the subway in July, a newspaper reported.
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Ian Blair told a private gathering of business leaders and officials last week that he might have to go "fairly soon" because of the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, The Sunday Times said.
But a Metropolitan Police spokesman told the newspaper that Blair had made it clear in his speech "it would be arrogant not to consider the issue of resignation in such circumstances but stressed he had no plans to resign."
Campaigners and relatives of De Menezes have called for Blair to quit after the 27-year-old Brazilian was shot seven times in the head at a south London subway station on July 22 by police who mistakenly feared he was a suicide bomber.
Describing the pressure he faced over the botched operation, Blair said: "Where does resignation end? Of course, it might end fairly soon."
Blair added: "I”d much rather resign than be pushed."
The commissioner told the Windsor Leadership Trust meeting that his personal role in the affair was now being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), an independent watchdog.
Blair tried to block an immediate IPCC inquiry into the shooting at Stockwell Tube station on national security grounds. His request was rejected by the Home Office.
The IPCC is due to finish its inquiry into the shooting by the end of the year and The Sunday Times quoted unnamed senior police officers as saying the report would reveal a "horror story".
One insider told the newspaper: Blair "has obviously been damaged. His own self-confidence has been damaged. You can see that he looks visibly older."