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Police chief wanted to quit over Menezes' killing

Hasan Suroor

LONDON: The head of British police Ian Blair has said that he considered resigning over the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, the innocent Brazilian youth, shot dead by his officers in a south London tube station in July on suspicion of carrying explosives.

Sir Ian, who is facing calls from Menezes' family and civil rights groups to take responsibility for the incident and step down, did not rule out quitting if he is indicted by the Independent Police Complaints Commission which is inquiring into the killing.

Asked in a BBC Hardtalk interview if he considered resigning following the nationwide uproar over the issue, he said: "I certainly did... .Somebody makes those comments, you are not just going to brush it off. No one in their right mind would be arrogant enough to rule it out... But I do not think it was right for the organisation, or for the country or for London to do that. The big job is to defend the country against terrorism.''

He admitted that the police "did not do enough'' in the aftermath of the shooting to give the correct version of the circumstances leading to the death of an innocent man.

Meanwhile, a task force of Muslim leaders has suggested the appointment of a Royal Commission to inquire into the causes of the July 7 London bombings, including factors such as the invasion of Iraq that, Muslims believe, have contributed to religious extremism in the community.

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