As the four month Inquiry into the death of Salford's Anthony Grainger draws to a close, his family has issued a statement, via their legal representatives, Farleys Solicitors, that totally condemns Greater Manchester Police and its actions.
Anthony Grainger was shot dead on 3rd March 2012 by a police officer as he was sitting in a car parked in Culcheth. He was unarmed, but was shot at close range by an officer with a semi-automatic rifle.
Throughout the Inquiry, Anthony Grainger's family has tried to discover the truth as to why he died, and, after listening to the evidence surrounding the shooting, have now accused GMP of 'a catalogue of failings', 'incompetence', 'staggering ineptitude' and 'shocking attempts at a cover up'.
The full statement reads...
"Anthony was a committed family man. He adored his children and was a loving son and brother. Over the last four months we as a family have had to listen to evidence revealing a catalogue of failings in the Greater Manchester Police (GMP) operation that led to his death.
"Police incompetence was prevalent in each and every aspect of the operation, from the gathering of intelligence to the briefing of firearms officers and the actions of such officers in the bungled arrest of Anthony.
"We suspected incompetence on the part of GMP, but the Inquiry has revealed levels of staggering ineptitude way beyond what was expected. Officers were not competent to perform their roles. There was a firearms training department in disarray. A slapdash approach was taken to gathering and verifying intelligence and there was a failure to properly plan an operation, which not only exposed Anthony to risk but also innocent members of the public.
"At the start of this Inquiry GMP were encouraged to adopt an open and honest approach. Lessons had to be learned and this could only be achieved with openness. Anthony's mother, Marina, does not want any other mother to have to go through what she has been through.
"Sadly, GMP have completely failed to act with the openness called for. The evidence has revealed concerted and shocking attempts at a 'cover up'. Officers have attempted to conceal evidence and mislead the investigation, with key documents destroyed and withheld, accounts and logs embellished and the production of statements carefully stage managed.
"GMP have done their upmost to conceal the truth. The meetings between the officer who shot Mark Duggan and the officer who shot Anthony, before statements had even been prepared, is indicative of GMP's approach to this shooting. They shot and killed an innocent man yet the emphasis throughout has been on covering up the failings that caused such killing.
"The family have absolutely no confidence in GMP or their willingness to learn from this incident. Until they stop trying to cover up their wrongdoing lessons will not be learned and other mothers run the risk of the same knock at the door and the same terrible news that Marina received in March 2012."
The result of the Inquiry is expected to be announced in the near future...
For further background details see previous Salford Star articles – click here and click here and click here