As I wrote at the time, the rumors and misinformation surrounding his death provided a telling look at our terrorist fears, racial prejudices, attitudes toward guns and the unreliability of eyewitness testimony.
More than three years later, the jury at an inquest decided on an "open verdict" — the most critical finding possible after the coroner ruled out the option of returning a verdict of "unlawful killing" by police.
The jury was instructed it could not "return a verdict which found any individual or institution criminally or civilly liable." That meant lawful killing or open verdict were the only possible outcomes of the inquiry.
It's unlikely the inquest will erase the falsehoods that became embedded in the original story — that he wore a bulky jacket that could've concealed a bomb; that he hurdled the turnstile and ran from police; that he ignored police warnings and made a move as if to attack.
Several video works have gone back and recreated that day. One is evocative, simply reenacting de Menezes' mundane trip to the station. Another is forensic, annotating the CCTV security tapes. The last is stupid, pretenious and badly-executed all at once. Finally, Hollywood provided an inadvertant commentary on this sad affair.
In September when the jury visited Stockwell station where de Menezes was killed, a poster for the movie Righteous Kill was on the wall, featuring this line: "There's nothing wrong with a little shooting as long as the right people get shot." Ironically, most versions of the movie posters said: "Most people respect the badge. Everybody respects the gun."
As the facts gradually trickled out, it appeared de Menezes was never given a chance to respect the badge.