Unarmed man shot dead by Manchester police in ‘hard stop’
Anthony Grainger, aged 36, was shot and killed whilst seated in a car by armed officers around 7.20pm on 3rd March 2012 in what Greater Manchester Police say was a ‘pre planned’ operation. His family and friends demanded answers as to why Anthony, who was later found to be unarmed at the time, was killed.
Police say they had been following the car carrying Anthony and two other men for some time as they suspected the men were about to carry out a robbery.
The car was surrounded and shot at, CS gas was used and the men were told to put their hands up, officers say Anthony was shot after not raising his hands. Anthony died when a bullet entered his lungs and heart. The IPCC confirmed that no weapons or suspicious articles were found in the car.
Followed the incident three men were arrested and charged with conspiring to commit a robbery around the area. In September 2012 they were cleared of all charges by a jury.
One witness Jessica Brown, 15, who was at a nearby take away with friends told of the events surrounding the shooting. After being told to stay back she says; “I later looked out of the window and saw three people in black clothing with gas masks on and saw other people chasing them. When we came outside there was gas in the air, you could smell it.
“I then saw a black van with three or four people inside drive towards the car park. One of them was leaning outside the window and I later heard shots. It all looked like something off a film. It did not feel real at all. It was horrible.”
Jessica’s Father Anthony commented on the incident saying; “You don’t want the kids outside when there’s mad men running round with guns shooting.” There were children at a playground near the scene at the time of the incident.
The family and friends of Anthony have begun a campaign for justice calling for the officer and those who were involved in the shooting to be held accountable for the events leading up to and following Anthony’s death. None of the officers involved have been suspended or put on restricted duties including the experience firearms officer who fired the fatal shot.
On Sunday 17th June 2012, up to 150 people joined Anthony’s father’s day protest held at Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester to demand answers and justice.
The family say they have been kept in the dark. At the time of writing, with IPCC investigations not yet concluded certain information cannot be released for legal reasons. Marina Schofield, Anthony’s mother, said that the IPCC say they have nothing to tell her.
She said: “We are just getting no answers about what exactly happened. All the family are devastated by Anthony’s death and it is not getting any easier. We just do not know where things are up to. I expect to get that the police have murdered my son and if it comes to that conclusion I want the officer charged with murder and I want the other officers charged with conspiracy to murder.”
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