An inquiry into the death of 24-year-old Azelle Rodney has been ruled as an unlawful killing in court today.
Unmarked police officers followed a car that Azelle was a passenger in Edgware in 2005, before being stopped. The unnamed police marksman believed that the passengers of the car were on their way to rob a Colombian drugs gang and feared that they were armed with a powerful machine gun.
The marksman, known only as E7, shot Azelle six times – two of those shots wouldn’t have been fatal but it was the four shots to the head which killed him.
However, a report found that the marksman had no reason to believe that Azelle was armed, concluding that there was no “lawful justification” for opening fire on him.
Metropolitan Police Service commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe gave a statement saying:
The inquiry into the death of Azelle Rodney, who was fatally shot by a Metropolitan Police Firearms Officer in 2005, has today decided that there was no lawful justification for the shooting. This is a significant finding for the Metropolitan Police Service, whose officers strive on a daily basis to keep Londoners safe whilst acting within the law.
The conclusion of this inquiry now means that marksman E7 could be faced with criminal charges.