Saturday, September 08, 2012

Inquiry into fatal police shooting

Azelle Rodney, a young black man, was shot dead by police on 30th April 2005 and last Monday a public inquiry into the shooting – which Rodney’s mother describes as an execution – was launched.
 The inquiry has viewed video footage of the police pursuit of the car in which Rodney was travelling with two other men up to the point where police shot Rodney six times. The two other men were unharmed.
 Police claim they had intelligence that the three men were about to commit an armed raid and had a car full of weapons.
 Police reluctance to speak about the nature of that intelligence has prevented any inquest or inquiry into the shooting until now.
 The video footage shows three unmarked police cars following the Volkswagen Golf carrying Rodney and the two other men through Mill Hill, before the vehicle was brought to a halt.
 Officers are then seen getting out to apprehend the suspects after which the recording picked up the dull thuds of the bullets being fired by one of the officers.
 Police say they believed Rodney, Wesley Lovell and Frank Graham had machine guns and were on their way to commit a drugs-related armed robbery, the inquiry heard.
 The officer who fired the fatal shots, identified only as E7, said in a statement given to the inquiry: "I believed I couldn't delay my decision to fire any longer. I felt that my colleagues were in immediate danger."
 Rodney's mother Susan Alexander questioned why her son was shot, while the other two men were left unharmed. In a statement, she said his girlfriend was eight months pregnant at the time.
 "To state the obvious they were at least able to walk away alive on 30th April and have long since served their prison sentences, while it seems to be that Azelle was executed that day and as a result never got to see his baby daughter," she said.
 "I can only say that I'm still shocked that guns were found by police in the car that Azelle was travelling in when he was killed.
"I do not believe from what I have heard that police had good reason to shoot at him, let alone kill him."

No comments: