London

Azelle Rodney death: Met backs marksman's judicial review bid

Azelle Rodney
Image caption Azelle Rodney was shot six times in a car

The Metropolitan Police commissioner is supporting a legal challenge against the findings of the inquiry into the death of Azelle Rodney.

The police marksman who shot dead Mr Rodney in Edgware, north London, in 2005, has applied for a judicial review of the public inquiry.

It found the armed officer had no "lawful justification" for the killing.

Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "Another judge has to look at this case."

The policeman, known as E7, killed Mr Rodney after the car he was in was stopped by armed police.

Sub-machine gun

E7 said he opened fire because he believed Mr Rodney had picked up a gun.

But the inquiry ruled E7 "could not rationally have believed" Mr Rodney was holding a sub-machine gun.

Earlier this month, lawyers for E7 served a claim for judicial review on former High Court judge Sir Christopher Holland.

They are seeking a declaration that Sir Christopher's conclusions relating to E7's use of force are "irrational", or an order quashing parts of the report that conclude the officer's use of force was not justified.

Criminal trial

Alternatively, they want a declaration the conclusions in the report about E7's beliefs have breached procedural rules.

In his report, Sir Christopher considered issues including what information the police team had, how reliable it was, whether their approach minimised the risk to life, and if stopping the car was done with only necessary force.

He said: "There was no lawful justification for shooting Azelle Rodney so as to kill him.

"E7's accounts of what he saw are not to be accepted."

E7 told the inquiry he saw Mr Rodney start moving around, reaching down and then coming back up with his shoulders hunched.

But Sir Christopher's report dismissed this account, which was also contradicted by eyewitnesses.

The firearms officer could face a criminal trial over Mr Rodney's death. Prosecutors are considering whether to bring charges.

Mr Rodney was shot six times, once each in the arm and back, and, fatally, four times in the head.

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