A POLICE marksman who killed a robbery suspect has applied for a judicial review of a public inquiry that found he had â€œno lawful justificationâ€ for shooting the 24-year-old.
â€œGranted that E7 had an honest belief that Azelle Rodney posed a threat to himself or to other officers, this threat was then not such as to make it reasonably necessary to shoot at himâ€
The officer, known only as E7, killed Azelle Rodney, (pictured), in Edgware, north London, in 2005 after the car in which he was travelling with two other men was stopped by armed police.
They feared the three were on their way to stage an armed heist on Colombian drug dealers and had an automatic weapon capable of firing 1,000 rounds per minute.
Former judge Sir Christopher Holland chaired a three-month public inquiry into Mr Rodneyâ€™s death, and last month published his findings to say the killing was not justified.
Today lawyers for E7 served a claim for judicial review on Sir Christopher, seeking a declaration that his conclusions relating to E7â€²s use of force are â€œirrationalâ€, or an order quashing parts of the report that conclude the officerâ€™s use of force was not justified.
Alternatively they want a declaration that the conclusions in the report about E7â€²s beliefs have breached procedural rules.
Sir Christopher said in his report: â€˜There was no lawful justification for shooting Azelle Rodney so as to kill him. Granted that E7 had an honest belief that Azelle Rodney posed a threat to himself or to other officers, this threat was then not such as to make it reasonably necessary to shoot at him.â€
He also said: â€œE7â€²s accounts of what he saw are not to be accepted. Prior to firing he did not believe that the man who turned out to be Azelle Rodney had picked up a gun and was about to use it. Further, on the basis of what he was able to see, he could not rationally have believed that.â€
The firearms officer could face criminal trial over Mr Rodneyâ€™s death, and 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.
Sir Christopher found that even if E7 had believed that Mr Rodney had picked up an automatic weapon, shooting him dead would not have been justified.
â€œWould it have been proportionate to fire the shots that killed Azelle Rodney? The answer would be no. That is because, even if it was proportionate to open fire at all, there would have been no basis for firing the fatal â€¦ shots.â€
E7 told the inquiry that he saw Mr Rodney start moving around, reaching down and then coming back up with his shoulders hunched.
But Sir Christopherâ€™s report dismissed this account which was also contradicted by eyewitnesses.
Police marksman calls for judicial review of inquiry in Azelle Rodney shooting
See - Unlawful killing verdict against Met marksman who shot suspected gangster Azelle Rodney