Azelle Rodney Didn’t Have To Die

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If I’d carried my child for nine months, and successfully given birth to him, I’d be overjoyed.

To raise that child into adulthood and have him give me the news that he himself was about to become a father, would leave me feeling exultant.

What I would not be looking for would be a phone call or a visit from the police informing me not only that my child is dead, but that he has been shot to death by a police armed response team.

To have a child knifed to death or even shot to death on the streets of some areas within Central London is something that would hardly be blinked at by many who live in those neighbourhoods.

But then you’re talking about criminal incidents taking place in neglected neighbourhoods, carried out by criminal gangs,and then investigated by the very people we have designated as the defenders of law and order.

So what do you do when, as has  happened in the case of Azelle Rodney in 2005, the so called defenders of justice appear to behave (in your eyes) every bit as lawlessly as the average criminal?

The Metropolitan Police’s Specialist Armed Command (the lawless coppers in question) has been severely criticised by a Public Independent Inquiry Chaired by former High Court Judge,Sir Christopher Holland.

If the evidence given during the inquiry is to be believed, it was a miracle that the police officers who intercepted the car Azelle Rodney was travelling in didn’t shoot each other.

It seems that the three young men in the car could have been stopped and arrested hours before they were,and that in short Azelle’s death could have been avoided.

The prevalence of black teenage gangs along with the prevalence of the ‘yardie’ myth has led to an often unspoken assumption that if a young black man gets shot down on the streets of London he was probably asking for it.

Not so Mr Rodney who according to his mother was looking forward to becoming a father and had never stepped anywhere near organised crime.

‘My son was executed’ she stated, an accusation that it is difficult to fault; given that the car he was travelling in was boxed in by the police in front and behind and that the occupants of the car in which he was a passenger were never given an opportunity to surrender.

As a  result of the inquiry there is every expectation that aspects of Azelle Rodney’s case will be re-examined;and every expectation that prosecutions will follow.

The subsequent findings won’t give Busan Alexander her son back; but they might well give her a clearer and more honest picture of what actually happened to her son. And what the state intends to do about it.

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