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Azelle Rodney death: Cleared marksman hails verdict

A police marksman who has been cleared of the 2005 shooting of suspected armed robber Azelle Rodney has said he is "very grateful" for a not guilty verdict.

Anthony Long Credit: PA

A trial heard that Anthony Long fired off eight shots in 2.1 seconds, six of which fatally injured Mr Rodney, 24, in Hale Lane, Mill Hill, north London.

After deliberating for 12 hours and nine minutes, the Old Bailey jury found Mr Long, 58, not guilty of murder.

Afterwards, he said: "I am very grateful to the jury for returning a not guilty verdict. It has been very difficult facing trial for something that happened 10 years ago when I had acted to protect the lives of others as a part of my job and based on my training and experience."

Mr Long's lawyer, Scott Ingram from Slater and Gordon, added: "Mr Long has always maintained his innocence and he is relieved at today's verdict."

But Mr Rodney's mother Susan Alexander, who has fought a long battle to find out the full circumstances of her son's death, repeated her view that her son's death was "wholly unavoidable".

More: Azelle Rodney: Police marksman found not guilty of murdering suspected armed robber

Rodney police marksman loses shooting bid

A police marksman has lost his High Court bid to challenge a public inquiry finding that he used excessive force when he killed robbery suspect Azelle Rodney.

The officer, known only as E7, argued the finding was "irrational and unsustainable".

Azelle Rodney was killed after police stopped his car in north London in 2005. Credit: ITN

He asked two judges for permission to seek judicial review of conclusions reached by the inquiry chairman, Sir Christopher Holland, that Mr Rodney was unlawfully killed - a finding E7's lawyers describe as "tantamount to murder".

Sir Brian Leveson, president of the Queen's Bench Division, sitting with Mr Justice Irwin at London's High Court, ruled today there was "no value in granting permission" and refused the application.

E7 shot 24-year-old Mr Rodney in Edgware in April 2005 when officers stopped the car in which he was travelling with two other men.

The officer opened fire within a second of stopping beside the trio, hitting Mr Rodney six times, once each in the arm and back, and fatally four times in the head.

Samantha Leek QC, representing E7, told the High Court at a hearing earlier this month that the Metropolitan Police Service was in possession of reliable intelligence that the men in the car were in possession of machine guns and were on their way to rob Colombian drug dealers.

Firearms officers were tasked to intercept them.

E7's justification for firing was that he "honestly believed" Mr Rodney had picked up and was preparing to fire a machine gun capable of firing 1,000 rounds per minute.

Sir Christopher, a High Court judge, rejected the claim and found in a report last July that E7 used excessive force.


Met Police backs review bid in Azelle Rodney case

Scotland Yard is backing a bid for a judicial review of a public inquiry that found a police marksman had "no lawful justification" for shooting a robbery suspect.

Azelle Rodney's mother Susan Alexander and Solicitor Daniel Machover. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

The officer, known only as E7, killed Azelle Rodney in Edgware, north London, in 2005 after the car in which he was travelling with two other men was stopped by armed police.

In July former judge Sir Christopher Holland found that the shooting of the 24-year-old was not legally justified and that E7's accounts of what he saw in the seconds before opening fire should not be accepted.

Read: Azelle Rodney report published

Police owe me apology for killing son, says mother

Mother: report backs my view that Azelle was executed

My son was executed, Susan Alexander said at the press conference this morning Credit: ITN

Mr Rodney's mother, Susan Alexander, said at a press conference this morning:

"This report has found that there was no lawful justification for my son's killing by the police.

He was fired at eight times in under two seconds and not one of those shots was lawfully discharged by the officer concerned.

I thank Sir Christopher Holland for his thorough and excellent report. I hope it will be groundbreaking and cause a shift in thinking by police.

Azelle's death was wholly avoidable - I shouldn't be sitting here now, beginning another chapter in my fight for justice for him.

When I gave evidence to the inquiry on September 4 2012, I said that it seemed to me that Azelle was executed. The chairman's report, after detailed study of the evidence, is that he is sure and satisfied he shares my view.

I do not seek to justify what Azelle was doing on the day he died, but he was entitled to be apprehended and, if there was evidence, to be charged and brought before a court of law to face trial before a jury.

The fact that he was strongly suspected in being involved in crime does not justify him or anyone else being summarily killed."


  1. Ronke Phillips

Officer used force which was not "strictly proportionate"

Ronke Phillips Credit: ITN

Our Correspondent Ronke Phillips has been following the case and has sent this report:

An official inquiry report has criticised theMetropolitan police over the shooting dead of a man by a firearms officer.

The report concludes the officer who fired the lethalshots used force which was not " strictly proportionate".

Azelle Rodney was killed in Edgware in 2005 after police forced the car he was travelling in to make a "hard stop".

He was shot six times by an officer known as E7.

Officers say they had intelligence that Rodney and the two other men in the car were armed and on their way to rob a Columbian drugs gang.

Evidence heard by the inquiry conflicted with the police account.

The report says the first six shots were fired in just 1.11 seconds.

The judge also concludes that the operation was not controlled and planned to minimise recourse to what it calls "lethal force"

It's understood E7 plans to challenge the findings and has already sent a letter to the inquiry outlining his objections.

"No lawful justification" for police shooting

Azelle Rodney, who was shot by a police marksman in 2005 Credit: Metropolitan Police

The police marksman who killed 24-year-old robbery suspect Azelle Rodney "could not rationally have believed "that he had picked up a gun and there was "no lawful justification" for fatally shooting him, according to an official report published today.

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