After a five-year campaign, justice secretary Kenneth Clarke last week announced a judicial inquiry into the police killing of Azelle Rodney, an unarmed 24-year old black Londoner in 2005. But there is concern that at least part of the proceedings will be in secret.
Azelle was a suspect in a major drugs investigation. An undercover team from Scotland Yard’s CO19 armed unit in Edgware, north London, shot him dead on 30 April 2005—11 weeks before police shot Jean Charles de Menezes.
Azelle had been the subject of covert surveillance, including phone taps, which cannot be disclosed in court. A coroner halted an inquest into the shooting, saying he could not proceed as large parts of the police witness statements had been blanked out.
Susan Alexander, Azelle’s mother, told Socialist Worker, “I have waited all this time and they are still putting up barriers. I am not going to give up now. I want things to be open and transparent, and not kept secret.”