The judge presiding over the public inquiry into the police shooting of Azelle Rodney decided today (Wednesday) to bar the public and the press from viewing aerial footage relating to the case.
The footage, filmed from a helicopter, shows the police pursuit of the car that Azelle and two other men were travelling in on 30 April 2005 in north London.
Police performed a “hard stop” on the car. An armed officer known only as E7 pulled up alongside. He opened fire within seconds, killing Azelle.
Susan Alexander, Azelle’s mother, has been fighting for the truth about what happened to her son for more than seven years. Her solicitors argue that the footage and all other evidence should be made public.
The police initially tried to prevent any release of the video footage, arguing that it should be kept secret for security reasons. The judge rejected this argument earlier this month and allowed the legal team of Azelle’s family to watch the footage.
Helen Shaw from campaign group Inquest told Socialist Worker, “This ruling only confirms our fears about the ongoing problems in holding a transparent and open inquiry.
“Making sense of what happened to Azelle is impossible when we are excluded from hearing key evidence. The notion that this is an accessible public inquiry is made meaningless when important parts of the picture are obscured behind a veil of secrecy.”
Susan Alexander will be joining friends and relatives of others who have died in police custody on Saturday for the annual United Families and Friends Campaign march on 10 Downing Street.
United Families and Friends protest against deaths in custody. Assemble 12.30pm, Trafalgar Square, London, Saturday 27 October. Go to uffc-campaigncentral.net for details