Socialist Worker

Azelle Rodney’s death echoes Jean’s

Issue No. 1965

A botched surveillance operation. Failure to identify the main suspect. Seven shots to the head at close range and an innocent man lies dead, mown down by the Metropolitan Police.

This isn’t the case of Jean Charles de Menezes, but that of Azelle Rodney, a young black man killed by armed police in west London on 30 April.

The disturbing similarities don’t stop there. After Azelle’s death false rumours started appearing in the press, claiming he had a gun (he didn’t), or that he was a drug dealer (he didn’t even have a criminal record).

Azelle’s mother Susan Alexander joined the de Menezes family at the protest outside Downing Street held on Monday of this week.

“I’ve written letters to Ian Blair demanding the suspension of the officers responsible for pulling the trigger,” she told Socialist Worker. The Met has declined this request.

“In Azelle’s case nobody was accused of being a terrorist. But everything else is almost duplicate — the way they carried out surveillance, the way they took someone down when they had ample time to arrest or restrain him.”

Azelle’s death is now being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Susan has a list of 53 questions surrounding her son’s death that she wants answered.


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