Justice for Azelle and Jean

Submitted by Matthew on 17 June, 2015 - 10:31 Author: Gemma Short

Anthony Long, the police officer who fatally shot Azelle Rodney in 2005, is on trial for murder.

Prosecutors have told the jury that Long had no lawful reason for shooting Azelle. The court has also heard that Long opened fire less than one-tenth of a second after unmarked police cars boxed in the car Rodney was traveling in. Long fired eight shots in total, hitting Azelle in the arm, body, twice around his right ear and then after a pause, twice through the top of his head.

Prosecutors argue that Long “opened fire extremely quickly ... he cannot have taken any time to observe anything happening inside the car before he opened fire.” Yet police shootings in a situation where they “cannot have taken any time to observe” are not unusual.

The family of Jean Charles de Menezes, also shot dead by police in 2005, is challenging the decision not to bring charges over his death at the European court of human rights.

Jean was shot at Stockwell underground station after being mistaken for one of the suspects of attempted bombings the previous day. Police reports of the shooting are unclear and contradict each other, and it is unclear whether any warnings were issued to allow Jean to surrender.

Justice for victims of police violence is rare. Cases rarely get to trial as the Crown Prosecution Service judges they are unlikely to win, and those that do make trial often do not result in conviction.

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