Police shooting inquiry to begin

Herald Series: Azelle Rodney was shot six times by a police officer in April 2005 Azelle Rodney was shot six times by a police officer in April 2005

An inquiry into the death of a 24-year-old who was shot six times by a police officer is due to begin.

Azelle Rodney died when Metropolitan Police officers carried out a "hard stop" on a car in Edgware, north London, in April 2005.

Three unmarked police cars boxed in the VW Golf, which had been under surveillance for several hours, as Mr Rodney sat in the back seat.

An inquiry into his death is being held instead of an inquest because of sensitive evidence that would need to be withheld from a coroner.

It is the first time this kind of inquiry has been used to look at a police shooting, and will be presided over by Sir Christopher Holland.

There is no evidence to suggest that Mr Rodney was armed when he was shot, although the two men with him - Wesley Lovell and Frank Graham - later admitted possessing firearms.

Last week Mr Rodney's mother Susan Alexander said she wanted to see "a robust, effective and transparent inquiry" into his death.

She said she would never recover from the effects of having to wait seven years to find out why he was shot.

"Waiting for so long to hear the evidence about the death of my son has had a profound effect on my life for the past seven years.

"I don't think I will ever recover from it, as it has had such a big impact on my state of mind, my work - when that has been possible - home, social and family life. No-one should have to wait for so many years to find out why their son or daughter died at the hands of the police."

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