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Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime authorises £140,000 payment to shooter of Azelle Rodney to challenge ruling that killing was unlawful
4 November 2013
Following a Freedom of Information request made by INQUEST it has been revealed that the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) authorised funds amounting to £140,000 plus VAT to pay for legal costs for E7, the police officer who shot and killed Azelle Rodney to challenge, by judicial review, the finding of the Inquiry that Mr Rodney was unlawfully killed.
The funds were authorised the day before the High Court refused permission for E7 to judicially review the ruling. The language of the refusal was unequivocal, although there is still a possibility that E7 could appeal that refusal.
Helen Shaw, co-director of INQUEST said:
“This illustrates the appalling inequality inherent in the current system. Bereaved families do not automatically receive public funding for their legal representation after deaths in custody and are made to go through the most intrusive and difficult process so that their questions can be answered. It is often their questions that best serve the public interest in establishing the truth about such deaths.
“Here the Mayor’s office for policing has effectively signed a blank cheque for a former employee to challenge a report that is critical of the Metropolitan police with no checks and balances as to the merits of the challenge. Questions must be asked as to whether this is how the public in London expect their money to be spent.”
The payment was covered in a piece in the Times newspaper on 4 November 2013 (paywall).
‘I’ve been a long-time supporter of the crucial work that INQUEST does. Until there is legislation to change the way inquests are conducted and the provision of legal and psychological support to the bereaved of those who died in custody, INQUEST will continue to be a vital source of support for families.’
– Linton Kwesi Johnson