source: The Guardian
published: 3 July 2015
A former police marksman has been cleared of murdering a suspect he shot six times, a killing that the dead man’s mother said had effectively seen her son subjected to the death penalty.
Anthony Long, 58, was cleared by an Old Bailey jury of the murder of Azelle Rodney, 24, whom he shot on sight – four times in the head – in north London in 2005.
Rodney was the third suspect Long had killed in his career. Long said he fired in self-defence.
He said he did not see a gun on Rodney before he opened fire, but he could not wait because intelligence and Rodney’s movements left him convinced the suspect was going to shoot at him and other officers with a machine gun that fired up to 1,000 rounds a minute.
An official inquiry previously rejected Long’s account and found he had unlawfully killed Rodney. It also found flaws in the Metropolitan police operation that led to the killing.