The Daily Telegraph
Police threaten to disarm over Kaba case
‘Anger in the ranks’ of Met firearms officers who vow to hand in guns in protest at suspension of shooter
Colleagues of the firearms officer suspended over the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba, a rapper, are threatening to hand in their weapons in protest. In a challenge for Sir Mark Rowley, the new Metropolitan Police commissioner, officers are to step back from armed duties after the Queen’s funeral. They are angry at the decision to suspend the officer who shot dead Mr Kaba after a car chase in Streatham, south London. Mr Kaba was unarmed and the incident is being treated as a homicide.
COLLEAGUES of the firearms officer suspended over the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba are threatening to hand in their weapons in protest at the decision, The Daily Telegraph can reveal. In a significant challenge for Sir Mark Rowley, the new Metropolitan Police commissioner, dozens of officers are preparing to step back from armed duties once the Queen’s funeral is over.
They are said to be furious at the decision to suspend the officer who shot dead Mr Kaba following a car chase last Monday in Streatham, south London.
The officer was placed on restricted duties while the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigated the shooting. But last week the watchdog confirmed that Mr Kaba was unarmed and announced the incident was being treated as a homicide.
Scotland Yard initially resisted calls from Mr Kaba’s family for the officer involved to be suspended.
But on Monday, just hours after Sir Mark took over the force – promising to restore the public’s faith in the police – the officer was suspended.
Asst Comm Amanda Pearson said the decision had been reached following consideration of a number of factors “including the significant impact on public confidence”. Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, described the suspension as “a really important decision”, which he “fully” supported.
But one source within the firearms command told The Telegraph: “There is real anger in the ranks about this. Firearms officers do not get any extra money to carry out their role.
“They are all volunteers and they are increasingly feeling ‘what is the point of doing this if our bosses do not have our backs’. There is no protocol requiring an officer to be suspended following a fatal shooting. This is a decision that has been taken to placate public anger, pure and simple. This has caused a great deal of upset among armed officers. Some of them have simply had enough.”
There are about 3,200 armed officers in the Met and if large numbers opt to withdraw it will create a major headache for the new commissioner.
One former Met officer, who did not wish to be named, said: “This is going to require some very careful handling. Causing rebellion in the ranks is not the most auspicious of starts.”