The Daily Telegraph

Met chief to meet ‘livid’ officers over fatal shooting

Dozens threaten to hand in weapons after colleague held responsibl­e is suspended from duty

- By Martin Evans Crime Correspond­ent

SIR MARK ROWLEY has agreed to meet Met firearms officers after they threatened to hand in their weapons in a row over the shooting of an unarmed black man in south London, The Daily Telegraph understand­s.

The new Commission­er will have discussion­s with representa­tives from the firearms command, who reacted furiously when the officer who fired the shot that killed Chris Kaba in Streatham Hill was suspended on Monday.

But the meeting will not take place until after the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II next week, according to one well-placed Met source.

Scotland Yard said the suspension of the officer, just hours after Sir Mark took over his job, was in part to address the “significan­t impact on public confidence” that the incident had caused.

But firearms officers said the move had left them feeling they no longer had the full backing of their bosses.

The Telegraph revealed that dozens of armed officers were threatenin­g to hand in their weapons once their duties relating to the Royal funeral were over.

One officer said: “There is real anger in the ranks about this. This is a decision that has been taken to placate public anger pure and simple. But what message does this send to the officers who are going out there every day and risking their lives?”

Mr Kaba, 24, died when an officer opened fire following a car chase after his vehicle triggered an Automatic Number Plate Recognitio­n (ANPR) camera suggesting it had been involved in a previous armed incident.

Investigat­ors from the Independen­t Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) later confirmed Mr Kaba had not been armed and launched a homicide inquiry.

Initially, the officer who fired the fatal shot was placed on restricted duties but allowed to carry on serving, angering Mr Kaba’s family and friends.

But after Sir Mark was sworn in as the new Commission­er, it was announced the officer had been suspended.

Members of Mr Kaba’s family said the decision to suspend the officer ought to have been taken sooner and have revealed plans to hold a demonstrat­ion this weekend.

Sir Mark will have to balance the concerns of the community with the anger among officers over the force’s handling of the case. One Met source said: “The new commission­er should not underestim­ate the strength of feeling among the armed officers over this matter. They are genuinely livid.”

The Telegraph understand­s Sir Mark has indicated he will be willing to meet the armed command next week.

The Commission­er has also proposed that every officer once again swears their allegiance to the Crown, but this time to the King. He is conducting an internal survey to assess if there is support for the renewal of the oath.

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