Suella Braverman has spoken out in support of police after an officer appeared in court over the fatal shooting of an unarmed dad-to-be.
The Home Secretary said officers “mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties” and said she would do everything in her power to “support them”.
Chris Kaba, 24, was shot and killed in Streatham Hill, south London, just after 10pm on September 5, 2022.
An unnamed police marksman has been charged with murder following the shooting, prompting more than 100 police officers to hand in their tickets enabling them to carry firearms in protest, according to the BBC.
Mass protests were launched following the death of Kaba, lead by prominent figures in the black community including Stormzy.
On Wednesday the CPS announced it had authorised a murder charge to be issued against a police officer.
The officer has been identified only as NX121, and appeared in court on Thursday.
On Sunday, Ms Braverman posted on X: “We depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us from the most dangerous and violent in society.
“In the interest of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures.
“They mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties. Officers risking their lives to keep us safe have my full backing and I will do everything in my power to support them.
“That’s why I have launched a review to ensure they have the confidence to do their jobs while protecting us all.”
Met chiefs are reportedly panicking over the lack of armed police in London as more officers turn in their guns, with officers from neighbouring forces coming in to help support policing in the capital. The Ministry of Defence has also offered the support of armed soldiers, according to the BBC.
Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley said he had met with 70 firearms officers who operate all across London after the murder charge, and understands “why many of them are reflecting on the potential price of such weighty responsibilities”.
In a statement he said that officers “understand the importance of transparency and accountability, and recognise the awful effect on everybody involved on the very rare occasions when lethal force is used by the police.”
He added: “They were understandably anxious as they consider how others may assess their split-second decisions years after the event, with the luxury of as much time as they want to do this, and the effect this can have on them and their families.”
A Met Police spokesperson said: “Many are worried about how the decision impacts on them, on their colleagues and on their families. They are concerned that it signals a shift in the way the decisions they make in the most challenging circumstances will be judged.
“A number of officers have taken the decision to step back from armed duties while they consider their position. That number has increased over the past 48 hours.”
The spokesperson added: “The Met has a significant firearms capability and we continue to have armed officers deployed in communities across London as well as at other sites including parliament, diplomatic premises, airports etc.
“Our priority is to keep the public safe. We are closely monitoring the situation and are exploring contingency options, should they be required.”
The Met has more than 3,000 firearms officers across a number of units.
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