London’s police force said Sunday that some officers are refusing to conduct armed patrols after a colleague was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of an unarmed Black man.
A Metropolitan Police marksman was charged Wednesday over the September 2022 death of Chris Kaba, 24. Kaba was killed after officers in an unmarked vehicle pursued and stopped the car he was driving. He was struck by a single bullet fired through the windshield as he sat in the Audi car.
Racism has been blamed on the incident but “a number of officers have taken the decision to step back from armed duties while they consider their position” the Metropolitan Police said.
The AP reported that only about one in 10 of London’s police officers carry firearms, and the ones that do undergo special training.
The BBC said more than 100 officers had turned in their firearm permits and that police from neighboring forces were called in to help patrol London on Saturday night.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman, who is in charge of policing for the U.K.’s Conservative government, said she would review armed policing to ensure that armed officers “have the confidence to do their jobs.”
“In the interest of public safety, they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures,” Braverman posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “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.”
Armed officers in England and Wales fired their weapons just four times in 2022.