LONDON (AP) — London police said Sunday that some of their officers are refusing to carry out armed patrols after a colleague was charged with murder for the shooting death of an unarmed black man.
A Metropolitan Police officer was charged Wednesday with the death of 24-year-old Chris Kaba in September 2022. Kaba was killed after police in an unmarked vehicle chased and stopped the car he was driving. He was hit by a single bullet that passed through the windshield while he was sitting in an Audi car.
The case renewed accusations of institutional racism within the London police department. Kaba’s family welcomed the murder charge against the police officer, whose name has not been publicly revealed. He was granted probation and is expected to face trial next year.
Only about one in 10 London police officers carry firearms, and those who do carry them receive special training.
The Metropolitan Police reported on Sunday that “several officers have made the decision to withdraw from armed duties while they consider their position.” He added that officers are concerned that the murder charge “marks a change in the way the decisions they make in the most complicated circumstances are judged.”
The BBC reported that more than 100 officers handed in their firearms permits and that police from neighboring forces were called in to help patrol London on Saturday night.
The force indicated it still had “considerable firearms capacity” but had asked the Ministry of Defense to provide assistance with “counter-terrorism support if necessary”.
The request means the military could be called in for specific tasks that police cannot perform, but they will not provide routine police work or have powers to make arrests.
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