ReutersA memorial in London for the shooting death of Chris Kaba
NOS Nieuws•vandaag, 11:38
A group of London police officers no longer want to carry a firearm while at work in protest, after a colleague of theirs was charged with murdering a suspect. They fear the consequences of the trial against a colleague for the shooting death of Chris Kaba in the British capital.
Kaba, 24, was driving a car in the south London district of Streatham Hill in September last year. An officer whose name has not been released followed the Audi because it was allegedly involved in a shooting incident a day earlier.
The car in which Kaba was sitting was hit by a second police car, after which the officer got out and shot at him through the windshield of the Audi. Kaba was fatally shot in the head. It soon became apparent that the man was unarmed and the car was not his. Last week the officer was charged with murder. He has now been released on bail.
The decision to prosecute the officer leads to unrest within the London police force. A spokesperson said that many armed officers are concerned about the consequences of the charges for them. He says that police officers see that the justice system seems to assess the “most challenging circumstances” in which officers perform their work differently than before.
About a hundred police officers no longer want to go to work with a firearm in their pocket. As an emergency measure, armed officers from other forces are deployed in London to guarantee security. For example, officers at airports and parliament are still armed.
Racism deeply rooted
The London police force understands the decision. “We are in constant communication with these officers to support them and fully understand the concerns they have.”
Kaba’s death sparked anger within London’s black community. The following days, protests were held in various places against police brutality and racism within the police.
Racism has been a problem there for some time. Earlier this year, an independent investigative committee concluded that racism is deeply rooted within the police. The committee called for major reforms in the Metropolitan Police.