Fri | Dec 8, 2023

London’s top cop seeks protections for police as armed officers protest murder charge against colleague

Published:Monday | September 25, 2023 | 9:00 AM
Police officers stand guard outside the Houses of Parliament in London, Monday, September 25, 2023. The head of London's police force is calling for increased legal protections for officers who use force in the line of duty after more than 100 officers refused to carry guns to protest murder charges filed against one of their colleagues. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

LONDON (AP) — The head of London's police force is calling for increased legal protections for officers who use force in the line of duty after more than 100 officers refused to carry guns to protest murder charges filed against one of their colleagues.

The revolt by specially trained firearms officers has raised concerns about the Metropolitan Police Service's ability to respond to some incidents, and the military has agreed to provide backup for counterterrorism operations.

Fewer than 10% of London police officers carry guns.

Police Commissioner Mark Rowley wrote to Home Secretary Suella Braverman late Sunday welcoming her decision to review the rules governing armed police and calling for her to “let the police.”

Braverman, whose department oversees policing, announced the review earlier in the day.

“We rely on officers who are willing to put themselves at risk on a daily basis to protect the public from dangerous criminals including terrorists,'' Rowley said.

“Officers need sufficient legal protection to enable them to do their job and keep the public safe, and the confidence that it will be applied consistently and without fear or favour.”

An unidentified officer appeared in court on Thursday after he was charged with murder in the shooting of an unarmed Black man in south London on September 5, 2022.

Chris Kaba, 24, died after he was struck by a single gunshot fired into the car he was driving.

Follow The Gleaner on X, formerly Twitter, and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.