Rapper Chris Kaba: Met’s firearms officers threaten to hand in weapons over colleague’s suspension
They are believed to be planning to step back from armed duties after the Queen’s funeral Chris Kaba (Image credit: @RunnymedeTrust/Twitter)
The suspension of a firearms officer of the Metropolitan Police following the fatal shooting of rapper Chris Kaba last week is believed to have demoralised their colleagues who are threatening to surrender their weapons.
“They were planning to hand in their tickets and step back from armed duties” after the Queen’s funeral, a source told The Telegraph, indicating the kind of resentment the suspension has caused in the ranks.
The firearms personnel, who do not get any extra money to carry out their role “risking their lives”, are reportedly upset over the absence of support from their bosses for the officer who, according to them, was suspended to placate public anger.
On the suspension backed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, the Met Police said the decision was reached “following careful consideration of a number of factors, including the significant impact on public confidence”.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct has also announced a homicide investigation into the shooting of the 24-year-old rapper which took place in Streatham Hill in south London on September 5 after a car chase.
The Metropolitan Police Federation, the staff association of more than 30,000 Met officers, has come out in support of the “brave firearms colleague”.
It was supporting the family of the officer, it said in a tweet but refused to make any further comment on the specific case.
It, however, said in a more generalised statement that “being a firearms officer in London is one of the world’s toughest jobs”.
“Officers – volunteers – know the responsibility/accountability that comes with it and deserve our support”, the association said and added, “ill-informed commentary from those in positions of power following any tragic incident is unwarranted”.
The source in the firearms command The Telegraph spoke with said, “there is real anger in the ranks” about the turn of events after the shooting.
Firearms officers were all volunteers who “are increasingly feeling ‘what is the point of doing this if our bosses do not have our backs,” the source said.
The person wondered why the officer was suspended although the protocol did not require such action following a fatal shooting.
“It has not happened in other cases so the question is ‘why now’?” the source said and pointed out, “This is a decision that has been taken to placate public anger pure and simple.”
Some of the armed officers “have simply had enough and have said ‘that’s it, we’re out’”, the person said.