Mind – the mental health charity – has been accused by emergency workers of ‘slamming the door in the faces of those in the emergency services’ after they published a series of tweets following the shooting of Chris Kaba.
The charity operates a dedicated ‘Mind Blue Light‘ section of their organisation that offers counselling services to members of the emergency services, especially those who have been affected by persistent exposure to deeply traumatic emergency calls.
But following a series of tweets published on 13th September, emergency workers have accused Mind of ‘losing their neutrality and objectivity.’
In the Tweets, a spokesperson for Mind said:
‘We need to talk about Chris Kaba.
‘The killing of an unarmed Black man by a police officer is hard to bear. Especially when young Black men die disproportionately at the hands of the police [source: Inquest].
‘The Queen’s death is dominating the news right now, but Chris Kaba deserves our attention.
‘Racial trauma is real. And events like Chris Kaba’s death can be incredibly triggering. If you’re struggling with the news, please reach out. We’re here for you.’
Responding to the Tweet, one social media user said:
‘Wow. You’ve just slammed the door in the faces of those in the emergency services who needed your help. You’ve appointed yourself judge & jury. Dreadful tweet. I for one have turned to MIND before. Never again.’
‘I do not think @MindCharity can support police officers via
@mindbluelight any longer.
‘It’s clear they’ve lost their neutrality and objectivity.
‘Officers who are at rock bottom can’t be supported by those they feel are against them.’
One Twitter user called the tweets ‘disgusting’ when they wrote:
‘This is absolutely disgusting.
‘I’ve donated plenty to Mind throughout my service and have used their services after traumatic jobs.
‘To see that they are proving themselves biased and prejudiced against officers based on an ongoing investigation is absolutely pathetic.’
24-year-old Chris Kaba – a well-known drill rap artist – died after a police pursuit ended in Streatham Hill on Monday, 5th September.
Initial reports suggest that the Audi that Kaba was driving had been linked to a firearms incident that had occurred in the previous days.
When the Audi passed through a set of Automatic Number Plate Readers (ANPR), officers in the area were alerted to the vehicle’s presence.
Several Armed Response Vehicles (ARVs) made their way to the scene and quickly located the Audi. But when officers indicated for the Audi to stop, it failed to do so.
A pursuit ensued, ending when the fleeing Audi was boxed in. There are unconfirmed reports that Mr Kaba rammed the police, but this has not been confirmed nor denied by the IOPC.
No details have been released regarding the nature of the firearms incident that happened in the days leading up to the incident or the intelligence that was linked to the Audi that Mr Kaba was driving.
It is understood that Mr Kaba had been released from prison a short time ago after serving a custodial sentence for firearms offences.
The officer involved in the shooting was suspended from duty only hours after Bell Ribeiro-Addy MP and Harriet Harman MP issued a statement calling for the immediate suspension of the officer.
Mind and Mind Blue Light have been approached for comment.
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