The Metropolitan Police Federation (MPF) has released a short yet strongly worded statement following the news that the Authorised Firearms Officer (AFO) involved in the fatal Chris Kaba shooting has been suspended.
With talk amongst rank-and-file AFO officers about handing in their firearms permit following the news that their colleague has been suspended, many police officers both inside and outside of the Metropolitan Police feel that the AFO officer who was involved in the shooting has been unfairly treated by senior officers.
There is also a widespread feeling among police officers that senior officers are bowing to the pressure that is being put on them by some sections of the mainstream media despite no factual circumstances regarding what led to the moments immediately before the shooting being released by investigators.
There has been widespread speculation that Mr Kaba had tried to ram officers, but this has not been confirmed or denied by the Met or the IOPC.
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.
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 linked to the Audi that 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.
Whilst it is usual for an AFO who has been involved in a shooting to be removed from active frontline duty – as was the case with the officer involved in this shooting – it is unusual for a firearms officer to be suspended from duty at such an early stage of an investigation.
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police Federation said:
‘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.
‘Ill-informed commentary from those in positions of power following any tragic incident is unwarranted
‘The Metropolitan Police Federation is supporting a brave firearms colleague involved in a recent incident in South London – and we are also supporting their family.
‘Our thoughts are with all affected.
‘The Federation will be making no further comment at this time.’
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