Police refuse to work for full day after fellow officer charged in shooting, military placed on standby

LONDON, ENGLAND – Soldiers have reportedly stood down after being brought on standby in the wake of some Metropolitan Police Officers having refused to conduct armed patrols in light of a fellow officer being charged with murder in the shooting of a black man, which occurred last year.

On September 24th, soldiers were apparently put on standby when a portion of London’s police force essentially refused to conduct patrols seemingly in protest of one of their colleagues being charged for the September 2022 fatal police shooting of 24-year-old Chris Kaba.

Back on September 5th, 2022, police in London were reportedly pursuing Kaba in an unmarked vehicle. Reports following the incident asserted that police believed at the time that the vehicle Kaba was driving was linked to a firearms incident from earlier in the month. No lights and sirens were used during the pursuit, serving more as a clandestine tailing by police, according to officials.

However, Kaba eventually made a turn to a street harboring a waiting, uniformed, police vehicle which held the unnamed officer charged in the fatal shooting.

In an October 2022 press conference regarding the incident, Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigator Dean Brown stated:

“Once Mr. Kaba made the left turn the decision was taken to perform an inline extraction. Armed officers exited their vehicles and approached the Audi. The evidence suggests that contact was made between the Audi driven by Mr. Kaba and the police vehicles.

The evidence further suggests that officer NX121 was standing to the front of Mr Kaba’s vehicle. A single shot was fired by officer NX121 piercing the front windscreen of the vehicle Mr. Kaba was driving.”

According to IOPC investigator Brown, that single shot struck Kaba in the head, killing him. It was emphasized during the aforementioned press briefing that only the vehicle, not Kaba, was of interest and the decedent wasn’t suspected of any crime in particular. Officials didn’t give any articulable reason as to why the unnamed officer fired upon Kaba while he was in the vehicle.

In early September of 2023, the unnamed officer found himself charged with Kaba’s murder, making his first appearance in court on September 21st.

Following the officer being charged, approximately 300 Metropolitan officers turned in their weapons and refused to conduct patrols, leading to the military being placed on standby in case shortages by protesting officers proved untenable.

A statement provided by the Metropolitan Police force at the time of the walkout noted, “a number of officers have taken the decision to step back from armed duties while they consider their position,” further adding the charging of their fellow officer, “signals a shift in the way the decisions they make in the most challenging circumstances will be judged.”

Yet, come September 25th, soldiers initially put on standby were ordered to stand down, as many of the officers who initially walked out reportedly returned to duty. The latest statement from the Metropolitan Police force on the matter reads, “As of lunchtime on Monday, the number of officers who had returned to armed duties was sufficient for us to no longer require external assistance to meet our counterterrorism responsibilities.”

Due to U.K. privacy laws, those accused of criminal conduct have their identities shielded from the public while investigations and trials are being conducted.

Approximately one in 10 officers carry firearms on duty as a part of a special unit. Those officers only arrive on scenes when unarmed officers call them in for assistance.
 
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