Suella Braverman ‘fully backs’ armed police after officer charged with murder of Chris Kaba
Armed police must not fear “ending up in the dock” and officers have “my full backing,” Suella Braverman has said.
The Home Secretary’s comments come after a force marksman has been charged with murder, and officers are “anxious” following the decision.
Chris Kaba, 24, was shot through the windscreen of a car in Streatham Hill, southeast London, on 6 September last year.
A Metropolitan Police officer appeared in court on Thursday (21 September) over the fatal shooting, and was charged with murder.
In the moments before the shooting, Mr Kaba had turned into Kirkstall Gardens and collided with a marked police car. The officer fired one shot that passed through the windscreen of the Audi that Mr Kaba was driving and hit him in the head.
There will be another hearing at the Old Bailey next Friday (29 September) to discuss a legal order that bans the officer from being identified.
The Met Office has acknowledged that the situation had prompted "a number of officers" to "step back from armed duties while they consider their position".
A spokesperson said the number of officers taking a step back from duties had “increased over the past 48 hours”.
The spokesperson added: “They are concerned that it signals a shift in the way the decisions they take in the most challenging circumstances will be judged.
"We are in ongoing discussions with those officers to support them and to fully understand the genuinely held concerns that they have.”
Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley, who subsequently met with firearms officers, said many were "understandably anxious" following the decision.
Braverman, the cabinet minister, has now launched a review to ensure officers have “the confidence to do their jobs while protecting us all”.
She wrote on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter: "We depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us from the most dangerous & violent in society. In the interest of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures.
"They mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties.”
She added: "Officers risking their lives to keep us safe have my full backing & I will do everything in my power to support them.
"That’s why I have launched a review to ensure they have the confidence to do their jobs while protecting us all."