Trevor Smith: Police shooting was legal murder, jury says | UK News
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A jury ruled that police had legally killed a 52-year-old man who was hit by a ricocheting bullet during an arrest in Birmingham.
Trevor Smith was shot dead when police attempted to arrest him at his home in the early hours of March 15, 2019.
At the end of a two-week investigation, the jury concluded that the gun officers followed the correct procedures and the fatal shot was fired because they believed they were in immediate danger.
Smith’s family said that while they agreed the ruling was appropriate within the parameters of the law, they were “very disappointed that the jury found no opportunity to criticize any aspect of the police operation.” .
“We have serious concerns about the operation, including the conduct of the police and the use of inappropriate language, poor negotiation skills, decision-making and leadership,” the family said in a statement.
“We leave the investigation dissatisfied with the responses that the West Midlands Police had no choice but to shoot and kill Trevor. Additionally, we are still not convinced that West Midlands Police are competent enough to engage effectively with people with mental illness or that any tangible lessons have been learned for future engagement with individuals in this most significant group. vulnerable in our community.
The inquest heard that Smith, who suffered from mental health issues, had been reported to police by his ex-partner for threatening behavior towards him.
He allegedly once pointed a gun at her head and sent her a WhatsApp message showing a gun on his couch which he threatened to “bring it into”.
Armed police arrived at his apartment in Lee Bank, Birmingham, shortly before 5 a.m. to execute a search warrant issued to find evidence of the alleged offenses.
Smith refused to leave his room and was partially covered by a comforter when an officer fired a bullet that ricocheted off the bed frame and hit Smith in the chest.
Officer N, who filed the fatal blow and was granted anonymity, told the court he had discharged his gun for “preservation” because he feared he or one of his colleagues might be shot. .
Video on the body showed officers attempted to verbally engage with Smith before the shooting.
A fake black handgun was found at the scene.
“We are asking for changes and reforms, so that another life is not lost in the hands of WMP, and another family does not need to suffer and cry,” Smith’s family said.
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