Metropolitan Police firearms officers have been handing in their weapons after a force marksman was charged with the murder of Chris Kaba.
Mr Kaba, 24, died in Streatham Hill, southeast London, in September last year after he was shot through an Audi windscreen.
The officer accused of his murder, named only as NX121 after an anonymity order was granted by a district judge, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and the Old Bailey on Thursday.
Earlier it was reported Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley met with 70 firearms officers who operate across London following the murder charge saying many of them were “understandably anxious” following the decision.
It has since been revealed a number of officers have “taken the decision to step back from armed duties” and that this number “has increased in the last 48 hours”.
The force also said it was “exploring contingencies” to cope with a potential dearth of armed officers “should they be required”.
In the moments before the shooting, Mr Kaba had driven into Kirkstall Gardens and collided with a marked police car.
The officer fired one shot and hit Mr Kaba in the head.
Recorder of London Mark Lucraft KC said a plea and trial preparation hearing will be listed for December 1, with a possible trial date of September 9 next year.
NX121 was released on bail on the conditions that he lives at a named address, surrenders his passport and does not apply for international travel documents.
A Met Police spokesperson said: “Senior officers, including the Commissioner, have been meeting with firearms officers in recent days as they reflect on the CPS decision to charge NX121 with murder.
“Many are worried about how the decision impacts on them, on their colleagues and on their families.
“They are concerned that it signals a shift in the way the decisions they take in the most challenging circumstances will be judged.
“A number of officers have taken the decision to step back from armed duties while they consider their position. That number has increased over the past 48 hours.
“We are in ongoing discussions with those officers to support them and to fully understand the genuinely held concerns that they have.
“The Met has a significant firearms capability and we continue to have armed officers deployed in communities across London as well as at other sites including Parliament, diplomatic premises, airports etc.
“Our priority is to keep the public safe. We are closely monitoring the situation and are exploring contingency options, should they be required.”