Police who shot unarmed man followed procedure, watchdog finds

Police who shot an unarmed black man in the chest at point-blank range were following “policy and procedure”, the police watchdog has found.

Sharif Cousins, a founder of a youth charity and former gang member, was not charged with any offence after he was shot by firearms officers on 26 July 2017 near his home in Rubery, Birmingham.

The 42-year-old told the Guardian he was out buying cigarettes with a friend when he was ambushed by armed police. The bullet entered Cousins’ chest, broke his ribs, punctured his lung and became lodged in his back. He spent nearly a month in hospital, much of it in a coma.

Cousins’ friend Jamael Scarlett was arrested at the scene and later convicted and sentenced to 16 years in prison on three counts of possessing a firearm and ammunition.


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