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London's Metropolitan Police in riot gear. (Photo: Chris JL/cc/flickr)

London's Metropolitan Police in riot gear. (Photo: Chris JL/cc/flickr)

UK Killing by Police Underscores Depth of Crisis in US

Shooting of London-area man marks first fatality by British police since 2011

Lauren McCauley

A London officer late Sunday shot and killed a local Enfield man in what sources say is the first fatal shooting by a member of the British police forces since 2011.

The 43-year-old white male was shot outside an apartment in Enfield, north of London, after police received a call saying that a man believed to be carrying a weapon was making "threats to kill," the Independent reportsAccording to Scotland Yard, the incident has been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for investigation.

The incident comes amid increasing scrutiny over use of force by police, particularly in the United States. The last police killing in the UK was the 2011 shooting of 29-year-old Mark Duggan. Whereas, according to the Guardian's ongoing tally, U.S. police forces have killed at least 776 people so far this year.

Unlike U.S. police forces, the majority of British officers do not carry guns and, instead, are increasingly reliant on the use of tasers. According to Home Office statistics recently revealed by the Independent, the use of stun guns has grown 50 percent over the past five years.

"Police drew Tasers 10,062 times last year in England and Wales and fired them 1,724 times, which are marginal falls since 2013, but still mean that an average of 27 people have Tasers pointed at them each day and four or five are felled by the powerful weapons," the Independent reported in July.

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