Tony Long – Lethal Force
Tony Long was the best ‘shot’ the Met ever had. Under the codename ‘Echo 7’, he was ‘licenced to kill’ bringing down scores of targets, sometimes with deadly force. In 1985 he opened fire on a suspect to save a four-year-old girl whose mother had been stabbed to death by her assailant. Two years later he was involved in another high profile shooting while confronting three armed criminals. On both occasions Tony was commended by the Metropolitan Police Commissioner. But in the spring of 2005, coming face to face with suspected drug dealer and armed robber Azelle Rodney, a volley of point blank shots would bring his career crashing to an end, tarnish his reputation and leave him fighting a murder charge and possible life sentence.
From life or death cases and botched operations to political fallouts, this book charts the controversial career from rookie seventies beat cop to Long’s command of SO19 – the Met’s most elite specialist firearms unit. Long’s personal testimony and professional insight raises serious issues about the duties, pressures and responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of those we task to risk their lives, and take the lives of others, in our name.
01:50 Brian’s thoughts on the episode.
04:48 Brian’s introduction.
05:31 Twenty years of service based in Shoreditch.
06:37 Historical reasons for introduction of armed police officers in UK and the British attitude to it.
19:13 What the term ‘policing’ means to Tony.
23:23 Becoming part of SPG and the London SWAT team, but missing being a street duty officer.
32:11 Why Tony originally wanted to join the police.
42:28 Time of change in the type of criminals committing gun crime.
46:44 Unbalanced reporting of armed officer operations.
49:38 The day Tony shot and killed Azelle Rodney.
1:07:36 Once you’ve shot someone they are no longer a cardboard target.
1:10:15 1985 Tony shoots Errol Walker.
1:14:49 Tony’s life made uncomfortable by police after he shoots 2 dead in 1987.
1:20:22 Video footage of operations may not be as the brain recollects.
1:28:23 Tony’s argument with how Police Officers are treated having done the job they are trained to do.
1:39:21 How Tony feels about Azelle Rodney.
1:40:54 The assumption of institutional racism.
1:44:24 Is this taking place in an economic prism?
1:45:24 Defending the use of hard stops.
1:49:14 The three controversial shootings: Azelle Rodney, Mark Duggan and Jermaine Baker.
2:00:09 How it felt to be charged with murder and then acquitted.
2:03:24 Why Tony wrote his book.
2:07:21 Should the police be armed?
2:20:18 Thoughts on the American police system, contrasting it with the UK police force.
2:26:12 Tony’s view of the general level of gun violence in America.
2:39:18 Brian’s summing up.
Tony Long’s Book:
Metropolitan Police Service
Specialist Firearms Command
Death of Azelle Rodney
Millennium Dome raid
Murder of WPC Yvonne Fletcher
7 July 2005 London bombings
Baader Meinhoff group
History of law enforcement in UK
Black September Organisation
One Day in September (film)
Special Air Service
The Blue Lamp (film)
Dixon of Dock Green (UK TV series)
Law enforcement in the UK
Special Patrol Group (SPG)
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND)
1960s and 1970s radicalisation
1981 Brixton riot
The Sweeney (TV series)
Secrets of a police-marksman (Channel 4 documentary)
A Few Good Men (film)
2016 Nice attack
2016 Berlin attack
Los Angeles Police Department LAPD
Death of Jean Charles de Menezes