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Ex-prisoner to sue police

PICTURED: Shariff Cousins

A BIRMINGHAM man who has served 15 years in prison has vowed to sue West Midlands Police for shooting him in the chest last summer and leaving him fighting for his life.

Sharif Cousins’ decision to press charges coincides with a senior officer from the force commenting that a previous conviction for gun possession will influence an officer’s decision to shoot.

Cousins, 41, who served an eight-year term for possession of a firearm and threatening an officer with it, is taking legal action as he waits for the official findings of an investigation into the circumstances of the shooting to be released.

The force’s Assistant Chief Constable Kenny Bell said: “The (attending) officer must have an honest belief that either themselves or members of the public are in immediate danger. Every deployment of a firearm opera- tion is authorised and commanded by a senior office.

“Clearly if someone has a previous conviction for possession of a firearm that will have a bearing on the decision of that senior officer to deploy a firearm in response to that threat.”

Commenting on his previous conviction, Cousins, left, said: “I did make a mistake but I paid for that mistake. I am not happy or proud of what I did but the police can’t target me forever for being that person.”

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