Camden boy’s toy gun arrest leaves mother ‘petrified’

Kai Image copyright Mina Agyepong
Image caption A passer-by thought they saw 12-year-old Kai holding a firearm as he sat on his sofa at home

A mother was petrified for her family’s lives when armed police raided her London home late at night to arrest her son, 12, who was seen with a toy gun.

Mina Agyepong, 42, was asleep when officers with dogs broke in and aimed weapons at her and her children.

Her son Kai had roused suspicions of a passer-by who said they saw a “black male holding a firearm on the sofa”, in Medburn Street, Camden.

The Met Police confirmed only a “toy bb gun” was found in the raid, on 17 July.

‘Red dots on daughters’ heads’

“At about 12:00 I woke up to a commotion outside, barking dogs and shouting,” Ms Agyepong told the BBC.

“Kai had opened the door and was being arrested. About ten armed police officers were aiming their rifles at me and my girls and shouting for us to put our hands up.

“I saw there were red dots on my daughters’ heads and I started to get really scared. I honestly believed if the officers got alarmed in anyway, they would shoot.

“We were ordered to get out of the house with our hands up and Kai was taken away. I was petrified for my kids lives.”

Image copyright Mina Agyepong
Image caption Officers found a toy ‘bb’ gun and not a firearm during a search of the house

The gun seen by the passer-by through the family’s window was later confirmed to be a plastic pellet gun.

“A male in the property was arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and taken into a police van outside the house,” a Met Police spokesman said.

“A search was conducted and officers found an item which was identified as a toy ‘bb’ gun and not a firearm.”

‘Zero-to-a-hundred response’

However, an internal review did not “identify any misconduct issues” but a “mandatory referral” to the Independent Office for Police Complaints had been made, the force confirmed.

However, Ms Agyepong said she complained to the Met about its “zero-to-a-hundred” response.

Kai, a Year 7 pupil at Maria Fidelis Catholic School, was eventually “de-arrested” and allowed back into his home but his mother said the ordeal has left him shaken.

Image copyright Mina Agyepong
Image caption Mina says the Met need to rethink its responses if a child can be at risk of being shot by police for having a toy gun

“He’s too afraid to answer the door,” she continued.

“But I’m more concerned of how it will affect him as he gets older. How will he see the police when he’s a teenager?”

“If we live in a world where children can face being shot by police for having a toy gun, which are not illegal, then something is not right”, she said.

“This is London, not America.”