Interview with Tony Long
Updated: Apr 23, 2021
Tomorrow I will be talking to Tony Long, the ex-Metropolitan Police firearms officer and author of the book Lethal Force
Tony was involved in the Met police specialist firearms team for many years. His book describes his entire career, and how the police approach to firearms operations changed from a rather motley and amateurish collection of officers and weapons in the 1970s, to a highly trained unit using weapons and tactics more commonly associated with Special Forces soldiers.
Tony was thrust into the public eye in 2014, when he was charged with murdering 24 year old Azelle Rodney during a pre-planned firearms operation in April 2005. On the 3rd of July 2015, Tony was acquitted of murder at the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey)
The British press began to refer to Tony as "The Met's own Serial Killer, on the basis that Rodney was the fifth person that Tony had shot in his firearms career. The others being;
Boxing Day 1985 - Following a siege on at a flat in Northolt. Errol Walker had stabbed to death Jacqueline Charles and was holding her four-year-old daughter, Carlene, hostage. Tony found Walker holding a knife to the girl’s throat and shot him in the head at point-blank range. Carlene had a 10in knife sticking out of her neck, but survived her injuries, as did Walker, who was jailed for life. You can watch original BBC News footage of police storming the flat here
July 1987 - Tony was part of a team sent to disrupt the robbery of a security van that intelligence indicated was going to be robbed in Plumstead, southeast London. When Tony confronted the three men, they were holding a security guard at gunpoint As all three masked men turned towards him, he fired five shots, killing two of the men, Michael Flynn and Nicholas Payne, and wounding the third.
I do not intend to even try and cover such a long and eventful career in a one hour podcast, however, if you are interested in reading or watching more, here are a few documents that you may find interesting.
The wikipedia account of the shooting, the investigations, the subsequent legal challenges and the outcome can be found here:
Executive Summary of the outcome of the 2013 Public Inquiry into the shooting, which led to the CPS making a decision to charge Tony with murder.
Video taken immediately before and during the SO19 'hard stop' that resulted in the shooting
London Real TV documentary on Tony's career and the controversy surrounding Azelle Rodney
Coverage of the Met police payout to Tony for Cmdr Sue Akers labelling him a 'Serial Killer'