Lethal Force

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Top shot Tony Long is the most prolific police marksman Britain has ever seen. For 25 years, he operated in the Met’s elite specialist firearms units and was at the forefront of SO19’s fight against armed crime. Deployed on hundreds of dangerous operations, it was his duty to bring down terrorists, killers, and hostage takers, sometimes with lethal force—and with only seconds to decide. Tony has been behind some of the UK’s most controversial police shootings, but it was the death of suspected armed robber and drug dealer Azelle Rodney that brought his career to a devastating end. Tried for murder, Tony saw his life crumble around him . . . simply for doing his job. An intense read, Tony’s story raises serious issues about the responsibility that falls on the shoulders of those who risk their lives, and take the lives of others, in our name.


Tony Long worked as an instructor and operator within the Met’s elite specialist firearms units, participating in hundreds of groundbreaking armed operations against the UK’s most hardened criminals, earning him many commendations and forcing him on several occasions to resort to lethal force. Labeled a "serial killer" by Scotland Yard bosses, in 2015, facing a potential murder conviction for the death of an armed drug dealer, he fought to maintain his dignity and clear his name. Tony retired from the force after 33 years and now works as a security consultant.