UK

Chris Kaba: Officer who fired fatal shot suspended by Scotland Yard

T

he firearms officer who shot the single fatal shot into father-to-be Chris Kaba has been suspended from front line duties.

The unarmed 24-year-old rapper was shot dead by police in Streatham Hill, south London, last Monday night.

Mr Kaba was driving an Audi that was rammed and boxed in by police during a chase last Monday. He was killed by a single shot fired through the driver’s side of the car’s windscreen.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has since launched a homicide investigation into his death and the officer involved in the shooting has been suspended, it was reported on Monday.

Chris Kaba’s parents, Prosper Kaba and Helen Nkama

/ BBC

Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson said: “Following the death of Chris Kaba, the firearms officer involved has been suspended from duty.

“This decision has been reached following careful consideration of a number of factors, including the significant impact on public confidence, and in light of the Independent Office for Police Conduct announcing a homicide investigation.

Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Mr Kaba’s family and friends. We understand how concerned communities are, particularly Black communities, and thank those who are working closely with our local officers.

“We are actively supporting the IOPC investigation and would ask those with information that could be useful in establishing what happened to contact the IOPC directly to maintain the independence of their investigation.

“The decision to suspend the officer does not determine the outcome of the IOPC investigation. Firearms officers serve to protect the public and know that on the rare occasions when they discharge their weapons, they will face intense scrutiny. I know this development will have a significant impact on the officer and colleagues.”

Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @LeftUnityParty of protesters marching to New Scotland Yard, London in a protest over the death of the rapper, Chris Kaba (Left Unity/PA)

/ PA Media

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “I welcome this decision and am in regular contact with the IOPC and the new commissioner.

“My thoughts remain with Chris Kaba’s loved ones at this intensely difficult time as the IOPC continue their independent homicide investigation.”

It came after two south London MPs have joined calls from campaigners and Mr Kaba’s family in calling for the officer to be disciplined.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, MP for Streatham Bell, and Harriet Harman, MP for Camberwell and Peckham, have both signed a letter calling it “incomprehensible” that the officer has not been disciplined.

Hundreds marched on Parliament on Saturday demanding justice for Mr Kaba.

Members of his family were joined by supporters bearing placards proclaiming “justice for Chris Kaba”, “abolish the Met” and “no justice, no peace”.

Protesters marching to New Scotland Yard, London in a protest over the death of Chris Kaba

/ PA Media

Protesters gathered in Parliament Square from midday before marching along Whitehall and then on to Scotland Yard.

His family has called for the officer who fired the shot to face suspension. In a statement released before the demonstration, Mr Kaba’s family asked the police watchdog to conclude its investigation within “weeks or months, not years”.

It added that restoring public confidence in the justice system required the IOPC to make decisions on “a timescale that delivers justice to all concerned”.

Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North, told demonstrators: “I don’t know how I would feel if it was my own son killed in cold blood. Chris is not the only black man gunned down by the Metropolitan police.”

The Metropolitan Police has been contacted for comment.

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